AKHR Member Profile: Crossroads Lounge – “Where Friends Meet”

Mayor Bronson Announces Project Anchorage Taskforce

Anchorage, AK – Today, Mayor Dave Bronson announced the creation of “Project Anchorage,” a taskforce of business, civic, and community leaders who will help devise strategies and ideas to make Anchorage a more attractive place for tourists to visit, businesses to invest, and residents to live. The 11-member taskforce will play a critical role in developing policy recommendations that will help enhance Anchorage’s economy and livability in the years to come.



News from National Restaurant Association

Excerpted from the National Restaurant Association newsletter. For the full newsletter, click here.


Operators endure weaker business conditions

The costs of goods restaurateurs need most have continued to accelerate, and according to a new survey released today by the National Restaurant Association, 46% of operators say business conditions are worse now than they were 3 months ago. More than 80% of operators say the cost of food, labor and occupancy are higher than 2019; 94% say operating costs in general are higher. 85% report profits are down.

See full survey results and share the press release.


The 2022 DEI Report: Diversity matters to your employees. Does it matter to you?

The Association’s landmark 2022 report on diversity, equity and inclusion in the hospitality industry reveals a major gap between how diverse and inclusive enterprises think they are and what their employees actually experience. It’s clear a genuine DEI culture enhances retention. Join us Tues., Aug. 30 at 2 p.m. ET, as Susan Crystal-Mansour, PhD, talks through the DEI disconnect and its impact. Register


Beware of how you report tips post-COVID-19, tax experts say

Tips and service charges are treated differently from a tax standpoint, but the pandemic changed tipping patterns, so operators need to carefully review their tip reporting policies. Marianna Dyson and Michael Chittenden of Covington & Burling LLP, explained the changes during a presentation at the Association’s Finance, Tax & Internal Audit Expert Exchange conference. Read more.


Operators search for ways to battle inflation

Supply chain issues have caused wholesale food prices to increase 16.3%, employment shortages abound, the war in Ukraine spiked gas prices, and an Avian flu outbreak cut supplies of eggs and poultry. Operators combine strategies in the fight to slow shrinking margins. Read the first of our 5-part series.


Excerpted from the National Restaurant Association newsletter. For the full newsletter, click here.

How the Alcohol Tax is Spent

With the approval of Proposition 13 in April 2020, authorizing a 5% sales tax on the retail sales of alcoholic beverages, Anchorage has made a commitment to try a new approach to how our community responds to the emergencies today, and how it commits to the long-term well-being of future generations in Anchorage.

Here is what Alcohol Tax revenues can be spent on.

Read the entire document (downloadable PDF).


OPINION: New investment will transform downtown Anchorage

By Bruce Bustamante, Michael Fredericks, Debbie Rinckey, Julie Saupe, Silvia Villamides
and Bill Popp

Along with flowers, orange cones and cranes are popping up as the construction season begins. For people like us who are lucky enough to be downtown on a daily basis, we have already been able to witness the dramatic change at 601 W. 5th Avenue, otherwise known to locals as the “Old Key Bank Building.”

Shimmery glass panels and the use of angles are transforming the building that was stripped down to its frame after the 2018 earthquake into a dazzling structure that will, no doubt, provide stunning views and modern office space when complete.

This much-needed, massive undertaking is only a piece of the bigger vision for the block, called “Block 41,” encompassing several other buildings including the old 4th Avenue Theatre. The proposed project, covering most of the block, will also bring new retail, residential, hotel and parking to the heart of downtown. This is an exciting project and is the biggest private investment in downtown in decades.

Over recent years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent to conduct risk assessment for things like lead, asbestos and seismic issues in the former theater and other nearby buildings that have proven too great to overcome. It is sad to lose these buildings in their current form, but we are encouraged to see the developers making great effort to preserve the historical nature of the 4th Avenue Theatre and other buildings by rebuilding the facade with new, modern materials, reconstruction of the marquee sign into a new, safe, more tech advanced iconic sign and careful handling of the interior murals will be removed, stored and reinstalled in the new building.

The current owners have called in national experts to document, protect and preserve the art inside the old 4th Avenue building and consulted with professionals on rebuilding the facade and marquee we know and love in order to keep the character of the area intact. We applaud this effort.

Along with the Block 41, other investments are gaining momentum too.

Have you been by 7th Avenue and K Street lately? Check out the new downtown location of Fire Island Bakery, That Feeling Co. and La Bodega. Together, these small businesses repurposed a former clinic to form the “K Street Market” and have been doing business since earlier this winter.

We all await the new 4th Avenue “Whisky & Ramen” scheduled to open in June and so much more.

Earlier this year, the Anchorage Community Development Authority, or ACDA, announced an agreement with 6th Avenue Center to build a 156-room boutique hotel, combined with 32 apartments, on the current transit center site. The project is estimated to bring $60 million to $65 million of investment into Anchorage, create as many as 160 jobs during the construction phase, and generate millions of dollars in new lodging and property tax revenues.

