Flurry of major event cancellations and postponements as Anchorage COVID-19 crisis deepens

As COVID-19 case counts reach near-daily record highs and local hospitals struggle with a surge of COVID-19 patients, Anchorage must contend with a new economic challenge: a flurry of cancellations of major conferences and events. Cancelled or postponed events include resource development trade group conventions, nonprofit conventions, and the Mayor’s Ball.

Below is a partial list of major cancellations.

  • Alaska Chamber – Annual Policy Forum event moved to a virtual event on October 12 and Fall-turned-Winter Forum on December 9th. In a September 14, 2021 article in the Alaska Journal of Commerce, President and CEO Kati Capozzi states, “We were going to require vaccination or negative COVID tests, but with everything going on and our hospitals completely overwhelmed, we didn’t feel like we could have a safe and responsible in person event at this time.”
  • Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA) – Postponed Progress and Pathways conference at the Dena’ina Center to January. An August 23 Facebook post reads, “After careful consideration of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the dramatic increase in cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks in Alaska and Anchorage, and with the health and safety of all participants in mind, we have decided to POSTPONE the 2021 AOGA Conference until January 12, 2022.”
  • Mayor’s Ball – 2021 ball postponed to February 2022. An announcement on Facebook reads “Stay safe and we will see you all soon.”
  • Alaska Miner’s Association (AMA) –  Cancelled November 1 AMA Annual Convention in Anchorage. An email reads, “today Alaska sits at the worst place in the nation for case counts per capita and our hospitals are strained beyond measure. Medical professionals are pleading for vaccinations and for citizens to avoid exposure in mass gatherings, and our event would certainly meet that definition.  There is no indication that these conditions will change by November 1.”
  • Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) – Cancelled its annual conference on August 6, 2021. An announcement on Facebook reads, “ASHNHA has made the difficult decision to cancel our annual conference due to the rise in coronavirus patients, worrisome capacity levels, and staffing challenges.”
  • Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) – Postponed annual convention to December. The AFN website explains: “The AFN Board of Directors decided to postpone the 2021 Convention to December 13-15, citing health and safety concerns which include the increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations statewide and the consequent pressure on Alaska’s healthcare system.”
  • Associated General Contractors of Alaska (AGC) – The AGC of Alaska Annual Conference, scheduled for November 10-13, 2021, was moved to the end of January. Conference dates were retained for educational seminars that allow social distancing, with a virtual option.
  • Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA) – Postponed its October 11, 2021 Annual Convention & Trade Show and replaced it with a January 2022 hybrid in-person or virtual event.
  • Trend Fashion Show – October 2 show postponed to February 26, 2022. A September 2, 2021 Facebook announcement reads, “Like all of you, our event committee has been closely monitoring the situation around COVID-19 and the rising cases across the state. We don’t take postponing lightly, but felt that we had to make this decision for the health and safety of our designers, models and attendees.”
  • Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) – On September 8, ASMI announced on Facebook that it would no longer hold its “All Hands on Deck” event at Alyeska Hotel and would make it a virtual event event instead.

Some organizations are currently evaluating the COVID-19 situation in Anchorage before determining whether to modify or cancel events.

  • Resource Development Council (RDC) – Evaluating the feasibility of their November 17-18, 2021 annual conference. A statement on the RDC website reads, “While RDC remains hopeful an in-person event is possible, we will continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic with safety at the forefront. That may require: additional safety and protection measures (masks, etc.), limiting the number of in-person attendees or other changes or eliminations within the draft agenda. While we will do all we can to bring our members and supporters together in November, we may be forced to shift to virtual or hybrid event.”

This list will be updated as new information becomes available.

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Richie Romero
2 years ago

So glad all these people canceled these meetings and conventions. The attendees were to stupid to make their own decision I guess. The pricks at it again.

Lynn Willis
2 years ago
Reply to  Richie Romero

Are those the same “pricks’ who set traffic speed limits to take away your “Constitutional freedom” to decide how safe you will allow the roads to be for all of us?

Richie Romero
2 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Willis

Pricks is my metaphor for describing those who took the shot. Driving a car does not involve the injection of a drug forced upon you to operate a vehicle.

2 years ago
Reply to  Richie Romero

Too stupid…

Lynn Willis
2 years ago

Thanks Jeff. And I bet after a winter of COVID with influenza “on top” there goes another Fur Rondy. So much winning under Bronson and Dunleavy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lynn Willis
Arctic Blast
2 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Willis

Lynn if you read the article You will realise that By February it will all be safe again as that is when the conferences have been rescheduled. This is the Fur Rondy month so it will be fine

Terence day
2 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Willis

Lynn your blaming the wrong party , they live in China ??

2 years ago

How will these resource development groups contend with hardline conservative backlash after these cancellations? Those events tend to be calendar highlights for those partisans who are used by executives and outreach personnel to go be surrogates to speak up for them; will those conservative surrogates who require validation from the oil and gas industry be able to forgive those who provide their badly-desired supply of said validation?

Last edited 2 years ago by Wondering
2 years ago

Who wins when folks don’t wear the mask? Bezos and Amazon because many folks don’t shop locally for other than necessities (food and medicines).
IF the bases should put more restrictions on, then that will help local businesses a bunch,…..NOT
Bronson and Dunleavy are helping keep local business down. jmho