Inside Alaska Business
National Park Service
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve opened its second public use cabin: The historic Joe Thompson cabin is at the base of the newly revitalized Portage Creek Trail on the north shore of Lake Clark about thirteen miles from Port Alsworth. This is an opportunity for park visitors to step into the shoes of a mid-century cabin builder, prospector, and commercial fisherman—stay in his cabin, hike the trail towards his prospect, and explore the Lake Clark country he lived in for forty years.
Columbia Sussex
Columbia Sussex acquired three new properties in Alaska’s largest city. With 1,341 rooms now in its inventory, the purchase makes Columbia Sussex the largest full-service, year-round hotel operator in the state.

The new midtown properties include the Hilton Garden Inn located at 4555 Union Square Drive with 125 rooms, built in 2001; Hampton Inn at 4301 Credit Union Drive with 101 rooms, built in 1997; and Homewood Suites located at 101 W. 48th Ave. with 122 rooms, built in 2003.

These properties join the twenty-story Marriott Anchorage Downtown and twenty-one-story Hilton Anchorage, which Columbia Sussex has operated for more than a decade. The Hilton just underwent an extensive, multi-million-dollar renovation and the Marriott is on schedule for a similar one this winter.

Baker Hughes Company
Baker Hughes, a GE company has changed its name. The company is now known as Baker Hughes, and as of mid-October its Class A common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BKR.” Baker Hughes’ new name and brand better reflect its current and intended principal business operations and diversified portfolio.

Excalibur Alaska

Retailing 100 percent authentic and officially licensed sports merchandise from apparel and jerseys to hats and home décor, Excalibur Alaska has opened a location next to JCPenney in the 5th Avenue Mall. Excalibur Alaska is open seven days a week and the merchandise it carries features logos from NHL, NFL, MLB, NBA, and NCAA teams.
Arctic Innovation Competition

The University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management awarded $30,000 in cash prizes to the winners of the 2019 Arctic Innovation Competition.

The top prize of $10,000 in the main division was awarded to Todd Krieg for Fish Wheel Salmon Selector, which improves on the classic fish wheel by safely returning coho and chinook salmon to the river to continue spawning while allowing other, more abundant species to be harvested.

In the junior division, James Price took home the first prize of $1,000 for Plug-Hug, a faceplate for electrical outlets. The device’s snugly fitting shield makes accidental unplugging and weather damage less likely. In the cub division, Aila Standlee-Strom won first place and $500 for Here Kitty Cat, a cat harness with a locator connected to an app. The app gives walking directions for owners to find their cats.

Premera Blue Cross
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska announced a $5.7 million investment to support access to rural healthcare in Alaska.

Premera will establish a Rural Health Care Fund with $3 million to be managed initially by Rasmuson Foundation and held by The Alaska Community Foundation. The fund will be used to award a wide variety of grants addressing equity, availability, and access to quality healthcare in rural areas. The UAA College of Health will receive a $1.77 million grant to expand the university’s associate and bachelor’s nursing degree programs at four of its campuses, three of which are in rural Alaska. ANTHC will receive $700,000 as a capital grant to support the build of its Anchorage-based Education & Development Center, helping create a state-of-the-art integrated healthcare education institution.

Premera is also providing $300,000 in grants to support Community Health Aide/Practitioner training programs across Alaska.

Summit Spice & Tea

Summit Spice & Tea has purchased ecommerce gift box and specialty food online store Alaska Artisanal. The purchase creates a Summit Spice & Tea online store that sells Summit’s 160 teas, 230 spices, various Alaskan made specialty foods, and Alaska Artisanal’s gift boxes. The new combined online store launched in December.

By purchasing Alaska Artisanal, Summit was able to quickly add an online store, as well as the inventory management and order processing and fulfillment systems that work behind the scenes enabling both retail and online sales to occur.