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Alaska Cruises Girdwood, Alaska (GURD-wood)
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Current Population: 236 (Estimate)
Borough Located In: Municipality of Anchorage
Taxes: 8% Bed, 8% Rental Car

Location and Climate
Girdwood is located on Turnagain Arm, in the Municipality of Anchorage, 35 miles east southeast of downtown Anchorage. The area is accessed by the Seward Highway. Girdwood is bordered on three sides by the Chugach State Park and Chugach National Forest. The community lies at approximately 60.941670° North Latitude and 149.166670° West Longitude. (Sec. 19, T010N, R002E, Seward Meridian.) Girdwood is located in the Anchorage Recording District.

The average temperatures in January range from 8 to 21 degrees; in July, average temperatures range from 51 to 65. Annual precipitation is 80 inches, including 69 inches of snowfall.

History, Culture and Demographics
The community was named for James E. Girdwood, who staked a claim at Crow Creek in 1896. The Girdwood post office was established in 1907. In 1951, the Seward Highway was completed, linking Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula. The City of Girdwood was formed during the 1960s, but the community was unified with the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough in 1975.

Residents enjoy the rural lifestyle of Girdwood. Girdwood is home to the Alyeska Ski Resort. It is frequented by Anchorage and Kenai residents during winter months, and tourists during summer months.

Economy and Transportation
Local employment includes the school, service businesses, the Alyeska Prince Hotel and the Alyeska Ski Resort. Several artists live in the area. Some residents commute to Anchorage. 29 Girdwood residents hold a commercial fishing permit. There are a number of seasonal-use homes in Girdwood. Because Girdwood is part of the Municipality of Anchorage, 2000 Economic Census Data may be incomplete, not applicable or significantly different from current data.

Girdwood has a gravel airstrip that measures 2,088' long by 73' wide. The Alaska Railroad provides daily train service in the summer. Nearby Anchorage provides a number of transportation options.

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Alaska: A History of the 49th State by Claus-M Naske and Herman E. Slotnick
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Did You Know?
City Of Anchorage. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing was selected as the headquarters of this effort. A Tent City sprang up in the wilderness at the mouth of Ship Creek, and soon swelled to a population of over 2,000. On July 9, 1915, the Anchorage townsite auction was held, and over 600 lots were sold. Although the area had been known by various names, in this same year the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name Anchorage, and despite some protests the name stuck.
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