The Allanivik Hotel and adjoining Mud Hut restaurant will close their doors April 15. The Association of Village Council Presidents operates the establishment and announced the shutdown Wednesday.
When the hotel closes, its laundry facilities used by the public will close as well. And under the executive board’s directive, the hotel has stopped accepting Medicaid vouchers.
In a letter to AVCP tribes, the board says the business has not been financially viable for several years and the closure intends to increase AVCP efficiency.
But the association’s 2015 Annual Report projected the hotel’s revenue for last year around $1.9 million, about $100,000 less than 2014 but the second best year for the facility overall. As of August, 2015’s revenue had already surpassed 2012’s and was set to exceed 2013’s.
The report attributes 2014’s high earnings to rainy weather and fishing restrictions that kept people from their fish camps and drove them to Bethel for shopping, entertainment, and medical needs.
The report also speaks to expanding the hotel to better accommodate AVCP programs whose high attendance rate has frequently caused AVCP groups to seek outside lodging.
General Manager Donald Black says 20 employees will lose their jobs in the closure, but they won’t be out of work until two to four weeks after the shutdown, enough time to clean up the buildings. He says Human Resources is collaborating with the Alaska Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development to help employees find work.
In the board’s letter, AVCP says it expects to use one of the hotel’s buildings for its Healthy Families and TANF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Programs.
A KYUK investigation released earlier this year revealed nearly a decade of AVCP misappropriating federal TANF grant monies. The 2015 AVCP report says a TANF client joined the hotel’s staff last year.
AVCP President Myron Naneng and Executive Vice President Mike Hoffman have not responded to emails requesting comment on this story.