In addition, the development authority recently announced a private-public partnership at the corner of 8th Avenue and K Street downtown with Debenham Properties, who will build the first market-rate, multi-use housing in west downtown in 40 years. The project will include 44 units consisting of studios and one-bedroom apartments. The project, also referred to as “Block 96,″ is estimated to be an $11.6 million investment.

New, modern, townhomes called Downtown Edge North, have been built and sold by the Petersen Group in an area overlooking the Alaska Railroad, Cook Inlet and Mount Susitna. This new development provides housing downtown for people interested in walking to shops, restaurants and entertainment and easy access to our urban Moose Loop paved trail system.

As leaders of organizations that work to promote Anchorage, we do what it takes to encourage investment, welcome visitors and activate every part of our city right now especially downtown. We are all excited to enjoy the businesses that made it through the pandemic, try out the new places, and to witness the transformation long needed in the heart of downtown.

This summer, we hope everyone brings their houseguests and families downtown for shopping, dining, events and some of the many activities planned. If you get slowed down by a construction worker or have to walk the long way around a block — smile, wave and be encouraged. We are making progress.


This commentary was jointly authored by the Roadmap to a Vital Safe Anchorage leadership team: Bruce Bustamante, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce; Michael Fredericks, interim executive director, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd.; Debbie Rinckey, Chugiak Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; Julie Saupe, Visit Anchorage; Silvia Villamides, Alaska Hospitality Retailers; and Bill Popp, Anchorage Economic Development Corp.

The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. 

New Security Training for AKHR Members

Alaska Hospitality Retailers is pleased to announce a partnership, through Alaska Hospitality Retailers Anchorage, with Nightlife Security Consultants (NSC), the premier security training experts on providing knowledgeable training and consulting services to minimize risk and maximize safety.

Nightlife Security Consultants (NSC) brings over 52 years of experience in law enforcement, bar and nightclub security, alcohol rules and regulations, liability mitigation, industry best practices, venue management, and guest services to our security training programs and consulting services.

This training is appropriate for security personnel for all hospitality venues including for concerts, restaurants that have special events, special events promoters, etc.

NSC is the nation’s leader when it comes to hospitality security training. NSC’s online security training programs are recommended and used by state and local municipalities, insurance companies, and responsible owners nationwide to better train hospitality security professionals, limit potential liability, and keep guests and employees safe.

You may be able to reduce your insurance costs. Your insurance provider may provide significant discounts for businesses that maintain an ongoing security training program. If your current insurance provider doesn’t, NSC may be able to help you with providers that currently recognize NSC training programs as a risk mitigation tool.

We encourage you to explore their online training programs through Alaska Hospitality Retailers Anchorage. AKHR Members will enjoy up to a 33% discount on NSC training programs. Make sure to use the following discount codes.

Security Guard Essentials Training | 3.5-hour program – Use Discount Code AKHRSGE

National HOST Platinum Security Training | 12-hour program – Use Discount Code AKHRNHP

COVID-19 Impact Report: November 2 , 2020 – January 2, 2022

RESPONDING TO COVID-19 United Way of Anchorage

Impact Report: November 2 , 2020 – January 2, 2022

The coronavirus pandemic continues to deliver economic challenges to thousands of Alaskans.

• Alaska’s leisure and hospitality industry experienced the biggest labor hit in 2020. By the end of 2021 the industry

still lagged pre-pandemic 2019 jobs by nearly 4,000.

• In 2021 nearly 1 in 5 Alaska children faced food insecurity.

Download the Report.


Important for Homeowners

Important information for homeowners. For more information please visit the website indicated below.

Alaska Housing Finance has a mortgage assistance program for homeowners   https://www.alaskahousingrelief.org/homeowners  

Are you an Alaska homeowner experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic? You are not alone, and there may be assistance available.

Alaska Housing Homeowner Assistance may be able to help you with your mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities, insurance premiums and homeowner association dues.


  • Monday, February 28, 2022 — Sunday, March 13, 2022: Pre-register and check your eligibility in advance of the application period.
  • March 14, 2022: Application period opens
  • Monday, April 4, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. AKST: Application period closes

ServSafe COVID-19 Precautions Training Suite is FREE

With the holidays behind us, January is a great time to renew training efforts. ServSafes suite of COVID-19 training modules are available for free. The new video, ServSafe Operating Guidance: COVID-19 Precautions, combines content from original COVID-19 Delivery, Takeout, and Reopening modules and includes updated best practices from the latest COVID-19 Operating Guidance. Available in English and Spanish. Get them here.

Set Up Show Training

What: 6 weeks of Set Up Shop Training classes, a free program covering the
ins & outs of planning for your business.

When: Every Tuesday Evening from Feb 1st to March 8th, from 6-8PM

Where: All classes will be taught over ZOOM

Application Deadline: January 9th