Alyeska Resort in Girdwood announced on Thursday that it had partially opened its long backlog $15 Million Nordic Spa, Sequel difficulties in obtaining construction materials and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this point, 50,000 square foot spa centers over a series of hot, hot and cold outdoor pools and heated walkways to a sauna and other amenities. The main cedar building houses changing rooms and massage rooms, as well as the new Two Trees Bistro.
Alyeska Resort is taking a phased approach in part because of pandemic-related supply disruptions that have made it difficult to ship everything to Alaska on time, said Melissa LaRose, the spa’s general manager.
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Other parts of the spa will open this summer, including a Finnish sauna and steam rooms.
The final phase opening later this year will include outdoor wooden tubs and saunas, such as several large barrel saunas in the forest, LaRose said.
The project’s uniqueness — Alyeska says it’s the only such facility in Alaska — has added to the difficulty of obtaining materials amid international shipping grunts, she said.
The spa was originally scheduled to be built in the spring of 2021, she said.
Getting enough contractors to do all the work on time was another challenge, she said. The spa employs about 55 workers, so it’s doing relatively well in the hiring department, she said. They plan to hire more people as plans are put in place.
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“Granted, the hiring market has been tough, but because the spa is new and so cool, we’ve had far less of a problem finding employees than many companies in this tough hiring climate,” LaRose said. .
And while housing is limited to mountain-backed Girdwood, Alyeska has offered new incentives, such as a commuter allowance to support workers in Anchorage, LaRose said.
LaRose said there was strong interest in the spa during the soft opening, with Saturdays being especially busy.
A pass currently costs $79 and includes free yoga and Pilates classes, LaRose said, and the price of the pass will increase as amenities are added. Guests must be at least 18 years old.