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Hey guys, I am wondering if you are serious considering Skagway as a town to live a year round.
It is a nice place to spend a summer for a maximum 5 months. In the end of September all stores close down, and the place turns into a ghost town: few people around, one pub open, and one grocery store.
If you enjoy being by yourself in long winter evenings, it must be a nice place. Even many locals own winter houses somewhere in Hawaii, Indonesia and Arizona, and I've heard that around 300-400 people only live there through winter.
I spent there my summer 2010. It was gorgeous! Hiking, walking, trail running, traveling to Whitehorse, Carcross and other Canadian towns almost every week (it was much sunnier and nicer in Canada rather than in Skagway), fishing, kayaking and doing other things. September was exceptionally sunny and warm, and it did not turn into a crap (rain and wind) unless I'd left.
Grocery store SUCKS! It is the most expensive place regarding how much you spend on food I've ever lived in. Overall, I spend around 70-80$ a week on grocery, buying mainly discounted stuff. The idea of FRESH veg & fruit does not exist in Skagway. Almost everything is wilted and looks not fresh. If you have a car, you can buy grocery every couple of weeks in Canada in Whitehorse (they have a few large stores full of fresh stuff), but keep in mind the gas: around 50$ driving up and back. Forget about fresh fish, unless you know someone among locals who has a boat and can sell you fish/crabs. The grocery does not have it!
If social life is important to you, Skagway is NOT a place to live. Well, someone considers pub crawling a social life. But to me it sucked. For a season it's ok: you work every day and the rest of the time hike/do sport/walking.
Another perk of Skagway is that unlike many Alaskan towns it is connected to Canada by highway. So you can travel a little bit without getting a ferry or buying a place ticket. And the drive to Canada is one of the most beautiful in the USA, especially on a sunny fall day! To my knowledge, it is often closed in winter because of avalanches and snow.
And remember one thing: Skagway is a deadly windy place!
Skagway is very good. People like to drive from Skagway to Whitehorse Canada about two hours away for major shopping. The Pizza Station and the Boat House is good dinning places in Skagway. The Mountain Shop is good place for outdoor gear clothing and for winter. If you like to fish you can buy local small fishing boat and I think sometimes you can start selling Salmon in town for extra income. hardware store in town can order appliances and deliver. ask about become member of The Eagles Club. private Skagway socail club bar. best use of transportation buy ATV. sweet tooth cafe is best place in town for breakfast. wells fargo bank is in town. Juneau can take small planes back fourth to Skagway. one hour flight. Recreation center is nice and large in Skagway and good priced memberships.
Wow- I am so glad that I stumbled upon this.
I live in Skagway and have, year round, for going on 12 years now.
Some have said that Skagway is a bi-polar town; “Manic in the summer and depressed in the winter”. You see, in the winter, there are about 12-15 businesses functioning. In the summer, there are over 200. Skagway is different because our population (around 800) quadruples during those “Manic” summer tourist season months. Our major economic boost occurs during the summer months, because we are a cruise ship destination. Our tiny, 3 X 21 Street, town will welcome anywhere from 2-6 cruise ships a day, from May 5-September's end. Skagway is also the home of The Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. It's geographically stunning and probably one of the prettiest towns I've ever had the pleasure of being in. I guess that's why we've settled here.
It is a wonderful community to live in.
Yes, it is more economically and socially vibrant in the summer~
BUT the winter months are great, too. We have wonderful Halloween, Yuletide and New Year’s Celebrations. We play cribbage and plan epic meals together. There is a bowling alley at the Elk’s and there are three leagues (Men’s, Woman’s & Mixed Leagues) that roll together all winter long! There are Friday Night Burger Feeds held by the school kids’ various clubs and sports teams. We host the annual Buckwheat International Cross Country Ski Challenge every March and a great Community Easter Egg hunt for the kids out at our recreation/sports area known as 7 Pastures. As Skagwegians we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, Back To Back Girl’s Basketball State Championships and other, smaller, personal triumphs together. We also mourn deaths, cling to one another for support against the north wind, and hold the doors for one another.
There is virtually no crime~ there's not one stoplight (unless the road to Canada is closed due to an avalanche) and Yes! The maximum speed limit is 35mphs. It is one of the few towns in Southeast Alaska that is not landlocked. Folks *do* drive up to Whitehorse to go to the movies, some shopping and to enjoy a getaway. Families will head to Atlin, BC for the annual music festival or just take a quick (1 hour) spin to Carcross, Yukon, to enjoy a day on the lake. Our “Neighbors to the North” often drive down here to visit, too. It's part of living here.
