From fairgrounds to roadside, businesses look to make up lost revenue
On an average year, the Alaskan Soda Jerk Stand serves its custom drinks up at dozens of events, statewide. Toward the end of the summer, the business sits near the center of the state fairground in Palmer. Over the course of 12 days, Alaskan Soda Jerk makes more than 50% of its yearly revenue.
With this year's fair cancelled, owner Kelsey Ingram has come up with a unique solution that involves doing business in one location, all summer long.
During the day, customers in Anchorage will be able to buy drinks from the Alaskan Soda Jerk booth, daily, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- At night, Al's Alaskan Inn will take over the bar, which was rented to move its business out of the usual place and into the parking lot at the corner of Old Seward Highway and E. 79th Avenue. This arrangment was made possible under
new rules from the municipality, to allow businesses to serve liquor outside of their physical buildings.
"You have to adapt in 2020. Small businesses that aren't able to adapt and make changes, or adjust on the fly, unfortunately, are going to die," Ingram said. "Alaskan soda jerk will survive until next year. The key for us is ... we need for things to get back to normal next year."