As summer winds down in Talkeetna, KTNA did a quick survey of spokespeople from some local businesses to see how it went.
Talkeetna Air Taxi: Well, we haven’t looked over the numbers yet, but I would say it was a pretty robust number of people through the town this year. I think anybody can attest to that.
Conscious Coffee: It’s been a really good summer. People have been pretty friendly. It hasn’t been terribly overwhelming.
Dancing Leaf Gallery: Oh, the summer was great. We had, of course, a lot more visitors than we usually have. It was kind of an interesting dynamic. People were excited to be here on the cruise ships. Last year was a little different. A lot of people were just excited to be out of the house, so they were willing to spend a little more money. But this year, they were a little bit more frugal, although the numbers were high.
Fairview Inn: Busier than usual, lots of softball. Lots of softball. Lots of drinkers.
Shirley’s Northern Lights Gourmet Ice Cream: It was busy. Busier than last year, probably because the COVID restrictions have been lifted a little. I would say 500 people a day, in June and July, so that was pretty good.
Talkeetna Air Taxi: And it’s probably unprecedented in any climbing season that I’ve ever heard of that we had basically 100 days in a row of clear weather. Even guides were up on the mountain reporting they hadn’t seen a snowflake in their whole 20 day expedition on Denali. So, that’s as rare as it can be, really. That might be a one-in-a-hundred year event, I would guess.
Conscious Coffee: I would say the highlight was the fourth of July parade, when we had a line out to the road and it started and Brenda was like, “Oh, hold on, we’re gonna go watch the parade, and we all stood on the road for fifteen minutes and just enjoyed it while everyone waited in line for us to come back.
Dancing Leaf Gallery: All in all it was a fabulous summer. We’re very pleased with it, and most of the people were just so happy to be here in Alaska.
Fairview Inn: We have a new owner, so everything’s been worked on around here a lot. It’s nice. The improvements are good. I’m optimistic about it.
Shirley’s Northern Lights Gourmet Ice Cream: I mean it didn’t rain once between April and almost August, so that was nice.
Talkeetna Air Taxi: The best part of the job is probably putting all the elements together, and making it run smoothly. Between getting a good, talented bunch of pilots together who will fly safely, putting an office staff together that really works well with everybody.
Conscious Coffee: I think the energy. The energy of my coworkers, and the fun back here. Just, fun amidst chaos.
Dancing Leaf Gallery: I get to look at art every day, and I get to sell art to people who really appreciate it. And it’s fun to match the art to the person to make sure it matches their dynamic and their personality. So, it’s a great job if you love people and love art.
Fairview Inn: You get to be yourself, do it yourself, and have a little team behind you. It’s independent, for the most part.
Shirley’s Northern Lights Gourmet Ice Cream: It’s just fun, the atmosphere. All the people that work here are nice. You know, everyone in Talkeetna is just friendly.
Fairview Inn: Yep, and the beer garden improvements really helped because people wanted to hang out in the sun, and we had a lot of that. And now they just want to be inside, drinking coffee and Budlight. And I can’t wait until fall and winter, when we have our town back and can see all our friends again in here, instead of the strangers.
With the major lodges closing in a few days, that time is coming very soon.
For KTNA, I’m Nell Salzman.