I took a 50% pay raise and they moved me to Alaska. I start on December 6th. From my research and cost of living comparisons in Anchorage the expenses should be about 30% higher than Vegas where I currently live.
They had to drag me to Alaska for a job interview because I had many of the questions that you have. They finally got me to go by reminding me it was, at worst, an all expense paid vacation.
I went (in October) and ended up quitting my job in Seattle over the phone. My career eventually brought be back out, but Alaska is one of the two places I would choose to retire.
No sales tax, good people, libertarian politics, and (while I was there) a surplus of attractive ladies. I love the place.
Winter is tolerable, even if you do not do winter sports, and you will always have several hours of daylight. I worked more and earned extra time off for summer.
Summer is magnificent. There is no other fitting word.
"Fresh" food (milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables) is expensive because it is mostly flown in. Food that can come by ship or truck is not priced that differently from outside, and with the addition of Wal*Mart, Costco, and other large retailers almost everything is easier to obtain.
In short, go. I would suggest that you learn military time though, my biggest problem was waking up at 9:00 and having to ask if it was AM or PM.
Brought my then-girlfriend, now-wife, up here from AZ. She's come to the same conclusion I have: Unsure I would enjoy any other place as much as I do Up here. The ability to stock the freezer every year with fish and moose/cariboo, head out the back door at any moment and be in an outdoor adventure. Skiing, fishing, hiking, biking, etc., plus some of the nicest people you'll meet. If you don't enjoy the outdoors, it probably won't work out.
I think our dividens are only for heating coasts and coasts of exasorwted coasts. SE Alaska is all rain all the time south central is populated alot like a larger city of the states. Jobs are all over bu the enjoyable ones are taken, jobs on the slope for 40+ an hour are paid that for a reason; things are expencive and while there can't spend your money on anything but a fund or the very very good food. Here in anchorage it gets cold quick so fare the snow is mild, meaning it is already to cold to snow and that means a cold winter and hellish snowy sping.
Most of those hotel jobs are seasonal. Maybe that was stated. So, you are coming up spring through sept. Im sure you would be busy with the maintenance of the hotel during the peak season. The service folks are typically younger college age folks. You arent gonna find the best benefits though. It might be ok just to say you did it. I got to build employee cabins in the park a few years back. I was there to do my job but then drive home. I was there to manage the crew. It was a challenge to get them to work and then not stay out all night with the new friends they had just met.
It is seasonal, you arent gonna get paid well, but if you want to play in that small area with new friends, it might be your spot.
How would the conditions be for one working out in the Denali National Park area, There were a few openings for jobs like mechanics, general workers, surveyors, etc for the NPS on USAjobs.com that my brother applied for. But after talking to a friend of mine that lived up in Nome for a couple of years, he stated that this area is not a "he'll adjust or get used to it" type of area. Basically he said that my brother should know he can handle the hellish conditions he may face working out in it or not even go.
What are your thoughts on the weather in this area? Is it a good place to bring a family that has lived in Arkansas? My brother is a hands on type guy that has worked on ranches in Montana, but seeks something more in the job he will be doing.