Innovative Denali Square opened this summer and showcases Alaskan culture
Holland America Line was presented with an Alyeska Award by the Alaska Tourism Industry Association for the cruise line’s new Denali Square complex in the heart of McKinley Chalet Resort. Bill Fletcher, Holland America Line’s director of Alaska sales, marketing and planning, accepted the award at ATIA’s annual banquet in Anchorage, Alaska.
The Alyeska Award is presented to a business or organization for its outstanding leadership, professional excellence and group contribution to the Alaska travel industry.
“We are honored to be recognized by the Alaska Tourism Industry Association for our contribution to Alaska’s tourism, and I congratulate our entire team for bringing Denali Square to life this summer,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Holland America Line is celebrating 70 years of Alaska exploration in 2017, and Denali National Park is at the core of our Alaska Land+Sea Journeys. Denali Square allows us to showcase Alaskan culture on many levels and greatly enhances the Denali experience for our guests.”
Over the past three years Holland America Line has been refining the guest experience at the 60-acre McKinley Chalet Resort, and last year an enhanced property layout and freshly remodeled guest rooms were unveiled.
Alaska-based companies heading up the McKinley Chalet Resort’s enhancement project included general contractor Dawson Construction and Stantec, which provided engineering services. Additional firms involved are lead and landscape architect The Portico Group, restaurant architect Heliotrope Architects, structural engineering company Michael Leonard Associates and project manager Costigan Integrated, all of Seattle, Washington.
About Denali Square
Denali Square is at the heart of McKinley Chalet Resort, which provides accommodations for guests on Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys that combine an Alaska cruise with an overland tour to Denali National Park and beyond. Denali Square is centrally located between the main part of the property, containing the reception hall, dining facilities and guest rooms, and the riverfront guest rooms that provide stunning views of the Nenana River.
Denali Square serves as a new gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The largest building in the complex is Karstens, the grand 7,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant showcasing views of the neighboring mountains for dining guests. An inviting deck with fire pits and outdoor seating also allows guests to immerse themselves in this special venue as they drink and dine.
At the center of Denali Square is an amphitheater with a covered performance stage and bench seating for guests to enjoy a variety of local shows, ranger talks and demonstrations. Those wanting to quench their thirst or listen to live music can visit Gold Nugget Saloon, home to the Music of Denali Dinner Theater that becomes a bar and music venue after the show.
Denali Square also features cozy fire pits to gather around on cool Alaska evenings and make s’mores, outdoor seating for guests who wish to enjoy the scenery, retail shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaska native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting nestled just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park.