Issue XIII – Girdwood Development 2024

Welcome to Issue XIII of Girdwood Inc’s Newsletter! Significant undertakings are underway in Girdwood. We trust you’ll find value in staying informed about the latest happenings in our neck of the woods. Dive into this issue for updates on ongoing projects, the status of the area plan draft, and an “Everyone For Girdwood” update!

Holtan Hills:

On January 23, 2024, the Anchorage Assembly voted 9-2 in favor of the disposal of Heritage Land Bank parcels known as “Holtan Hills” to CY Investments.

When the initial action was before assembly in 2022, it was presented with very few restrictions and concessions within the ordinance. This prompted a large showing of Girdwood residents to testify before assembly during a massive snowstorm event in December of 2022. The agenda item needed to be extended to another special meeting, in order to hear the hours and hours of testimony.

New substitute versions of the ordinance were drafted (S-versions), with new restrictions and requirements, which appear to have been inspired by the testimony. On January 23, 2024 the assembly included several new amendments working off of the S-2 version, which was reintroduced in December of 2023. One example would be an amendment to prohibit short term rentals on multi-family lots in Phase I, in addition to single family lots. Meg Zaletel had included “At least one multi-family lot for the development of at least 8 units to be drawn from HLB’s portion of profits will be designated for future disposal to a Girdwood housing trust or non-profit entity for the purposes of developing community housing for residents,” in the S-2 ordinance. Another amendment passed January 23, 2024 included increasing the lots available for community housing to two lots, one multifamily and one single family lot, shall now be reserved for community purposes within the development.

The project will now proceed through the planning process, including seeking a conditional use for the planned unit development.

Alyeska Resort Development:

Alyeska Resort presented at a joint Girdwood Board of Supervisors and Land Use Committee meeting on February 7th regarding their development and expansion plans.

“Overview: Pomeroy plans to amend the existing Alyeska Master Plan. Current plan was created by prior owner in 2008. Project has been shaped by public input substantially and makes effort to maintain existing trail connectivity, existing trails and limited impact on wetlands. Amendment is allowed because changes fall within allowable percent of change from prior plan. Pomeroy Lodging is working toward HLB disposal that would provide them land for the Glacier Creek development.

Area Master Plan Amendment:
Presentation of the plans that will be used as amendment to the current Alyeska Resort Master Plan. Plan is to build three developments with horizontal gondola to connect.
Alyeska Village: Base of tram area. This area is mainly visitor focused, includes hotel extension, new conference facility, condos, ski school facility. Steep slope allows for ground floor on 2 levels, interconnected walkways. Underground parking.
Moose Meadows: Undeveloped area by the church and back storage area behind existing parking. Development is mainly community related. Facilities planned here are Little Bears, recreation building including pool and skating rink, multiple projects for workforce housing including dorm style, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and townhomes, grocery and other retail on 1st floor.
Glacier Creek: After completion of the first two developments this project would begin, estimate 10 years from approval. This development will include single family homes, no Short Term Rentals (STRs).” Source: GBOS Minutes

Willam Laurie, Development Manager for Pomeroy Resort stated “All residential in the Moose Meadow area will be workforce housing rentals with no option for Short Term Rentals. Glacier Creek development area will also include a small homes aspect with priority purchasing opportunity for Girdwood locals looking for primary residence.”

“Glacier Creek is a planned single-family, trails-oriented community within the overall Development. Pomeroy is committed to delivering several homes focusing on efficiency and affordability, while offering priority access to locals seeking to purchase a primary residence in the Valley. Pomeroy is actively researching various models employed by municipalities elsewhere, seeking to implement similar approaches in Girdwood such as a lottery system,” Laurie stated.

The location of the Glacier Creek development is throughout the proposed Forest Loop on the Girdwood Area Trail Plan. As of now, the Girdwood Area Plan draft shows the area as “Mixed Use.” The public comments received for the Area Plan will likely dictate the future direction for the area.

