American Samoa delegate welcomes $450,000 SkyTram study grant

by Mar 17, 2022American Samoa, Federal Government0 comments

American Samoa Delegate Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R) is welcoming a $450,000 competitive grant from the United States Economic Development Administration to study the possibility of restoring a SkyTram over Pago Pago Harbor, along with the resulting benefits to tourism.

“Congratulations to Governor Lemanu Mauga, and Director of Commerce Petti Matila, and thank you to territorial planner Michael McDonald, for exploring this revitalization project, and ensuring that American Samoa was able to compete for this grant,” said Amata. “Thank you to EDA for supporting American Samoa in this way, and recognizing economic challenges and the tourism potential of our beautiful islands.”

This EDA investment supports the American Samoa Department of Commerce with its goal to boost tourism in the territory by redeveloping a once-popular SkyTram system that would support the recovery, growth, and long-term development of the tourism industry.  This project will study the feasibility of constructing a SkyTram, and develop preliminary engineering designs and environmental requirements prior to construction. 

The grant notification points out the tourism and economic challenges of the past ten years, including Cyclone Gita in 2018, which resulted in direct and indirect damages across the territory.  The project envisions helping American Samoa boost its tourism industry and rebuild economically following the COVID-19 pandemic.  Once completed, the project will boost job creation in the area, attract private investment, and enhance economic activity throughout the territory.

EDA grants are awarded through a competitive process based upon the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds. The EDA is led by Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Castillo. EDA is part of the US Department of Commerce, led by Secretary Gina Raimondo.