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Alyeska Resort Unveils Bold Expansion Plans

Oct 5, 2023 | News, Tourism

Ben | Adobe Stock

Alyeska Resort unveiled its ambitious expansion vision to the Girdwood community at the Sitzmark Bar & Grill September 21, including rental housing for employees and local workers, complete with a daycare and community center with pool, open-air hockey, and a fitness area; a traditional ski area resort village; and a low-density housing development near Glacier Creek.

Community-minded Growth

“Our commitment is not only to transform the resort but also to keep the community closely involved in the process. We’re unveiling our preliminary ideas and plans to the community, and we genuinely value their feedback,” says Ryan Pomeroy, CEO of Pomeroy Lodging and the driving force behind Alyeska Resort.

Since purchasing the resort in 2019, Pomeroy Lodging has taken several steps to enhance the resort experience, adding the Alyeska Nordic Spa, the Veilbreaker Skybridges, and the newly opened Forte Italian restaurant. Further improvements, including the hotel’s Black Diamond Club Lounge and guest room renovations, are coming online later this year.

In addition to guest-facing improvements, Pomeroy recently completed the development of a seventy-one-unit employee housing building, the most meaningful addition to housing supply in Girdwood in the recent past.

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Altogether, in its first five years of owning Alyeska, Pomeroy will invest nearly $50 million into the resort and Girdwood community. The community presentation shared a sneak peek into what the next phase of investment in both the resort and community could look like.

Attendees of the community event heard from and provided feedback to members of Pomeroy’s development team and expert consultants who outlined plans for potential mountain improvements and the three focus areas for development around the mountain.

“Our path forward prioritizes sustainability, modern design, and community well-being. Girdwood’s feedback plays a pivotal role in ensuring our developments align with these goals,” says Ryan Laurie, director of asset management at Pomeroy Lodging.

The proposed resort development includes:

  • A Community Development Catering to the Local Workforce: Purpose-built rental housing for resort employees and local businesses makes up a significant piece of this proposed development. Adjacent to Moose Meadows, the plan features a diverse range of unit-types including studios and townhomes, increasing housing options for individuals and families at more affordable rates. This planned community will be anchored by a newly built Little Bears Daycare facility and community recreation center with plans to develop a pool, open-air hockey rink, and fitness area.
  • A True Resort Village: Situated adjacent to Alyeska Resort on the doorstep of the Chugach National Forest, this area will introduce fresh opportunities for residential ownership while also providing much-needed commercial spaces to nurture emerging local businesses and communal areas, all aimed at cultivating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.
  • A New Community Next to Glacier Creek: To preserve the natural beauty that exists today on this parcel that was part of the Spring 2021 Heritage Land Bank/Municipality of Anchorage Request for Proposals, this planned neighborhood will be dedicated to low-density development, catering to families who cherish the outdoors. The low-density nature of the development will limit traffic through the area, while also offering the opportunity to integrate and enhance the existing trail systems with the intent of also offering a modest commercial aspect to complement outdoor activities.

Phased Growth Over Time

The comprehensive development proposal will be implemented in a phased approach with the resort prioritizing community objectives including workforce housing, the new daycare, and the recreation center offerings on the development-ready, resort-owned lands. The Glacier Creek community parcel, which was not part of the previous resort master plan, will require a more robust multi-year planning process and will not likely break ground for five to ten years.

“We are committed to realizing a vision that elevates Alyeska Resort while deeply resonating with the Girdwood community and enhancing Alaska’s tourism appeal,” says Pomeroy.

Acknowledging the importance of ongoing engagement, Alyeska Resort plans to continue the dialogue as it begins its application and permitting process with the intent of gathering further comment and insight and partnering with the community on this development.

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In the February 2024 issue of Alaska Business, we engineered a special section that inspects the many ways architecture and engineering enrich our lives, from creating beautiful and functional spaces to crafting functional and safe transportation corridors. In addition to the built world in which we live, this issue celebrates small businesses and the many functions they provide, whether they're developing tools in the healthcare industry or opening new dining locations.

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