Pomeroy has invested approximately $50 million into Alyeska since acquisition. These investments include: 71-Unit Staff Housing Building, Mountain Recreational Vehicles, New Snow Cats, Sky Bridge, Nordic Spa, Completed remodeling of floors 6-8, Continued remodel of remaining floors and lobby spaces, Forte Restaurant Remodel, Aurora Bar and Grill Remodel, Remodel of Gym in Pool area with new equipment.

The projected total for the development and expansion plans are expected to be $350 million+.

Girdwood Area Plan Draft Published:

Imagine! Girdwood published the Girdwood Area Plan draft and map. The Area Plan is the overarching plan that guides future development of the community and a very important document for shaping the valley. We encourage all residents and owners to review the draft. Public Comment on the draft is open until March 31st, 2024.

Images Source: Imagine! Girdwood. View the entire draft plan by visiting

Everyone For Girdwood: An Update

A sincere thank you for attending our fundraiser event and supporting the Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project! We are excited to report that over $80,000 has been raised from local individuals and businesses!

The Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project is a joint effort of Girdwood Inc and Little Bears Playhouse, Inc. Our goal is to build a new and safe childcare facility in Girdwood. You can help this effort in a number of ways! Join our Gratitude Tree that will be located in the new facility with a donation of $100+. Your name will be added as a permanent part of our building.

Girdwood faces both a childcare and housing crisis, which has put immense pressure on the local workforce, businesses, families, and the economy. These challenges extend beyond our community, impacting the available workforce and our ability to provide services to visitors who come to Girdwood for recreation. The splendor of our community relies on the people who live and work here. If they cannot thrive, neither can Girdwood. That is why we are urging EVERYONE to unite FOR GIRDWOOD! By addressing our childcare crisis, we are fostering prosperity for all in Girdwood.

Click here to Donate on our Go Fund Me Page!

Learn About Our Gratitude Tree Sponsorship Levels:

  1. Little Bears Believer – Leaf – $100 – $499
  2. Cub Contributor – Twig – $500 – $999
  3. Black Bear Booster – Branch – $1000 – $4,999
  4. Brown Bear Benefactor – Bough – $5,000 – $9,999
  5. Grizzly Bear Grantor – Limb – $10,000 – $24,999
  6. Polar Bear Patron – Trunk – $25,000 – $99,999
  7. Bear Den Builder – Base of Tree – $100,000 – $349,999 (Classroom or Multipurpose Room Dedication opportunity + Gratitude Tree)
  8. Ursa Major Angel “The Great Bear” – Roots – $350,000+

We greatly appreciate any amount. Every dollar counts.

Donate by Check:

Checks made payable to:  Girdwood Inc – EIN: 77-0631498 – Check Memo: Childcare Project

Correspondence/Letter Reference:  Donation to the Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project / Everyone for Girdwood

Address to: Girdwood Inc PO Box 1102 Girdwood, AK 99587

Until next time!

Girdwood Inc

Girdwood Into 2024 – Issue XII

Welcome to a new year and Issue XII of Girdwood Inc’s newsletter!

Community Champion: Jennifer McCombs

We are excited to announce the new Executive Director for Girdwood Inc’s Roundhouse at Alyeska, Jennifer McCombs! Jennifer received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Northeastern State University and a Master of Business Administration from University of Alaska Anchorage.

Jennifer landed in Girdwood in 2007 and has called it home ever since. She has extensive experience in hospitality, logistics, merchandising, sales, and events. Jennifer is a certified yoga teacher and an entrepreneurial artist, owning and operating Active Mountain LLC. You can find her teaching local yoga classes through her business or teaching paint nights through Four Valleys Community School. Jennifer has served on the board of the Girdwood Health Clinic since 2019 and is currently the board President.

Jennifer and her husband share two boys, who both attend Girdwood School. She is an experienced skier and outdoor enthusiast. We are excited with the energy Jennifer is bringing to her new position and are thrilled to have her on the Girdwood Inc Team!

Everyone For Girdwood! An invitation:

We are thrilled to invite you to a special event that promises fun, food, and a fantastic cause. Please mark your calendars for January 25th, 2024, as we gather at the Challenge Alaska Building for an indoor/outdoor extravaganza!

