Fur Rondy brings an uptick in business for downtown Anchorage

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 9:22 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The first weekend of the 2022 Fur Rendezvous brought a burst of business and life to downtown Anchorage as the 10-day festival got underway.

“Last weekend was surprisingly busy, especially Friday. Typically the first Friday, which has the dog races for (Fur) Rondy, is not terribly busy, but this year it was very busy in comparison,” owner of Alaska Mint, Mike Robuck, said.

Robuck co-owns the gift shop in downtown Anchorage on West Fourth Avenue. Every year, their shop creates medallions for both the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and Fur Rondy.

Robuck said despite Sunday’s races for the Open World Championship Sled Dog Race being canceled, they still saw a lot of people come through their store, and expect more to trickle in next weekend for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

“We’ve been meeting people today in town from out of state to fly up here to watch the Iditarod start. We’re expecting a big weekend this weekend,” Robuck said.

Fur Rondy organizers said the 2022 winter festival got off to a strong start over the weekend as they saw big crowds at Miners and Trappers Country Jam, and doubled their participation numbers last year in the Frostbite Footrace and Costume Fun Run.

“We know Fur Rendezvous is bringing business,” Fur Rendezvous Executive Director John McCleary said. “...The numbers are there, we are recovering, we still need people to help us by buying pins, being a member because we need to create a solid bridge to 2023.”

Fur Rondy continues until March 6, with many fun events still to come this week like the Iditarod Ceremonial Start on Saturday. The 14th annual Running of the Reindeer is on Saturday as well, and will be run in memory of famed Alaskan artist and creator of the Iditarod Trail Song, Hobo Jim.

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