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VENDOR SPOTLIGHT – Visit Anchorage

Dena’ina Center Celebrates 10 Years of Anchorage, Alaska Meetings

On October 18, 2008, a team of Iditarod-ready sled dogs, helmed by musher Martin Buser slid through the front doors of the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center, cutting the ribbon on the $107 million venue in downtown Anchorage. The footsteps of Buser’s team were the first through the doors of Alaska’s newest convention center, and they led the way for millions more in the years to come. 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary for the Dena’ina Center, a milestone year for Alaska’s largest convention center.

Dena’ina by the Numbers

The center is designed to easily accommodate meetings of up to 5,000 people, with space enough to host expos, concerts and events larger still.

The 200,000-square-foot Dena’ina Center offers beautifully designed, flexible event space. The largest, most modern facility of its kind in the state of Alaska, the Dena’ina Center is ideal for events from national conventions and trade shows to local meetings, banquets and special occasions. Visitors to this state-of-the-art facility will enjoy meeting rooms and halls that feature breathtaking views, versatile gathering spaces, and both traditional and modern artwork from cultures across Alaska.

At street level, and at almost 50,000 square feet, Idlughet (Eklutna) Exhibit Hall is the largest room of its kind in Alaska, offering over an acre of event space. More intimate than the exhibit hall, Dena’ina’s second floor meeting rooms are just as spectacularly designed, and offer highly configurable options for meetings, seminars, classes or special occasions. The third floor Tikahtnu (Cook Inlet) Ballroom, greets guests with floor-to-ceiling windows and views of Alaska’s prolific mountain ranges. The outdoor terrace provides a spectacular vantage point for guests in all seasons.

The center stands in downtown Anchorage, surrounded by major hotels with 3,000 rooms within walking distance. Anchorage’s first convention center, the Egan Center, is just a few blocks north of Dena’ina.

10 Years of Innovation

Capital improvements to Dena’ina have kept the building in top form and prepared it to welcome meetings in the next ten years – and beyond. New wireless infrastructure, coupled with other public and behind-the-scenes improvements have been a constant element at the Dena’ina Center.

Up to 4,000 concurrent users can now browse at lightning speed in the centers thanks to new hardware in the centers. Users get fast upload/download speeds from 29 wireless access points. In practical terms, it’s the equivalent of downloading a feature-length film in high definition in a matter of minutes.

A number of behind-the-scenes projects have further improved the center’s environmental controls, fine-tuned the HVAC systems, and increased energy efficiency and water conservation.

As the Dena’ina Center celebrates its first decade, it isn’t comfortable with merely looking back at the past ten years. The center is ready to welcome national and international conventions and events for another 10 years.


Getting the best doesn’t mean spending a lot. Many groups are surprised to discover they save when they choose Anchorage.

“Our organization saved more than $13,000 in comparison to 2016 conference,” said Joe McKinney of the National Association of Development Organizations. The group met in Anchorage in September 2017. “The difference is attributed to lower lodging costs, lower food and beverage costs, and the absence of state sales taxes.”

“From a financial perspective, our Anchorage meeting set a new record for profit!” said Jeffrey C. Sventek, Executive Director of the Aerospace Medical Association. “Anchorage is clearly cost-competitive for large meetings… The beauty of Alaska combined with the modern hotel and convention facilities made our meeting truly memorable.”

Upcoming Meetings

The Dena’ina Center has already hosted groups focused on subjects from space exploration to hair restoration. Black tie galas, vast expos, and education-intensive, multi-track seminars have all found Dena’ina to be the right fit. In its short history, Dena’ina has even hosted a sitting U.S. President, Secretary of State and foreign ministers from around the globe for a high-level diplomatic event.

In the years ahead, Dena’ina will host more high-profile events. Groups including the Uniform Law Commission, International Association of Women Police, Association for Computing Machinery, and National Veterans Golden Age Games all convene in Anchorage next year, each bring 500 to 1,200 people to Alaska. The American Society of Mammalogists arrives in July of 2021, with 1,500 people.

Visit Anchorage Services

The staff at Visit Anchorage is seasoned, savvy and standing by to make your meeting a success. With surprising longevity and exceptional service, they ensure the Anchorage meeting is a productive, positive experience.

From site selection and proposal assistance to familiarization tours, attendance promotion and the meeting itself, Visit Anchorage ensures the Anchorage meeting is meticulously organized, well attended, easy and – above all – successful.

To start planning your meeting in Anchorage, contact Visit Anchorage Convention Sales Manager Andrea Schmidt at (907) 257-2317 or

Erin BerggrenVENDOR SPOTLIGHT – Visit Anchorage