Event Details:

  • Date: January 25th, 2024
  • Time: 5-9 PM
  • Location: Challenge Alaska Building, 366 Crystal Mountain Road, Girdwood, AK

All funds raised will support the Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project, a collaborative effort between Girdwood Inc and Little Bears Playhouse. The mission of this project is to build a new childcare facility for our community, which Little Bears Playhouse will own and operate. Come to learn about our new building and view the latest developments and design. By supporting this cause, you are contributing to the well-being and future of our community’s families and workforce!

What to Expect:

  • Delicious Food
  • Fun Music
  • Refreshing Drinks
  • Cozy Fire Pits

We have planned an exciting evening for everyone to enjoy, with indoor and outdoor activities to suit all preferences and weather. Let’s come together, celebrate, and make a meaningful impact on our community.

Your presence and support are highly valued, so please purchase your tickets now! We are limited to the capacity of the building for pre-selling tickets, make sure you get yours today! View ticket options at:

  • Adult Ticket: $20
  • Child Ticket: $10

We can’t wait to see Everyone For Girdwood on January 25th, 2024, for an unforgettable evening of community, celebration, and generosity.

If you are unable to attend, there are a number of ways you can contribute to this effort:

To learn more about progress of the project, we encourage you to visit

Holtan Hills, Back on Assembly Agenda:

Three Anchorage Assembly Members laid the HLB disposal, commonly known as Holtan Hills, on the table at the December 19th, 2023, assembly meeting. The sponsor, Meg Zaletel, moved the item with Daniel Volland making a second, and Kevin Cross, as the third. The South Anchorage assembly members, who represent Girdwood, Randy Sulte and Zac Johnson, were given notice minutes before the meeting began, about the laid on the table item. Girdwood Board of Supervisors were also not made aware of the item being laid on the table.

The initial public hearing was scheduled for January 9th. A Clerks note was added to the municipal website noting “It is the intent of the sponsor to continue this item to the meeting of January 23rd.”

Several Girdwood residents came to testify at the January 9th hearing. You can view the agenda item and their testimony by clicking “play” below. As published in advance, the sponsor motioned to continue the public hearing on January 23rd at the regular assembly meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 5:00 PM.

To view the most recent Assembly Ordinance, AO 2023-137 regarding the disposal click here.

To view the associated Assembly Memorandum click here.

Girdwood Board of Supervisors has added the item on their January 22nd meeting agenda. This will be held at the Girdwood Community Room and on Microsoft Teams at 7:00 PM.

Heritage Land Bank Plan Documents Published

HLB has released their draft 2024 Annual Work Program and 2025-2029 5-Year Management Plan. It is open for public comments until 2/9/2024. The tentative public hearing is scheduled for 2/22/2024.

Girdwood Area Plan Draft Map

The newest version of the Girdwood Area Plan Draft Map is set to be presented January 10, 2024 at the Imagine Girdwood special meeting. Information for upcoming meetings below:

Wednesday January 10, 2024 6p-8p Special Meeting

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 828 8313 7639 

Passcode: 541016

Wednesday January 24, 2024 6p-8p Regular Meeting

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 828 5495 4209 

Passcode: 901428

Until next time!

Girdwood Plans for the Future – Issue XI

Welcome to issue eleven of Girdwood Inc.’s newsletter. Planning in Girdwood is really ramping up and the output of the planning is being shared with the community. This newsletter hopes to summarize the events which have occurred and direct you to resources for more information.

Alyeska Open House

Alyeska Resort held an open house the evening of September 21st. At the Sitzmark, the room filled up with attendees interested to hear about the new development plan being unveiled. Ryan Pomeroy spoke of their future vision for the resort and invited members of their development team to speak. He introduced Chris Cushing of SE Group, who specializes in Mountain Planning. He turned over time to Jeff Korvel of Skylab Architecture, who showed many examples of his work in mountain communities. He then directed attendees to move around and visit the various stations with large posters and presenters. The vision boards included: Alyeska Development, Workforce Housing Community, Recreation Center and Daycare, Glacier Creek Community, Mountain Improvements and Sustainability.

