Alaska X in Skagway receives the Stan Stephen’s Stewardship Award

Robert Murphy accepts his award. Photo credit to Dan M. Lee

Skagway, Alaska (KINY) – Robert Murphy, CEO of Alaska X was nominated for recognition at the Alaska Travel Industry Association in Fairbanks last week by Beth Smith of Skagway Station Bar and Grill, Morning Wood Hotel, and Happy Endings Saloon.

Robert was selected to receive the Stan Stephens Stewardship Award based on Smith’s nomination.

Skagway’s Tourism Manager, Jaime Bricker, read the following.

“This Stan Stephens Stewardship Award recipient has been and continues to be a pioneer in the tourism industry. Born and raised in Southeast Alaska, he began his first tour operation in 1991 in his hometown of Skagway. With a single bus, this visionary showcased our beautiful White Pass Summit. Over the years, the company added horseback riding, dog sledding adventures, Unimog’s, zip lining, gold panning, historical walking tours, and ATV Tours, all of which teach visitors about and proudly display our natural environment,” she said. “The business now employs 10 people year-round with over 80 staff members during the summer season. This company invests in our local youth, including my very own 6’5”, 18-year-old baby boy, developing their skill sets and resumes in ways that will lead them to successful careers supporting tourism in Alaska! They consistently donate to local and statewide charitable organizations.”

Bricker continued.

“Above all, the owners and their team believe it’s important to provide experiences that honor and will positively impact the natural and cultural environments. Alaska X is installing a hydroelectric power system at their Adventure Camp in Dyea Alaska,” she said. “They are proud to be transitioning from a diesel generator to hydroelectric power with energy that flows from surrounding glaciers. In recognition of their dedication to providing an unforgettable visitor experience that also safeguards a place and protects natural resources; Robert Murphy and Alaska X are this year’s recipients of the Stan Stephens Stewardship Award.” 

The room gave a standing ovation.

Here is a description of the Stan Stephens Stewardship Award and a list of past winners.

This award commemorates the passion and dedication that Stan Stephens lived by in his commitment to safeguarding a place he loved dearly. He was a meticulous steward of Prince William Sound and after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, publicly declared that he would dedicate the rest of his life to making sure the area was protected.

Recipients of this award, like Stephens, will have worked nobly and passionately over time to protect a place or resource or pursue a just cause that greatly benefits all of us in travel and tourism. The award will only be presented during years when a qualified recipient has been nominated.

2019 – Denali Education Center

2018 – Colleen Stephens

2017 – Ken Leghorn

2016 – Bob Janes & Dawn Wolfe

2015 – Kirk Hoessle

In addition, ATIA recognized the following Skagway residents in their memorial tribute: Bea Lingle, Harry Adrian Bricker, George Butt, Fred Hosford, James Cook, Anthony Bowers, Howard Mallory, Alan L. Anderson, Del Almond, and Al Mosley.

Robert Murphy accepts his award. Photo credit to Dan M. Lee