Anchorage downtown workers prepare for the tourist season


by Pearl-Grace Rasmussen

ANCHORAGE-- With summer approaching, many workers downtown are preparing for a busy summer. 

"The place fills up with happy people," said Nina Walker, store manager at Once in a Blue Moose. "Everyone tends to be happy and in a great mood."
Walker is one of many employees downtown who often interacts with tourist.

"Its amazing when you meet Susie from Alabama, or Peter from Australia," adds Walker. "It's just amazing and a good feeling to make people happy and hear their stories about Alaska."
Tourist season is not yet in full swing, however, workers are getting anxious to meet new people. 

Assistant Manager for the Kaladi Brothers downtown, Whitney Powell said, "We are looking forward to how many people are going to be here. There will be a cruise ship on May 5th; that will the first one of the year."
Powell adds, "it's just exciting for us. Its a different kind of day because we get the normal, regular business people now we are going to get all sorts of people and they are really fun to talk to. We are downtown so we get all kinds of people, but we look forward to the tourists.

After talking with a bunch of local workers, they say a lot of tourist are impressed with Alaskan hospitality. It's not about making money, they say, it's about meeting new people and making new friends.

Nick Taylor, a six year worker at the famous M.A. Hot dog stand said, "They are a handful, but it's fun. We like to tease them a little bit, just make them feel like they are welcome here."
Walter adds, she is happy to help others because she is so familiar with Alaska: "I have lived in Alaska my whole life, so I am really good at letting people know what fun things there are to do here."
The workers in downtown Anchorage, are proud to be Alaskan grown.
"They talk about our state," said Walter. "Even though it might be snowing that day it's a beauty in Alaska and there is no where else. So when they talk about our beauty it gives me a yummy feeling, and I'm like yeah, I live here."