The Alyeska Development station displayed an overview of the entire area showing concept buildings rendered and proposed new parking. The development plan contained 3 distinct areas:

“Alyeska Village” is located near the Nordic Spa on Tract A. This area includes a plaza with public event space, commercial units available to tenants, saleable condominiums, new ski school, a conference center and additional parking. All buildings are sited to be on currently owned Alyeska land, with parking extending onto State land.

“Moose Meadow Community” would be located on Tract B, near Our Lady of the Snows Chapel and the new employee housing building. The area is slated to be workforce housing, park space, mixed use commercial and residential, with an area defined for a Recreation Center, covered hockey rink and the new childcare facility, which will be owned and operated by Little Bears Playhouse. The architect described the design aesthetic for the area as “Frontier Modern.” The childcare facility is furthest along in design and development. Phase I will include components of the above areas.

“Glacier Creek Community” is in an area off the existing resort property on public land and currently managed by Heritage Land Bank. This area is proposed to be residential housing, smaller commercial uses, and a warming hut for winter activities. This area is furthest out for development.

See additional information below.

Imagine! Girdwood Open House

Imagine! Girdwood is the committee spearheading the new Girdwood Area Plan. The current area plan was completed in 1995 and has long needed an update. Huddle AK is the contractor in place to research relevant information, compile public comment and write the draft plan. Two “draft maps” were introduced the evening of October 11 as Scenario A and Scenario B. It has been reiterated that we are not expected to choose one map or the other, but rather comment on things we like or don’t like depicted on the maps. This map is expected to identify areas which the community is in favor of for new development, as well as areas to be preserved as park space, etc.

Comments should be emailed to The due date for comments has been extended to November 5th 2023. View the full presentation clicking here. The next Imagine! Girdwood meetings are scheduled for November 29th and December 20, 2023 at 6 PM. Links to these meetings should be posted at

Holly Spoth-Torres presents to the audience October 11, 2023

Girdwood’s Efforts:

While some believe that Girdwood is resistant to new development, we view the following as examples that Girdwood is demonstrating to be forward-thinking when it comes to new development and housing in Girdwood:

1) Girdwood Comprehensive Plan. As mentioned above, this plan is being written now. The draft is projected to be completed by February 2024.

2) Girdwood Housing and Economic Committee was created after the April 2023 vote, which established this additional service area power under Girdwood Board of Supervisors. Issues being discussed in the Committee, as well as Land Use and GBOS meetings include:

Lowering Costs – Being able to source gravel from Glacier Creek to lower construction costs, instead of importing gravel from Portage, Anchorage or Mat-Su. After moving through Land Use and GBOS, the committee voted to request a scope of work and pursue a feasibility study. There may be additional benefits to mitigate flooding risk. The Girdwood Service Area Manager noted the need for gravel being an essential resource, for local roads maintenance and operations. Extracted material is proposed for use in local Girdwood projects and community needs.

Create RV Parking Location – Using Heritage Land Bank parcel 6-134 for an RV and community river beach park. This parcel is located behind the Library and Fire Station. The vast majority of this parcel is within a floodplain. This could create a Parks and Recreation revenue source, with caretakers on site. Creating a legal and sanitary location which is intended for camping could help alleviate the park-and-ride area currently being utilized. Advocates suggest building a permanent bathroom facility on this parcel prior to any other development.

Assembly Efforts:

Assembly’s new “Anchorage Goes” bond proposal may be helpful with funding a public restroom on the parcel mentioned above. The municipal-wide bond is expected to increase taxes by $2.54 for each $100,000 of assessed taxable property value and will result in up to 30 public restrooms. The public hearing is scheduled for the Regular Assemble Meeting on November 7, 2023. If approved by assembly, the bond proposition will be presented to qualified, registered voters during the Regular Municipal Election in April 2024.

Assembly members Randy Sulte & Meg Zaletel introduced an ordinance to create a new chapter of municipal code in Title 10. It pertains to licensing and regulation of short term rentals operations. Scan the QR code to view the proposed legislation. The public hearing is scheduled for the Regular Assemble Meeting on December 5, 2023.

