Sunday, February 17, 2008

Designer jeans in Anchorage, Alaska? - American City Business Journals-

Designer jeans in Anchorage, Alaska? - American City Business Journals-

My new found home hits the national media.

The tumultuous years of oil booms and busts in the 1970s and '80s have given way to two decades of steady growth, and Anchorage's economy has expanded to include burgeoning retail, health care and tourism industries.

The influx of non-oil, non-military jobs has altered the city's demographics, making it less like a frontier town.

At one time, men far outnumbered women in Alaska. But in 2006, the city of 270,000 had 102 men for every 100 women, state demographer Eddie Hunsinger said. The ratio for the rest of Alaska was 108 to 100.

Leese Lloyd and Ashley Brusven, young baristas who grew up in Anchorage, said the notion that the city has an overabundance of men is an outdated stereotype.

"Where are they?" Brusven joked as customers in the adjacent New Sagaya City Market surveyed stuffed grape leaves, caprese, baklava and other un-Alaskan foods.

The city is also reshaping its modest skyline with a $100 million museum expansion, a $93 million convention center and a parking garage with room for 830 vehicles. Companies are putting up new hotels and glass-plated office buildings.

Anchorage really is quite civilized, but it's still Alaska and has its quirks. I regularly dodge moose in the road and dog sledding results are reported on all t.v. and radio sports round ups.

The winters here are over dramatized. It's actually a lot milder than some places in the northern lower 48. It's not that the winters are unbearable, they just last a long time. For me, I love it. When I see snow, I still feel like a kid, besides the skiing is great.