Business Luncheon Presentations
Tourism works for Fairbanks - May 24
- The Fairbanks region is a year-round visitor destination with three "seasons": summer, winter, and aurora which straddles late summer into spring.
- Of note are recent increases in Chinese guests from Taiwan including via China Airlines’ direct charters and mainland China as well as those studying in the United States.
- Internet and social media has a role in every stage of a consumer's travel planning and experience. Social media is the new word of mouth.
- In 2015, hotel/motel tax collections increased to a record high with total collections (combined total of the Fairbanks North Star Borough including the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole) of $4.76 million, more than a 5% increase over 2014. Furthermore, this 2015 total is almost 2% over the previous high in 2012 of $4.67 million in collections.
- Tourism is well positioned to be a growth industry in Alaska’s economy and, as an industry, is more impacted by global and national economies. Of concern is the state reduction of tax dollars reinvested into the destination marketing of Alaska.
The Affordable Care Act - What is Happening Now - April 12
Presented by Terry Allard, CEBS, Health & Welfare Services Senior Advisor at The Wilson Agency
- The ACA has resulted in some good changes for employees but has also resulted in reduced benefits and higher out of pocket costs for many
- Carriers have been impacted resulting in consolidations and exiting markets
- Employer demand is driving creative plan design and funding arrangements
- Strategic planning and strong relationships are more important than ever for employers to maintain costs
Ensuring a safe and successful return to the community - March 29
Presented Nikki Hines
- The Prisoner Reentry Initiative is tough on crime and strong on public safety and community benefits.
- It is built on local leadership with state support.
- The goal is to support former offenders to become effective citizens.
- Prisoner Reentry Initiative starts with the vision that every citizen will return to the community prepared for success.
ALASKA GAS AND OIL ASSOCIATION UPDATE - MARCH 8
Presented by: Kara Moriarty, President and CEO on March 8, 2016
- Oil and gas is the largest private sector industry in Alaska, accounting for 1/3 of all Alaska jobs.
- For every dollar generated in wages from the oil and gas industry, $8 additional dollars are generated throughout the economy.
- We experience unprecedented low oil prices that dropped 70% in 2 years. When adjusted for inflation the prices are the lowest since mid-1980s.
- Average cost to produce a barrel of North Slope oil is about $52 before taxes. In this low price environment, industry is cash negative. Governor's bill would increase taxes on an industry that is already recording losses or is cash negative.
- Tax credits are earned, not given away. Companies that use credits must spend money in Alaska, hire local employees, and work here.
- Even though the state is facing budget deficits, Alaskan leaders have said "oil is not the answer." Even at low prices, industry still pays far more in taxes than any other industry in Alaska.
Donlin Gold Project Update -- March 1, 2016Presented by: Kurt Parkan, External Affairs Manager on March 1, 2016
Donlin Gold is a gold mine project located in Southwest Alaska on Alaska. It was invited by the Calista Corporation and The Kuskokwim Corporation to develop the site for the benefit of their shareholders. Revenue derived from the project by these corporations will be distributed to all other Alaska Native corporations.
The project is in the draft Environmental Impact Assessment phase, with the public comment period ending April 30, 2016. Comments can be submitted to the US Army Corps of Engineers HERE
Donlin Gold is committed to developing a safe and environmentally responsible project at a time when Alaska is faced with serious economic challenges. Approximately 3,000 jobs would be created during the 4 year construction phase with an estimated payroll of $375 million/yr. Between 600-1200 jobs will be created during the mine's 27+ year operating life, with an estimated annual payroll of $100 million.
The project has been working for 20 years to identify the resource, conduct extensive environmental studies, and prepare for approximately 100 permits necessary before the project can begin construction.
Extensive engagement has occurred with the communities in the region to share information about the project and listen to concerns. Project design has been modified and the project improved as a result of these conversations. Donlin Gold has a strong reputation for local hire.