Additional Info provided by Alyeska Development Team:

Alyeska Village Area

Focus Areas:

  • Connect Resort & Village to Community
  • Bring Saleable Condos to the Village
  • Bring Public Amenities to the Space – this may include potential new grocery store / hardware store but can also be in Workforce Housing Area.
  • Provide New Commercial Opportunities – new commercial space open for public leasing opportunities.
  • Build New Conference Center – focusing on bringing more events to Girdwood.
  • Construct Additional Parking Areas – major focus point of the development, building for future needs.
  • Promote Walkable Village Setting
  • Create New Public Event Space
  • Build an Engaging Skier Village

Workforce Housing Community

Focus Area:

  • Create Sense of Community
  • Bring Workforce Housing to Girdwood – Not only for resort workers but for other businesses in Girdwood.
  • Provide Diverse Rental Housing – studio to townhomes. Trying to promote not only individuals living here but if someone wanted to move in with a family, they could.
  • Create Work-live space for Small Business
  • Provide New Park Space
  • Build New Local Commercial Space – more commercial space available.
  • Construct Recreational Facility
  • Ensure Resilience of Future Housing Need
  • Partner with On-Site Daycare

Recreation Center & Daycare

Focus Areas:

  • Build New Recreation Center – fitness center and pool which would operate similar to other rec facilities in anchorage (open to public).
  • Provide Space for Little Bears Daycare
  • Construct Open Air Ice Rink
  • Include Aquatic Center
  • Build Extensive Fitness Center
  • New Community Rooms Space
  • Additional Playground Area
  • Promote Easy Access to Girdwood Town
  • Build Sense of Community

Glacier Creek Community

Focus Areas:

  • Residential Housing Community
  • New Diverse Housing Stock

We sincerely hope you appreciate our newsletters! Until next time!

Girdwood Inc Newsletter Issue X – Development Projects in Girdwood & more

Welcome to issue ten of Girdwood Inc’s newsletter. In this newsletter, we will cover a variety of projects, new and ongoing. Children are back to school; fall is around the corner and there is much to highlight in the community!

Community Champion: Nico Reijns

Nico Reijns is the Pastor of Girdwood Chapel United Methodist Church. Turnagain Community Services (TCS) is a new sponsored organization of the Girdwood Chapel. Through this organization, they have helped individuals and families with food and housing assistance. Nico Reijns, the pastor at Girdwood Chapel, provided touching examples serving community members in emergency assistance situations. This includes rental assistance, utility bill support, fuel, ways to stay employed, etc. This new organization has incorporated as a non-profit and will foster the efforts of the Girdwood Food Pantry, the Chapel’s Community Garden and provide mutual aid support. Examples of mutual aid include rides to Anchorage for medical appointments, shoveling snow for elders and cooked meals. Heading the Turnagain Community Services organization is Alice Simmons, Betty Charnon and Terry Sherwood.

He said efforts for rental assistance, about $25,000 in the last 18 months, was not from governmental funding but due to philanthropy from the Girdwood community. Helping those in need was made possible by “neighbors wanting to help neighbors.”

“If we are housing insecure, that also means you are food insecure. If we are food insecure, that also means you are housing insecure. They are all connected.” Reijns provided examples of paying for monthly groceries, so an individual was able to cover their rent. “So sometimes, when we can do food assistance, then they can also stay housed.”

When Pastor Reijns came to Girdwood in 2019, the Girdwood Food Pantry served roughly 35 people one time per month and held a community meal. “Of course, COVID hit and as part of that was the huge growth in not only the number we serve, but the geography we serve.” During COVID, the food pantry served individuals from South Anchorage to Hope and Whittier and were in the several hundred visits-per-month range. Today, the food pantry is seeing an average of 180 guest-visits per month. The Girdwood Food Pantry is operated 3 times per month, on the first Sunday of the month and the second and fourth Wednesdays at the Girdwood Chapel.