Shopping in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, doesn't mean that our grocery store is horrible! People are actually doing it less and less because the Canadian dollar is stronger than U.S. currency right now. There are also restrictions as to what you can purchase and return to the U.S. with... so we always phone up to The Border Station to inquire before heading up there. Which for my husband and I, is only about 2-3 times a year.
To dispel further myth and misinformation about Skagway, surprise, surprise, there are actually TWO year round grocery stores! The major is Fairway Market (located on 4th & State) and the other, smaller, is called You Say Tomato (located on 21st & State). You Say offers a year round produce club with fresh, organically grown produce, as well as a selection of organic frozen meats, ingredients for international fare, teas and what I was recently told “Has the best selection of herbs and spices in Alaska”. Fairway Market does not have moldy vegetables~ and if most of the people that come up here to work (or vacation) for a summer would research, of course the groceries are pricey. You're in rural ALASKA people! Come on! Of course necessities are pricey~ think of how far they travel (from Seattle, via barge) to get here. Certainly these stores do not offer the selection that the box stores down south carry. I am proud to say I live over one hundred miles from the nearest Wal-Mart (Whitehorse). Ooops- I’m wrong, the one in Juneau is 65 miles away- but I have to fly or ferry to be exposed to that one. There are two year round restaurants (Glacial Smoothies & Espresso and The Sweet Tooth Café). There are two social clubs (The Eagles & The Elks) that require memberships. Both clubs have bars and are non-profit organizations that operate to benefit the community by sponsoring events, fundraisers and providing a place for us to go and be social. There are two ‘public’ bars/restaurants open in the evenings at about 4pm. Those establishments are The Skagway Brewing Company and The Skagway Pizza Station. Lastly, there is Lemon Rose Bakery, which serves coffee and freshly baked goodness. I could list all the other year round businesses or you could hop to [url=http://www.skagwaychamber.org]Skagway Chamber of Commerce[/url] and check most of them out yourself.
I don’t mean to come off as defensive or condescending… it’s just that I love Skagway. I am also disclaiming that I am not speaking on behalf of my fellow Skagwegians. These are my feelings, observations and musings I share with you! As a resident of Skagway, I say proudly that I own a seasonal gardening business (Dirty Girls Gardening) and am on The Skagway Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I work at You Say Tomato during the winter months and have for the past five winters. Like any small town, there's problems, but heck~ this community rises up to help one another. There will always be issues arising where we are politically divided, but when the chips are down, we rise up to help out our friends and neighbors. I encourage you all to come to Skagway and visit. Be it either on vacation, to work, or to consider living here!
I’m glad to have had the opportunity to set this thread straight!
(Oh and Bob Blockus~ there is no restaurant here called The Boat House.)
Check out my great gardening business' Facebook page [url=http://www.facebook.com/dirtygirlsgardening]Dirty Girls Gardening | Facebook[/url]
Sorry, but I've seen moldy vegetables in Fairway myself, and way more than once. I've spent a fair amount of time in Skagway and a fair amount of money in the Fairway, so my observations are hardly a "myth". And I've seen the prices in my even more rural than Skagway area and they aren't as high here as they are there. I am not at all impressed with the Fairway and feel that they inflate their prices due to the summer population that is basically left with no other choice except the other place which is pretty good but does have a limited selection.
The markets here on POW of course do the same thing but not to the extent that the Fairway does.
There are lots of good things about Skagway, of course. Very low crime, doesn't seem to have any hint of a meth problem (but it does have a jewelry store problem). Beautiful town, for the most part. Great group of locals. Best tap water on the planet. Sputnik, I would disagree that it's only a good place to live during tourist season but of course that depends on personal preference.
And Dirty Girls Gardening is a great business---you used to wave at me every time you drove by in your truck.
Last edited by Metlakatla; 04-10-2011 at 12:07 AM..
I've been in many rural areas of Alaska and I agree with Met on this, Fairway overly inflates their grocery prices. They have access to land(truck) and barge service year round yet their prices are just as high or higher then the AC Store in Nome. Crazy, but I'd call that price gouging.
Hello, My twin brother and I are wanting to move to Skagway. We are both blacksmith & farriers by trade and was told that they could use our expertise in that area. We are from Phelan ca. Home of cactus and horses pluse small town life. My brother and I are wanting to know what the people are like as well as the life style of Skagway. I hate to say this but, one of our concerns would be if there is a lot of racism there do the fact that my brother and I are of African descent and white. We are aware that not everyone is racist it just sucks some people make life a little difficult. We just want to move to a place where we can raise our children well. Also my brother just left from his cruise and a man name Bruce showed him around with his family for about 3 hrs and loved it. Any advise would be greatly appreciated,thnx!
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