Anchorage Rental Facility Planned

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -– Renting cars to Alaskan tourists may get more convenient if plans for a new rental facility at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport are approved. The $36 million, four-level facility would sit adjacent to the airport and connect to the terminal by a walkway.

Plans call for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) to issue revenue bonds, which would be repaid through collection of a facility charge added to rental bills. The charge is expected to be about $4 per customer.

The facility project has been in the works for more than three years.

"Well, it's been a long, arduous process," said Gary Zimmerman, who manages Avis' operation there. "Sept. 11 kind of delayed everything. No one was real anxious to go forward after that date."

Also, getting all parties involved to agree or finalize plans has been a time-consuming process. "We've got corporately owned rental car companies and we've got locally owned rental car companies, so [there's] a whole mix of organizations trying to get together on this thing," Zimmerman added.

Jim McMillan, deputy director of credit and business development for AIDEA, agrees that getting the rental car companies to see eye-to-eye has added to the delay. "All of the parties involved are working on this project, but there hasn't been final approval by anybody yet," he said.

Plans call for construction to begin next year, with completion in the latter half of 2006.

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