The community garden at Girdwood Chapel has individual plots and recently built a new green house, made possible by a grant from Kenai Mountain-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area. Reijns gave a nod of thanks to community member Kevin McDermott for in-kind donated time and labor to complete the structure. The Girdwood Chapel is in the very early stages of looking into doing an updated site master plan for their 2.5 acre lot. In this analysis, they hope to determine the best use of the land given some environmental constraints, as well as proximity to existing and future development. We look forward to seeing what this new organization can do, with Nico Reijns at the helm of Girdwood Chapel. If you are interested in donating toward any of these causes, please visit

Development in Girdwood:

If one drives around Girdwood today, you may notice many examples of projects in different stages of development. One sees homes under various stages of construction, dirt work and even projects coming to a close.

Holtan Hills:

On August 3, 2023, at the Community and Economic Development Committee, Assemblymember Randy Sulte asked of Heritage Land Bank staff, “I’m just curious how to get a little bit more of an updated status of Holton Hills, that we had postponed indefinitely, but I understand it’s coming back, or it might come back before the assembly, just want a little more on that one.” Emma Giboney from HLB provided a background and concluded with, “We don’t have any significant updates about the Holtan Hills portion of that project at this time.” She added, “We have been in preliminary conversations with Pomeroy Lodging. We’re working to identify site constraints, development needs and concept designs that maximize the need for commercial success of the resort, while ensuring the workforce and residential housing needs are met.”

The following day on August 4, 2023, the Assembly held a Work Session re: Heritage Land Bank Annual Workplan, several items pertaining to Girdwood were discussed. Community member Ron Tenny has served on the commission for 6 years and his term is coming to an end. HLB staff stated, “In October, we will have a vacant seat and we will need a new Girdwood representative.” Girdwood is guaranteed 1 seat on the 7-member Heritage Land Bank Advisory Commission.

On August 8, 2023 at the regular assembly meeting, the Anchorage Assembly passed and approved the Heritage Land Bank 2023 Annual Work Program and 2024-2028 five-year Management Plan. The plan had been up for public comment for 45 days and passed at the Heritage Land Bank Advisory Commission (HLBAC). Regarding Holtan Hills, the publicly noticed plan stated: “The Assembly postponed the Holtan Hills disposal indefinitely at the regular Assembly meeting on February 7, 2023.” An amendment was brought forward on the floor by Meg Zaletel to amend the language on the plan to include under “2023 Potential Projects.” The new paragraph was inserted and reads as follows: “Portions of HLB Parcel 6-011, 6-016, 6-017 – Approve of the disposal of portions of these parcels by public-private partnership development agreement with CY Investments, LLC, and land subordination in support of mixed density residential development in Girdwood.” The amendment to include the Holtan Hills disposal in the 2023 work program passed 11-0.

Anchorage Economic Development Corporation (AEDC):

AEDC is one of the Municipality’s active civic organizations. In response to workforce shortages throughout all of Anchorage, AEDC initiated a long-term “Choose Anchorage” effort to make the city more attractive to its workers. They are looking at Business Vitality, Talent, Quality of Place, and Infrastructure. Lack of housing is a focus. Girdwood Inc was asked to fill one of eleven Leadership Committee seats, a position assigned to Board Member John Rense. This initiative may help the city better recognize and address issues that we recognized here in Girdwood. We also consider Girdwood an important “Quality of Place” asset for the Municipality.

Department of Transportation:

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is continuing its long-term assessment of the road from Bird to Anchorage. They are seeking improvements that can enhance safety and better take advantage of the beauty and recreational potential of Turnagain Arm. DOT has also brought in a third-party to look at the various options for the intersection between the Alyeska Highway (road into Girdwood) and the Seward Highway.

Girdwood Workforce Childcare Project:

Girdwood Inc is very excited to announce it has received a new grant of $530,000. This was a competitive grant, made possible by the State of Alaska Childcare Program Office. The planning grant, which includes fees for design, architecture, engineering, consulting and legal fees is another major step forward for Little Bears Playhouse to own and operate a new and safe childcare facility. The project team is anticipating construction to begin in 2025. The future facility will substantially increase capacity, include childcare/classrooms, administrative space, as well as a multipurpose room for indoor play activities and inclement weather. The need for a new childcare space has been an existing issue in Girdwood for a decade or more. Girdwood Inc is excited to be part of the solution for safety reasons, as well as building a strong future for our children and economy.

