Friday, March 1, 2024

Island Market

USA: Football Star Searches for the Perfect Alaskan Private Island

America’s most northerly private islands have hit prime time with a reality television show, as a camera crew follows a football player and his wife looking for their dream home.

Buying Alaska featuring Jason Elam

Private islands are taking centre stage on the newest episode of the reality TV series Buying Alaska, which will feature star football player Jason Elam and his wife as they search for an island to call home. If you’ve ever wanted a view into what it’s really like to find the right private island, the show may give some insight into the process, at least for islands in chilly northern climes.

The show airs on Destination America, an offshoot of the Discovery Channel that focusses on unique places and people in the United States. It’s certainly hard to get more unique than a private island, especially when it’s in a remote and wild area like Alaska, where bears still roam freely and whales can often be heard offshore. According to the show summary, the couple are not just looking for a summer retreat, but a permanent home:

 “Former Broncos kicker Jason Elam and his wife Tammy have moved to Alaska for their post-NFL lives. They’re looking for the ultimate secluded home – their own private island, in Sitka, Alaska, where there’s thousands of islands up for sale.”

Located on Baranof Island in the relatively balmy Alaskan Panhandle, the Sitka region hosts one of the state’s largest population centres, along with a thriving fisheries industry and major port. Tourism is a growth industry here – accessible only by air or sea, it has plenty of incredible untouched scenery and top-notch lodges to cater to hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

Viewing “The Rock House” in Sitka Sound

The islands viewed by the couple are a good snapshot of what the scenic state has to offer – although not all of the islands were completely private. The first, dubbed “The Treehouse”, is set on an island with six other properties, and boasts unique features like elevated views and an upper loft only accessible by a steep ladder.

The second option, called “The Rock”, features a stunning wrap-around deck and the Sitka Sound views are given prominence with large picture windows. This totally-private island also has a guest cottage for the many friends and family that would no doubt clamor to visit. To top it off, the third choice is a classic Alaskan lodge with a boathouse, guesthouse, and even a smoker to prepare fresh-caught Pacific salmon.

Which island did the couple choose? Watch the episode to find out!

View the episode online here: Link

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