Company willing to go back to operating Midway Atoll
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau
The company that early last year walked away from operating Midway Atoll would go back for less than the federal government is spending to keep facilities running and it would restore public access, said Bob Tracey, former executive vice president of Midway Phoenix.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has hired private contractors to keep the Midway airport and utilities running, at a cost of about $500,000 a month. The latest contractor is Chugach McKinley.
Any money collected from aircraft that use the runway is turned over to the Fish & Wildlife Service.
"It's ridiculous to spend that kind of money," Tracey said, adding that Midway Phoenix would go back and do it, plus reopen the tourism operation, for $2.8 million a year, the amount it submitted in a bid in 2002.
Fish & Wildlife Service spokeswoman Barbara Maxfield said the service reviewed bids and did not select the Midway Phoenix proposal.
"Based on the studies we did, we believe the current contract is reasonable," she said.
The service owns the atoll about 1,300 miles northwest of Hawai'i and operates it as a national wildlife refuge.
Reach Jan TenBruggencate at email@example.com or (808) 245-3074.