Community Spotlight:

Girdwood Rotary is holding their first annual Fall Festival on Saturday September 23, from 12-6 PM in Girdwood Town Square. The event includes kid’s games, family photo opportunity, live music and vendors.

Girdwood Rotary is one of the 46,000 rotary clubs world-wide. The international mission statement is: “We provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.” Regular meetings are open to the public. These meetings are typically held at Alpenglow Coffeehouse at 140 Olympic Mountain Loop on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month.

Girdwood Inc Newsletter Issue IX

Welcome to Issue IX of Girdwood Inc’s newsletter. Below you will find summaries and short updates regarding many Girdwood-related topics.

Champion: Terry Sherwood

Terry is a local Girdwood resident of 22 years. She has raised 3 children and is an active participant at Girdwood Chapel. Terry is a retired school teacher, teaching in Anchorage for 17 years and an additional 5 years at Girdwood School. After retiring, Terry worked for Alyeska Ski Club for 8 years.

A key focus for Terry over the past few years has been volunteering for the Girdwood Food Pantry at the chapel. In this role, she has helped to feed many individuals and families struggling to put food on the table. During the pandemic, Terry and the Girdwood Food Pantry helped to feed up to 300 individuals per month. In 2023, these numbers have leveled out and consistently around 175 people, which are supplied with food 3-4 times per month.

Terry enjoys going for hikes, skiing, camping and spending time with family. She does the events timing for Town League and Masters at Alyeska Resort and does seasonal work for Chugach Adventures and Slack Tide Gallery. Girdwood is lucky to have such a dedicated volunteer and community member in Terry Sherwood!

Terry Sherwood

Holtan Hills:

It appears Holtan Hills is being put back on the table in the next few months. At the Anchorage Assembly May 9th meeting, Assembly Resolution 2023-165 passed in the consent agenda. This resolution reappropriates $30,000 from the Real Estate Department, Heritage Land Bank Fund and $30,000 from Assembly Area Wide General Fund, for a total of $60,000, to fund a real estate consultant for Holtan Hills.

Meg Zalatel was the sponsor of the Resolution, co-sponsored with Mayor Bronson. Ms. Zalatel stated that she does not expect the item to come before the assembly until she is back from her leave. Public notice was given that she will be taking medical leave from the Anchorage Assembly May 24 – July 11.

Click to read: Resolution No. AR 2023-165, A Resolution of the Municipality of Anchorage reappropriating a total of $60,000 from Real Estate Department, Heritage Land Bank Fund (221000) and Assembly, Areawide General Fund (101000), all to the Real Estate Department, within respective funds, for a Real Estate Consultant for Holtan Hills, Assembly Vice Chair Zaletel and Mayor Bronson. (Addendum.)

HLB Work Plan:

A substantial amount of land held within the Heritage Land Bank is situated in Girdwood. Traditionally, work plans were adopted on an annual basis, but the last adopted work program passed Heritage Land Bank Advisory Committee and Assembly in 2021. Heritage Land Bank has advertised the 45-day public review process on their website. Public comment is currently open and closes June 9, 2023. HLB staff will be accepting comments sent to We encourage all to review the 2023 Annual Work Program & 2024-2028 Five-Year Management Plan. Click here to be directed to the Public Review Draft. The public hearing for the Work Program is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, June 22, 2023.

New Housing and Economic Development Committee:

As a result of Proposition 7 passing in the Girdwood Valley Service Area, the Girdwood Board of Supervisors has created a 7-member advisory committee for Girdwood Housing and Economic Stability. The following individuals were selected to serve on the committee: Brett Wilbanks, Tim Cabana, Erin Eker, Krystal Hoke, Brooke Lavendar, Thomas Meding and Matt Schechter. The first organizational meeting was held May 31st and intends to meet on a monthly basis.

