Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

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An empty downtown Skagway, Alaska in a summer of no tourism.

The summer that wasn’t; Skagway businesses struggle to survive a season of no tourism

https://youtu.be/_CdxwPKmFy4 In Southeast Alaska, tourism drives the summer economy. In Skagway, it’s critical. But this year, COVID-19 means tourists are mostly non-existent in the town of around...
Joshua Easterly, operations manager at Alaska Club East, uses a disinfectant fogger to clear the gym.

As gyms adapt to operate during a pandemic, some are struggling to get users back inside

Gyms are adapting, but some still face financial strain as Alaskans opt out of indoor exercise.

Fred Meyer, CVS, Target join list of retailers requiring face masks

A number of major retailers with locations in Alaska will soon require customers to wear face coverings in stores.

LISTEN: There are billions of dollars at stake in the 2020 Census, but Alaska response rates are low

The census is about understanding the country’s population, but it’s also about money. There are billions of federal dollars at stake. Yet, less than half of Alaskans have responded so far, with the lowest self-response rate of any other state in the country.

As Alaskans are staycationing on public lands, the waste is getting out of hand

Lots of people generate a lot of waste, and in some areas, that trash is being left behind.

Skagway’s economy depends on cruise tourism. With little money coming in, the city is paying millions of dollars to residents

In Skagway, the city is distributing a large portion of its federal CARES Act funding directly to residents. City officials hope this unique action will save the town.

LISTEN: Interest rates are low, but competition is high for home buyers in Alaska

Home prices have remained surprisingly high during the pandemic, which may be a result of fewer people moving out.

LISTEN: More women, young Alaskans, among unprecedented number of unemployment filings in April

Like many other things in the past few months, Alaska Department of Labor Economist Jenna Luhrs says unemployment numbers were unprecedented.

UA president Jim Johnsen withdraws from Wisconsin job

In a press release Friday morning, Johnsen wrote “After deep reflection as to where I am called to lead a university system through these challenging times, it is clear to me and my family that it is in Alaska.”

LISTEN: April’s job losses were huge — how long will they last?

But, unlike other periods of significant job loss in Alaska’s history, this one may be short lived.

Pandemic stirs greater demand for local meat and produce as Alaskans head into summer

"Farmers are selling everything they can get slaughtered right now," said Schade."

Low sockeye returns prompt commercial fishing closure on the Copper River

Fish and Game is planning to make an announcement Friday about whether the fishery will reopen as scheduled on Monday.

In downtown Anchorage, the streets are quiet and parking is ample. Can locals keep the businesses afloat?

While the absence of tourism is noticeable in the heart of the city, some business owners see a silver lining.

Restaurant closures create uncertainty in the market for premium Copper River salmon

Restaurants may not be reliable buyers this year, as owners grapple with reduced business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchorage playgrounds reopen as pandemic restrictions ease

The city closed playgrounds last month as part of broader efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Alaska Airlines to require masks for passengers and employees

The company announced the change in a statement Friday. The requirement goes into effect May 11.

On Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, businesses hit hard during last summer’s wildfires are facing another season of uncertainty

As business owners look to this season for some sort of normalcy and a chance to recoup financial losses, they’re facing a new challenge: a global pandemic.