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Store Spotlight: Exploring Alaska
With the nickname The Last Frontier, it’s no surprise that Home Depot associates living in Alaska see unique projects and customers. Our Alaskan associates are proud to live in such a unique state, and love to share what makes their stores and communities one of a kind.
Alaska’s first store opened in 1998 in Anchorage. With 40 percent of the state’s population in Anchorage, it’s no surprise we expanded to three stores.
Just south of Anchorage, Seward Highway hugs the scenic shoreline of Turnagain Arm. You’ll have the opportunity to see beluga whales, bald eagles and even surfers. Turnagain Arm offers one of the world’s largest bore tides. If you’re lucky enough to see it, you’ll likely see locals surfing it.
If you’re visiting this area during salmon season, try your hand at catching one. The Kenai River that feeds into the Refuge is where the world record Chinook salmon was caught in 1985. This mammoth salmon was nearly five feet long and more than 97 pounds.
If you do manage to catch the big one, pick up a fish-shipping box at the store in Kenai. Be sure you don’t set a new record though, because they’re only made to hold up to 50 pounds!
Our Fairbanks store is our most northern store location, only 150 miles from the Arctic Circle, but 350 from the nearest Home Depot store. The nearby town of North Pole even has reindeer.
“Our associates are tough. Fairbanks is the coldest winter city in North America, averaging minus 17 degrees through the winter months. Extreme cold temperatures and massive snowfall do not deter our associates from showing up to work. It’s business as usual no matter the extremes,” states Store Manager Zach Greenough.
It’s no surprise this store has a large community of dog sled racers as Pro customers with the Iditarod Sled Dog Race Headquarters only 2 ½ miles away. The Iditarod dogs run through some of the trails in town.
If you’re passing through either from or to Palmer, consider taking Hatcher Pass. It’s a 60-mile-long scenic drive with plenty of opportunities for photos. At the top you’ll find Summit lake, the beginning of a long-gone alpine glacier. Its crystal blue waters are worth a look.
Juneau may be on the mainland, but its extremely rugged terrain and lack of road network make it a de facto island. All goods must come in by plane or boat. The Juneau Home Depot is one of the few stores in the company with an Export department (“bush” in the Alaskan lingo). “Our bush department serves an additional 12 communities through southeast Alaska,” explains Store Manager Hector San Miguel.
The Juneau Home Depot is located only eight miles away from the world-famous Mendenhall Glacier. The Mendenhall Glacier is the only glacier in North America accessible by road, and its visitor center was the first U.S. Forest Service visitor center built in the nation.