Airport Development:

A new proposed development is requesting 11 acres of Department of Transportation land at Girdwood airport. The proposed lease is 55 years with an annual rate of $48,830. Per the notice posted on the State of Alaska website: “Authorized uses: Mixed Aeronautical and Non-aeronautical – up to 150 short term lodging units, private aircraft storage, fueling, and maintenance. Ancillary facilities for a winter/summer sports center, fly out base, meeting space, and food and beverage service along with ten 600 square foot residences for employees in the upper two floors of the Ancillary facility.” The developers attended May’s Girdwood Board of Supervisors meeting and Andrew Faulkner and Timothy Treadwell,  President and Vice President of Glacier Valley Lodge, have provided a follow up letter to GBOS (scan QR code to read).

Competing applications or written comments must be received by 4:30 p.m., June 12, 2023, after which the Department will determine whether or not to execute the lease. Comments can be sent to PO Box 196900 Anchorage, AK 99519-6900.

Significant changes at Alyeska:

Alyeska Resort has provided us with some information about their activities.  The resort has recently launched a new Girdwood locals-only club called Club 587. Members will get access to exclusive discounts, special offers, and more. For those interested in joining, registration details can be found on the resort’s website at

The resort has been undergoing several renovation projects. Last May, the hotel’s 8th floor was remodeled to offer guests a Club Floor experience. The newly upgraded destination, called the Black Diamond Club, features a private lounge with curated food and beverage offerings, a dedicated concierge, new in-room amenities, and more. The 8th floor consists of 34 rooms, including a mix of different-sized suites.

In July, a full refresh of the Aurora Bar is planned to begin. Also this summer, the new employee housing building is expected to be completed. The housing project consists of 71 units made up of 1-bedroom and studio apartments for Alyeska resort employees. 

The resort is also preparing to launch the new Veilbreaker Skybridges, expected to begin their first tours this summer. The skybridges will span a combined 600 feet across the Christmas and New Years chutes, offering views of the surrounding mountains. The Alyeska team is working to upgrade the mountain and Resort guest experience and looking forward to a great 2023 summer.

The Roundhouse Museum at Alyeska:

The Roundhouse Museum at Alyeska resumed operations May 29th and will continue through the fall when the tram ceases operation. If you have not visited the Roundhouse previously, you will find gifts, historical artifacts from Girdwood, Alaska, mining, and skiing. You will also find a 3-dimensional topographical display featuring Alyeska Mountain and the surrounding range. Hours of operation are Sunday – Wednesday 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM Thursday – Saturday 10:30 AM – 6:00 PM.

Anchorage Assembly Housing Retreat:

On Friday May 19th, the Anchorage Assembly held an all-day Housing Retreat. Presenters included Nolan Klouda from UAA Center for Economic Development, Mike Robbins from Anchorage Community Development Authority, Kristine Bunnell and Daniel McKenna-Foster from Municipality Long-Range Planning, Tyler Robinson from Cook Inlet Housing Authority and Andre Spinelli of Spinell Homes.

Much of the meeting focused on challenges that developers experience to create new housing. There was a “Vision to Action Facilitated Conversation” which asked the audience and assembly members to suggest new policies to implement. The goal is to hold a “Housing Summit” in the fall to put forward suggested legislation to go into effect. Some interesting details provided by Nolan Klouda included statistics regarding how many houses are built per 1000 people are built. Alaska ranks 45th out of 50. Statewide, the average is 2 units per 1000 people. Anchorage, specifically, builds 1.3 units of housing per 1000 people.

Community Spotlight:

Introducing Turnagain News! “Turnagain News is non-profit, non-partisan, independent multi-media source serving Southcentral Alaska. Our vision is providing a news network that ensures all people have access to trusted news. From local news to in-depth reporting, the Turnagain News will tell stories that otherwise would go untold—connecting and informing our communities on local government while supporting democracy.” You can read published articles and find out more online at

Until next time! Girdwood Inc, Board of Directors

Congratulations Girdwood Graduates! Photo Credit: Julie Martyn
Beautiful Northern Lights were seen late into the spring 2023. Photo Credit: Annjanette Larsen Vainio