Inside Anchorage's Economy
Anchorage is at the center of it all in Alaska. The confluence of business, transportation, education, and healthcare make Anchorage Alaska’s most dynamic community, and the city is shaped through energy development, military presence, and the state’s vibrant visitor industry.
Just take a look at the Anchorage skyline. Downtown landmarks include towering hotels and office buildings occupied by international oil and gas companies. The Alaska Railroad -- a key part of the local economy since the city’s founding -- wraps around the Cook Inlet coast, carrying cargo shipments and passenger cars between Seward to the south and Fairbanks to the north. While trains chug along the edges of the city, the air above buzzes with training military jets and planes arriving at and departing from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. The airport is one of the busiest cargo hubs in the world, and Anchorage’s relative proximity to Asia and Europe give it an important role in the international logistics industry.
The city’s location is an economic driver in more ways than one. Situated at the heart of Alaska’s road system, Anchorage connects the communities of the Kenai Peninsula with the vast expanse of Interior Alaska, making it an ideal location for companies that do business throughout the state. Make a list of top grossing Alaskan-owned companies and more than half of them are based in Anchorage, more than any other community in the state.
The city is also home to important academic institutions and health care facilities, all of which play their own vital role in the local economy. Many are centrally clustered in Anchorage’s UMed (University-Medical) District, which houses the University of Alaska Anchorage, Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska Pacific University, and the Alaska Native Medical Center. The district’s accessible hotels and meeting facilities make it easy to plan a gathering in the heart of it all.