Inside Alaska Business
Northern Pacific Airways
The new trans-oceanic carrier using Anchorage as its hub launches this month, except the inaugural route doesn’t pass through Anchorage and is entirely over land. Northern Pacific Airways carries its first passengers on June 2 on a one-hour hop to Las Vegas from Ontario International Airport, inland from Los Angeles. The round-trip route departs on Fridays this summer and returns from Las Vegas on Sundays, enabling the startup airline to earn revenue. Routes through Anchorage, to the East Coast, and to international destinations in Japan and South Korea are in the planning stages at press time.
Three Bears Alaska
The twentieth location in the Three Bears Alaska chain is a former liquor store in Ester, west of Fairbanks. The supermarket took over Gold Hill Imported Beer and Fine Wines in March and is planning a “full facelift” this summer into a gas station convenience store, similar to recent renovations in Trapper Creek and Ninilchik.
Peter Pan Seafood
Peter Pan Seafood is taking over Trapper’s Creek Smoking Co., maker of salmon jerky, hot- and cold-smoked fish, and gift packs under the Copper River Smoking Company, Alaska’s Best, and Eat Like a Grizzly brands. From its smokehouse near midtown Anchorage, Trapper’s Creek also makes custom packages for fresh-caught salmon, halibut, or crab. Trapper’s Creek Smoking Co.’s current owner Andi Wahry is staying on as an advisor during the transition. The acquisition further integrates Peter Pan Seafood with an additional channel for value-added products.
ASRC Federal
A subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) is acquiring the logistics arm of a Virginia-based military contractor. Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) signed an agreement to sell its logistics and supply chain management business to ASRC Federal. The $350 million cash transaction adds supply chain management and logistics capabilities for US Department of Defense agencies to ASRC Federal’s current procurement and warehousing services at military locations nationwide.
Tlingit & Haida
A hotel and café in downtown Juneau are now under tribal ownership. The Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska purchased The Driftwood Hotel and Sandpiper Café, across the street from Tlingit & Haida’s Andrew Hope Building and two other commercial office buildings acquired in 2021. The area is designated the Aak’w Village District, an ongoing effort to develop the neighborhood while sustaining local arts and culture. “This acquisition checked all of the boxes for the tribe’s strategic plans for growth and economic sovereignty,” says Tlingit & Haida President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson. Tlingit & Haida will continue running the Driftwood Lodge as a hotel, so occupants should not notice any change in service.
Cordova Telecom Cooperative
Cordova Telecom Cooperative selected a New Jersey-based contractor, Pioneer Consulting, to oversee the engineering and design phase of a new submarine cable. The 171-mile system will connect Cordova and Seward, with branching units for additional connectivity to Johnstone Point and Chenega. The project is called Fiber Internet Serving Homes in Alaska (FISH). Pioneer Consulting previously assisted with the project’s initial feasibility study in 2021, which informed a successful application for grant funds from the US Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Loan and Grant program.
An Anchorage company trying to build a fiber optic cable from Asia to Europe via Alaska is now under out-of-state ownership. The executive team of Quintillion and its holding company, QSH Parent Holdco, approved an acquisition by Washington, D.C.-based private investment firm Grain Management. Founded in 2015, Quintillion constructed and operates a fiber-optic cable network that provides high-speed broadband services to Northern Alaska. A planned three-phase subsea cable system would connect Asia to Western Europe through the Arctic Ocean. “Our partnership with Grain will expedite closing the digital divide and accelerate the pace with which we connect more Alaskans to each other and to the rest of the world,” says Quintillion CEO George Tronsrue III.
Mat-Su Health Foundation
The co-owner of Mat-Su Regional Hospital is the largest Alaska beneficiary of charitable giving from billionaire philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. She donated $15 million to Mat-Su Health Foundation in 2022. CEO Elizabeth Ripley describes the gift as a way to invest in smaller initiatives throughout the Mat-Su Borough. As the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Scott is the third-wealthiest woman in the United States.
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