Anchorage Promises "Office At Home" Workers Land. Lots of Land.

Anchorage in December (File Photo, Country Journal)    Anchorage Pitches Its "Wide Open Spaces" Hoping For A Gold Rush Of New Cit...

Anchorage in December (File Photo, Country Journal)

 Anchorage Pitches Its "Wide Open Spaces" Hoping For A Gold Rush Of New Citizens Tired Of Urban Life

The city of Anchorage has a big footprint, considering its population. It's technically huge: 663,300 square miles, with only around 300,000 residents. That's half the population of all of Alaska, but for people from Outside, it's not that many people. Anchorage has about the same number of residents as Cincinnati or Greensboro.

Yet, for Alaskans, Anchorage is known as "Los Anchorage" for a reason – urban sprawl, strip malls, gas stations...  So it's kind of an amazing thought for country people to hear that the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) has come up with a plan to promote Anchorage as a place with wide open spaces. They're telling Lower 48 office workers to move to Anchorage and away from their dense urban environments. 

Anchorage in Fall (Photo, Country Journal)

Granted, the city of Anchorage has tons of parks and walking areas. But when you're off the coastal trail, especially in winter, there's nowhere to walk. The sidewalks are clogged with snow, and pedestrians are routinely run over by cars on a staggeringly regular basis, winter and summer.  To the average Copper Valley resident, or any rural person in Alaska for that matter, Anchorage hardly seems like joyous countryside. 

But AEDC is plowing ahead with the idea of encouraging folks to head north. They want to tap into a large and bunk-bound group -- one that is reliably making a regular income over Skype and Zoom and that can contribute to the economy wherever they may be. Like -- perhaps -- Anchorage.

In June, Stanford University found 42% of U.S. workers were working from home full time. So why not encourage them to move to Anchorage and work there? Why stay in Chicago when you can "work from home" out of some small rented apartment in Muldoon, Fairview or Spenard?

In an October 8th story, Alaska Public Media quoted Emma Irish of AEDC on exactly who they'd be targeting Outside and what they'd promise those hardy workers who always wanted to go to Alaska.

"We're looking at cities that we know have a large remote workforce base, or cities that we know have the potential," she said. 

"And our pitch is, essentially, Leave your crowded city and come to the wide-open spaces of Anchorage."


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