ANCHORAGE - Labor Day was a quiet one in downtown Anchorage. Many businesses were open, trying to make the most of the summer season while it lasts.
Tia’s Gourmet Hotdogs capitalized on the holiday and was the only food cart open on 4th Avenue. Employees say the stand has had a lot of business this summer despite the cooler weather. The cart’s last day is September 30, then the employees head back to school and the owner takes a vacation.
At the Polar Bear Outlet Store the end of summer means discounts.
“We try to get rid of any merchandise that hasn't sold – sales, just wrapping up our season,” said manager Rachel Robinson.
The store cuts its hours in the fall, but staff say they stay pretty busy getting ready for winter.
“We do a lot of redoing our store, merchandising and getting ready for the next season. We get so much merchandise in it takes us a good amount of months to get it all in and processed and priced,” said Robinson.
Wildlife cruises are already preparing for next year. Lisa Kruse, the marketing director for Phillips Cruises and Tours, says this season has been on par with years past and the last trip is September 30. Kruse says staff members spend the off-season traveling to the Lower 48 to promote the glacier boat trips.
Visit Anchorage President Julie Saupe says while most tourist activities – like the cruises – end at the end of the month, there will still be plenty of visitors to our state.
“We don't have as many leisure travelers but we start to see more convention business. So middle of September through middle of November is really a great convention season for us, and we're going to have a very strong September, October, November this year so the purpose of the trips change,” said Saupe.
As the seasons change, businesses get ready to transition from having summer fun to preparing for a winter workload.