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2012 conference FAQ

Where is Chena Hot Springs Resort  in relation to Fairbanks?
The resort is located 56.5 miles down Chena Hot Springs Road (at the very end of the road). The paved road is maintained all year and the scenic 60-mile drive from downtown Fairbanks only takes a little more than an hour. In 2002, it was voted one of the most scenic drives in the Interior. Frequently, especially in summer, cars are parked on the side of the road to view nearby moose or other wildlife. So any time you are headed out to the resort and you see a few parked cars on the side of the road, pull completely off the road and grab your camera!

  • FLY IN
    A private 3,000-foot runway is available. For permission to land, first call (907) 451-8104, ext. 2. Pilots must have a minimum of 50 hours in the aircraft they will be flying before given permission to land at the resort.
  • CHENA SHUTTLE
    Shuttle transportation service to and from Fairbanks is provided to hotel guests. OWAA attendees’ conference rate of $45 is based on-round trip transfers.
  • RENTAL VEHICLES
    Cars and RVs can be rented locally for travel to and from Chena and pre- and post-conference trips.


How many conference attendees can Chena Hot Springs handle?
If members share rooms to max out sleeping accommodations (hotel rooms and yurts), filling up the rooms to their capacity, the resort can lodge 372 people, plus the camping and RV accommodations. Minimum capacity is 212 people plus camping and RV accommodations.
How long does it take to fly to Fairbanks from major U.S. cities?
The direct flight from Seattle to Fairbanks is about 3 hours.
What airlines fly to Fairbanks?
Non-stop flights to and from Fairbanks originate in Anchorage, Seattle and, in summertime, Minneapolis. Alaska Airlines offers non-stop trans-continental flights from Boston; Newark, N.J.; Washington, D.C.; Miami, Fla.;  Orlando, Fla.; Chicago; Minneapolis; Denver; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Los Angeles direct to Seattle, where passengers may board a non-stop flight to Fairbanks.

Will airfare discounts be offered via Alaska Airlines or other carriers?
Current promotions include: 20% discount through Alaska Airlines if tickets purchased between the last week of September through October (in any given year) for travel anytime. Two-for-one tickets via Alaska Airlines if applying for Alaska Airlines credit card. We are working to secure additional discounts through Alaska Airlines and the other major airlines that serve Fairbanks.
How long does it take to drive from the Seattle area to Fairbanks?
See below for driving information. You may also take the ferry (The Alaska Marine Highway System) from Bellingham, Wash. to Valdez, Whittier, Seward or one of many other towns on the Alaska coast, then drive north to Fairbanks and Chena. Visit the Alaska Marine Highway System to plan your voyage: http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/index.shtml
How long does it take to drive the Alcan Highway to Fairbanks?
The Alcan Highway, from Seattle to Fairbanks, is approximately 2,300 miles. At an average speed of 55 mph, that’s nearly 42 hours of driving. A safe journey will take about five to eight hours days per day – longer if you’d like to stop and smell the pinecones along the way.
What other ways can I get to Fairbanks?
In addition to flying or driving, the Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Fairbanks is in operation every summer day. They offer packages originating in either city with overnight (or longer) stays in Denali National Park and Preserve. After the wildlife tour and other activities, the travelers proceeds to their destination. On return, the package offers a 45-minute flight back to the originating city. The current cost of such a package is $225.00.
Is Internet service available at the resort?
Yes, wireless Internet is available in the café and activity center. Wireless cards are available for purchase if you’d like to surf the Web outside the public area.
What kind of business services will be available for submitting stories while on-site?
A pressroom will be available at the conference, fully stocked with: copiers, computers, printers, internet access, fax machines and telephones. You will be able to be in touch during your stay at Chena.
What’s the temperature at that time of year? Do I need to bring my parka?!
Absolutely! Snow can fall anytime of year in that part of the country, so cold weather gear is highly recommended. The average temperatures in September are highs around 54 degrees and lows around 36 degrees, with an average one inch of precipitation.
Is there a Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, or some sort of drug store close by in case I forget to pack something?
Chena is located about an hour northeast of Fairbanks. If you are flying into Fairbanks (or driving through), you’d be best advised to stop at one of these stores when you’re in town. There are no stores or other services in the immediate vicinity of Chena Hot Springs Resort.

Will there be fishing opportunities within walking distance of the accommodations?
The Chena River boasts schools of Arctic Grayling just a short 10 minute walk from the hotel rooms.
What’s the capacity of the RV park at Chena?
There are 48 RV spaces and unlimited tent sites available at Chena Hot Springs. Potable water is available, but there are no power or sewer hook-ups.
Besides yurts and the RV park, what sleeping room arrangements are there?
Chena Hot Springs Resort has two lodges available with standard hotel rooms, plus “family” rooms that sleep up to eight in a condo-style atmosphere. Also, there may also be privately owned cabins available for rent in the vicinity.
How long is the 2012 conference?
The conference itself will run three days: Sept. 4-6, 2012. The three days immediately following Labor Day.
Will there be a Breakout Day and/or Shooting Day in Fairbanks?
We’re going to try something different with the 2012 conference. “Breakout” will be combined with pre- and post-conference trips; you will have the chance to get out in the field and test the gear with our Supporting Groups, as well as local outfitters, fishing guides, suppliers and outdoor specialists.

What sort of pre-and post-conference trips will be offered?
Trips to the Arctic, brown bear photography, bush-pilot flights to native villages and mining communities, fishing for silver salmon and Arctic grayling, caribou and moose hunts, kayaking, outings to Denali National Park – all are being explored at this early stage.
What is there to do in Fairbanks?
There’s so much to do, there won’t be time to take it all in! Be sure to plan a long enough stay to take advantage of all that Alaska’s Interior has to offer. Fairbanks proper features tons of green space with hiking trails, lakes, waterfowl habitat and wildlife sanctuaries. Wildlife viewing. Photography opportunities. A classic car museum, art galleries, fine dining and theaters. The Morris Thompson Cultural Center museum. Aurora viewing, trips to Denali, kayaking and canoeing the Chena River (right from town!), fishing, dog mushing, gold rush and frontier history, and the Alaskan Pipeline. Contact Karen Lundquist at the Fairbanks CVB for a full list of all the exciting activities available in the Fairbanks area at (877) 551-1728, ext. 3775, or visit www.explorefairbanks.com.
Can my Labrador retriever swim in the Rock Lake hot pool?
No, unfortunately your dog may not bask with you in the hot springs at Rock Lake. However, the Chena River runs by the property and your pup is welcome to chase fish and swim in the river. Make sure to watch out for porcupines! (Pets are not allowed in the resort proper, but may camp with you in your tent or RV.)
Is there a bar at Chena?
Yes! There is a full-service bar and restaurant at Chena, along with a snack bar. You can also try appletinis in ice sculpted martini glasses at the Aurora Ice Museum. ◊
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