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Accommodations increase.

Accommodations Increase. Responding to changing business and tourist travel needs, the Anchorage lodging scene is moving to bigger and more private rooms at one end and smaller and cozier arrangements at the other.

Two all-suite hotels have opened this year, reflecting a perceived desire by business travelers for rooms that offer more than the basic amenities. Executive Suites opened at 4366 Spenard Road on the site of a former apartment building. Extensive renovations have turned the building into business-quality suites, according to Amy Vlahovich, director of sales and marketing.

Construction is expected to be completed in August, making nearly 160 rooms available: 100 two-room suites with full kitchens and the rest over-sized studio bedrooms. Since opening at the beginning of summer, the hotel has run at nearly full occupancy, and some evenings has had to turn away customers. Vlahovich attributes this to competitive rates of $105 for a single and $115 for a double.

Also reflecting the trend toward larger accommodations is the new Quality Inn, previously the Inlet Towers. Located at 1200 L Street, the completely renovated structure will house not only suites but a restaurant and other amenities when its face-lifting is completed this fall.

The flurry of construction and renovation activity peaked this summer while Anchorage's hotel rooms were filled to capacity from record numbers of tourists and business travelers. Keith Fernandez, director of marketing at the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, estimates that the new suite hotels may add as many as 250 new rooms to the 5,000-plus now available.

Bed-and-breakfasts also are becoming a greater force in the lodging industry, but because licensing is not required, accurate figures are not available. Sue Fison, an economic analyst with the Municipality of Anchorage, says the number of B&Bs has increased in the past few months. Many hotels and motels are booking their overflow customers into the in-home facilities.

Another new feature in the lodging market is the development of facilities that cater to a specific corporate clientele, according to Fison. The Fontainebleau Corp. Suites at 1711 Lore Road in Anchorage is rented to Exxon for the use of its traveling personnel. The rooms and suites are fully furnished, and maid and various other personal services are available.

Two hotels representing the trend toward smaller, more comfortable and homelike residences are The Anchorage Hotel and Chelsea Inn. The Anchorage Hotel downtown at 330 E Street in 1988 underwent a major renovation restoring a long-time Anchorage building to its former charm. This spring Chelsea Inn, at 3836 Spenard Road, opened, offering 32 rooms, 9 of which share bathrooms.

Still more hotel expansion could be around the corner. The Clarion Hotel Anchorage on the shores of Lake Spenard has been considering adding rooms.
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Title Annotation:Alaska Business Briefs
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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