Location is everything
Wasilla’s advantageous location along the George Parks Highway and the Alaska Railroad make it a strategic link between Anchorage and Fairbanks, the largest population centers and transportation hubs of Southcentral and Interior Alaska. The scenic commute between Wasilla and Anchorage takes less than an hour.
Surrounded by majesty, Wasilla sits between two river valleys carved by prehistoric glaciers. The city is sheltered from extreme weather by the Talkeetna Mountains, and nestled between two beautiful lakes – Wasilla Lake and Lake Lucille.
Located 12 miles north of Cook Inlet’s Knik Arm, Wasilla is in Alaska’s fastest growing area, the Mat-Su Borough. Statistics for population, employment, housing construction, in-migration and highway travel all indicate that this inviting borough is developing and growing faster than any other area of Alaska.
Encompassing more than 24,000 square miles, the borough is larger than West Virginia. Wasilla is 30 air miles north-northeast of Anchorage, at about 61° north latitude and 149° west longitude. Wasilla comprises about 11 square miles of land and one square mile of water. The unique locale appeals to those who seek an Alaskan lifestyle while raising a family, taking advantage of economic prospects, or retiring in comfort.
The estimated borough population is over 100,000.
For the last decade Wasilla residents have enjoyed a booming economy, which has expanded and spread its employment base among a number of sectors. This includes tapping into the economic growth in Anchorage, where many Wasilla residents commute for work.
If you are thinking about relocating to Wasilla you will be pleasantly surprised. The area job market is competitive, and the demand for skilled, qualified workers exceeds the supply. Alaska’s prosperity is tied to national and international markets for petroleum, seafood and air cargo. In other respects, the business environment largely resembles that of the rest of the nation.
Industrial activities that contribute to Wasilla’s economic base include steel fabrication, agriculture, manufacturing of both concrete and wood products, and distribution of building materials. Robust residential and commercial markets have kept the construction industry busy, making it a significant contributor to job growth.
The growing development of Port MacKenzie outside of town is becoming a factor in the Wasilla economy. Port MacKenzie has 9,033 acres, 14 square miles, within the port district dedicated to commercial and industrial development. The docks are designed to efficiently export natural resources, but can accommodate many other types of cargoes.
Port MacKenzie Rail Extension
The Port Mackenzie Rail Extension involves 32 miles of new rail line from Port MacKenzie to the ARRC mainline just south of Houston, Alaska. The line will ultimately provide improved rail transportation between the Port and Interior Alaska, expanding the regional transportation network, making it a significant project affecting the Mat-Su area’s economic development.
Wasilla’s rich history and diversity of people and ideas are actively treasured and preserved. The community’s heritage includes the indigenous Athabaskan Dena’ina people – Chief Wasilla gave the town its name. The legacy also includes gold miners and homesteaders, as well as contemporary entrepreneurs and wilderness enthusiasts.
The community of Wasilla came about in 1917 when the U.S. government offered lots for sale to establish a town site where the soon-to-come Alaska Railroad would intersect with today’s Wasilla-Fishhook Road, called the Carle Wagon Road, which was a wagon trail at the time.
When the Parks Highway came directly through Wasilla in the 1970s an Anchorage migration began – commuters eager for escape from the city started making their homes in the growing community. This in turn, created a need for new services and businesses and led to an entrepreneurial wave of growth, which has continued over the years.
The quality of life is excellent, the water is clean and abundant, the air is fresh, and the people are friendly. Wasilla embodies the small-town values of family, community and caring for neighbors.
Residents have easy access to major cities, other small towns, suburban areas, farmland and isolated cabins. Proximity to Anchorage and the magnificent coastal areas of the Southcentral region provides residents with additional economic, educational, cultural and recreational opportunities.