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Anchorage Lake Mountains

Take it from Laura

Story by
postedJanuary 6, 2020

The NTA events team visited Anchorage in September—in advance of Contact 2020 this March—to scout out venues, go on sightseeing excursions, and sample the local fare. Laura McFadden, CTP, senior events manager, is eager to return, which makes her a good source of information and encouragement for Courier readers.

NTA's Laura McFadden
NTA's Laura McFadden

What can Contact attendees look forward to?

Who doesn’t get excited when they see a cute sea otter bobbing in the water or catch a view of an orca whale jumping out of the water? The scenic cruise with Major Marine exploring the coast line around Kenai Fjords National Park let us get up close and personal to wildlife, waterfalls, and glaciers. There were plenty of Instagram-able moments that operators can put on their itineraries.

Is there anything that surprised you about Alaska?

Seeing it in person made me realize what an expansive wonderland it really is! The flightseeing tour we experienced, which will also be part of the Fam for buyers, soared over mountain peak after peak after peak. Awesome is an overused word, but it truly is that.

What will attendees do that’s especially unique?

One of the great benefits of Contact is that it’s large enough to make many new contacts, but it’s small enough to include really special experiences that larger conventions can’t give you. For example, the closing event on the Alaska Railroad will open up multiple cars for our attendees to explore while taking in beautiful coastal views. And can I just say I’m really excited to get back there and dine on the local seafood? It doesn’t get any better!

For more information on Contact 2020 visit

Top photo: Scenic landscape near Girdwood, Alaska
Photo by Dawn Pettus