This Week in Alaska Business History January 20, 2002

PHOTO/Michael Penn/The Juneau Empire
Editor’s note: "This Week in Alaska Business History" revisits events that shaped our past.

"Those who cannot
remember the past are
condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana, 1863-1952

20 years ago this week

Anchorage Times

Jan. 21, 1982

Commission reports railroad’s needs

By Deb David

Times Writer

Gaining access across federal lands needed to extend the Alaska Railroad is almost as crucial to the future of Alaska’s transportation system as state ownership of the line itself, a group of local business leaders said.

When and if Congress decides to hand the line over to the state, a mechanism must be in place to accept the railroad and keep it running, they added.

These are two of the findings of the Transportation Committee of Commonwealth North. It released its "action paper" on the railroad transfer at a press conference. The document will go to state legislators and Alaska’s congressional delegation.

"The railroad is too important to be left in the hands of the federal government," said committee chairman William Tobin. "When the government wants to dispose of it, the state should and must accept it."

Congress could transfer the railroad as early as this year.

Anchorage Times

Jan. 21, 1982

Jack White Co.’s staff rakes in real estate dollars

By Deb David

Times Writer

So much for the "Million Dollar Clubs" common in the real estate industry.

The top sales person at one Anchorage real estate company last year raked in lease sales worth $28 million. The average sale for the firm’s 22 agents was $6.8 million each.

Records built in 1977 were slashed. The firm’s top six sales persons sold a total of $90 million worth of real estate. The entire staff rang up sales of $150 million, 41 percent higher than the 1977 peak and 56 percent higher than 1980 sales.

The firm is Jack White Co.

Its office in the Calais Building belies the aggressive business approach that has made it successful.

Said president Sewell Faulkner: "This sales volume is really high nationally. I know of no other firm in the country with a comparable size staff which has approached this record."

10 years ago this week

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Jan. 27, 1992

Anchorage airport gained traffic in 1991

By Ray Tyson

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Domestic passenger traffic at Anchorage International Airport bucked Lower 48 trends in 1991 to post a modest 3-4 percent gain, while passenger counts for international flights plummeted nearly 50 percent as foreign carriers continued to leave the state.

Anchorage International hung on to its ranking as the leading U.S. cargo airport, however, registering about a 7 percent increase in landings. More air freight passes through Anchorage than any other city in North America.

But it was on the domestic passenger front that Anchorage turned in its most notable performance last year.

Though the growth rate in 1991 was modest and lower than in recent years, it was well above recession-plagued Lower 48 markets, which fell an average of 4 percent and as far as 8-10 percent in some major cities.

Fare wars between Alaska Airlines and MarkAir should keep Alaska domestic traffic on an even keel in 1992.

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Jan. 27, 1992

Jet stream blows windfall to Anchorage

By Ray Tyson

Alaska Journal of Commerce

Thanks to the jet stream and its strong winter headwinds, Anchorage International Airport is reaping a tidy windfall in landing fees and fuel sales from airliners that can’t make it from the U.S. continent to Asia on a tank of gas.

The airport reported 25 unscheduled stops during one week of December alone.

"The most I’ve seen in a week is 25," said Anders Westman, airport marketing director. "I’ll bet we had 50 of them in December."

The airport collects $1,500 to $1,700 per landing, depending on the plane’s weight and how much fuel it consumes. Airliners make 100 to 200 unscheduled stops in Anchorage between November and March, the time when the jet stream’s westerly winds are the strongest.

"This is completely unplanned business," Westman said. "That’s unscheduled icing on the cake."

-- Compiled by Ed Bennett

Updated: 
01/21/2002 - 8:00pm