Inside Alaska Business
Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
As of April 3, Alaska USA Federal Credit Union is no more. The state’s largest financial institution is taking on the branding of the Spokane-based affiliate it acquired last year: Global Credit Union. The new name reflects a worldwide reach, since the merger came with three branches in Italy that serve US military personnel.
Glacier Oil & Gas
A local independent producer and explorer, Glacier Oil & Gas, has new out-of-state owners. Pontem Energy and Sweat Equity Partners, both based in Houston, Texas, acquired 100 percent ownership in January. The transaction price was not disclosed. Glacier built at least $500 million worth of assets at the Badami unit on the North Slope and at the Osprey platform and West McArthur River in Cook Inlet, including the Kustatan Production Facility. Its subsidiary, Savant Alaska, plans further drilling at Badami.
Silver Bay Seafoods
Silver Bay Seafoods acquired Seattle-based processing company Orca Bay Foods. Through a joint venture over the past several years, Silver Bay has supplied seafood and Orca Bay has managed secondary processing, sales, and marketing. Orca Bay foods will continue to operate as a separate business line. Silver Bay, formed in Sitka in 2007, owns six processing plants in Alaska.
Coastal Villages Region Fund
The nonprofit that pools the Community Development Quotas of twenty villages in Southwest Alaska is now the proud owner of a Seattle waterfront property that it has occupied since 2015. Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) bought a marina and office building on the shore of Lake Union from its neighbor, United States Seafoods. The property serves as CVRF’s base of fishing operations in the Lower 48. US Seafoods owned the property, once a home port for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, since 2012 and continues to keep offices there, alongside CVRF.
The joint venture of Ounalashka Corporation and Chena Power, OCCP, agreed to an engineering, procurement, and construction contract with Ormat Technologies for the Makushin Geothermal Project. OCCP has been developing the $235 million project to build a 36 MW power plant drawing heat from Makushin Volcano, about 14 miles west of Unalaska. Ormat Technologies is a Nevada-based company that has built more than 190 power plants around the world.
Granite Construction
A suspension bridge is coming to Denali National Park and Preserve, restoring access through Pretty Rocks, where a landslide in 2021 swallowed a section of the only road into the park. The US National Park Service awarded the contract to Granite Construction, a California company with an Alaska regional office. The $102 million project is scheduled to be completed by the 2025 summer tourist season. Until then, the 92-mile park road is open for only its first 43 miles.
Beyond supermarket freezer aisles, Häagen-Dazs sells its ice cream at more than 200 storefronts nationwide. The first outlet in Alaska opened in December near the Target store in South Anchorage. Franchise owner Christina Bean says sales have been among the best for the Minneapolis-based chain’s street-based locations, not counting mall locations.
The Roaming Root Cellar
For the second year in a row, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ “Golden Carrot” award goes to The Roaming Root Cellar. As in 2021, the shop in Fairbanks demonstrated exceptional marketing creativity in 2022 as part of the 6th annual Alaska Grown $5 Challenge, encouraging customers to spend $5 each week on Alaska Grown products from June to November. The shop, which expanded from a bus in 2020 to a storefront a year later, was the first Alaska small business to win the Golden Carrot after the prize went to the Palmer Fred Meyer store, the Palmer Carrs-Safeway store, and the Wasilla Walmart.