|  October 31, 2014  |  
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Summer Arrivals: Extras abound this year

We’ve had a lot of extra summer arrivals this year, and not just mosquitoes, either. People are flowing into Alaska from the rest of the United States, and the world, for that matter, like it is the place to be.

One has to wonder just how many people were in Anchorage the early summer weekend when nearly every store in town ran out of bug dope. I don’t believe it is solely attributed to an extra abundant crop of the pesky little creatures, although they are vicious this year. I think there were a lot more people in addition to a lot more mosquitoes, and that’s what happened to all the bug dope in town. There is no shortage of souvenirs. The shippers coming north quickly replenished the shelves with bug dope as well as the rest of the summer goods we take for granted. No empty shelves here.

This summer, there are more tourists arriving in and passing through Anchorage: visitors from other lands, foreign and domestic. Because of the price of fuel, more people are flying or cruising to Alaska than driving up through Canada. Many rent cars or RVs once in Anchorage, or take the train. Alaska Airlines and other year-round carriers are discounting flights. Seasonal carriers like JetBlue and Virgin America are bringing extra people to Alaska extra cheap. This is a more affordable summer to fly to Alaska. While lodging has kept pace with the steady and growing stream of people this summer, rental transportation was getting scarce by July.

Traffic is busy and constant, and there’s so much building going on all over it tends to slow things down a bit while speeding up progress. It’s evident the economy is trending up, bringing extra work and extra workers. Some of the construction going on is being built by Outside firms, with Outside crews—extra construction workers, extra equipment operators, extra contractors, extra noise, extra materials, extra everything. Yet, we still have mega projects to build—the bridge, the port, the pipeline. Alaska will not run out of projects.

I see license plates from other states—Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, even Texas—and I know those out of state plates aren’t all attributed to the military in Alaska, or tourists. Many are job seekers—people coming north from the rest of the United States looking for work or other opportunities, adding to the already constant influx of people arriving from points west and southwest. It’s a thriving place, Alaska, and quickly becoming the destination of choice.

Something else choice is the August issue of Alaska Business Monthly. The team has produced another really great magazine. Enjoy!

—Susan Harrington, Managing Editor

Copyright © 2013 Alaska Business Monthly. All rights reserved.

This first appeared in the August 2013 print edition of Alaska Business Monthly magazine.

 

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