Golden Lion Hotel devolves into homeless shelter


The midtown Anchorage neighbors fought it for years. The Jewish preschool nearby protested against having street people so close to the children.

But the Golden Lion Hotel on 36th Ave. was purchased anyway by former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz for use as a drug treatment center.

Mayor Dave Bronson promised to close if elected, but instead it became a low-rent housing solution with 84 rooms after the Bronson Administration capitulated to the liberal majority on the Assembly last summer.

Now, it’s the latest 24-hour homeless shelter that neighbors always feared it would become.

Mayor Dave Bronson declared an emergency due to the cold snap, with temperatures below zero. On Wednesday, he opened up the Golden Lion Hotel for anyone who needs shelter from what has been a tough winter, even by Anchorage standards, with a record amount of snowfall, collapsing roofs, and now plunging temperatures. Although Anchorage has 40% of the state population, it is a magnet for down-and-out Alaskans and has over 60% of the state’s homeless.

Bronson has also expanded the city’s contract with the Aviator Hotel on Fourth Ave., for overnight warming — 8 pm to 8 am. Earlier, his office had indicated that the Aviator would be a 24-hour warming shelter, but now those using it will need to find shelter during the daytime. While the nearby Anchorage Museum had last month guaranteed free admission to all Alaska Natives, it has since paused that policy. Alaska Natives make up 43% of the Anchorage homeless population. The Fifth Avenue Mall may end up becoming that daytime warming place, if others fill up.

In addition to the two hotels, the mayor already established a cold-weather shelter facility at the old Solid Waste Services facility at 1111 E. 56th Ave., also open 24 hours a day.

When he became mayor, Bronson attempted to build a navigation center that would process each person who checked in and get them to the help they need, whether it is drug addiction treatment, job referrals, or housing vouchers. But the Assembly blocked that proposal in a long and drawn-out fight with Bronson, hoping to make him unsuccessful at his signature project. They succeeded.

Then Bronson said the city would buy people one-way tickets back to their hometowns, to places where their families could help figure out solutions for them. But the Assembly also blocked that.

Last year, Bronson reclaimed the Sullivan Arena, which had become a hotbed of drugs and violence, after former Mayor Berkowitz had seized the arena for mass sheltering during the Covid pandemic. In the near future, the Sullivan Arena will return to be an event venue. The cost of repairs to the facility after the street people had their way with it has not been fully quantified by the city, but for now it’s no longer available for nighttime shelter.


  1. I sent Mayor Bronson’s office a message yesterday stating that if, as it appears, he has surrendered to the agenda of the ass-embly’s Marxist Nine, and is going to pander to and enable the worthless and homeless dregs of society as much as the Marxist Nine do, we may as well have elected Forrest Nutbar as mayor the last time around.

      • On December 19th I wrote a six-page letter detailing many concerning experiences I have had recently in Anchorage and sent it to Mayor Bronson. It’s been 42 damn days and not a peep from him. I am ready to vote for one of his many opponents in the upcoming April election. It is clear to me that Bronson is not able to lead the Muni as our mayor should be able to do. We deserve much better.

    • Yes we the people said no but we got it anyway.
      I vote that the assembly needs to open their homes and takes in the homeless.

  2. He had to do it because of what a “bleeding heart” state Alaskans became because of water-down luke warm Alaskan churches. Alaskan Leaders today who care about election also have to care about people appeal. And Alaskan voters like to be babied, indulged, and feel good. That attitude doesn’t help strengthen a person because of in this world we will always run across a conflict, problem. People have to learn to get through facing troubles else they’ll end up homeless, incarcerated, addicted all over again cause they are weak.

    • Would those be the same watered-down luke warm excuses for Alaskan churches whose so-called leaders allowed Anchorage’s fraudulent hyphenated-mayor to close them during China flu hysteria?

  3. The Anchorage Assembly has achieved their goal of a modern day liberal utopian sh*thole, driven by idiotic progressive ideologies that support the regression and degeneracy of society.

  4. Further! I think sending the identified Native homeless back to their birth communities is a wrong action when most Native families struggle with healthy lifestyles and communication. The one being sent back will be no better off in Kaltag for example than if he stayed in Anchorage. people when they been struggling and westling with internal demons from past to present. they find victory in Jesus. then they have to realize on their own to cut themselves off from family members, tribal members, even Native Culture still living in dysfunctional patterns and unrepentant sins. Rebuilding their life in a new society around a new family ( their church family). The scripture says “ When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.” The person who struggled against bad spirits that came in because of Trauma, abuse, neglect, criticism, condemnation, addictions, witchcraft. When they been removed out of it and what’s been taken out of their life. They need something to fill that empty void which is Christ, daily reading of the Word and being in continual fellowship with the family of God. The Small Alaskan communities they don’t have that yet. There is no home for our homeless Alaskan-Anchorage identified Natives to go home to for help.

  5. No! Really? Who could have imagined this?!

    Elections have consequences, and Anchorage is paying them in full with profound interest.

    You continually vote a progressive socialist Politburo into power. You know who they are, what they stand for, what their track record is, and you vote them in regardless.

    This is the “utopia” you wanted, Anchorage.

    • Utopia will not be realized until the Assembly meetings are held in fur suits.
      Its what gives me strength to keep going.

    • Do you honestly believe that the folks who post here voted for those communists? Your schtick is getting a bit stale. What do you propose to do about this idiotic situation, sit at your computer and blame people who did not cause it?

  6. An ever incessant and increasing stream of public tax dollars being strategically funneled to a select few “insiders” … BUT(!!!), the continued problems of: Drugs, Alcoholism, Addiction, Mental Illness, Homelessness, Lawlessness, Sexual Deviancy, Vagrancy and Debauchery, continue to flourish and grow with ‘no’ end in sight and apparently ‘no’ care or concern from Tax Payers.
    … Tragic!
    … Pathetic!
    … Wrong!

  7. Shall we now return ML&P and all its assets back to the city as a default of the sale to CEA? Condition of the sale – Golden Lion will NOT become a homeless shelter…
    Or shall we finally consider replacing all COMMIE Assembly “members” with actual CITIZENS WHO WILL FIGHT FOR OUR CITY?
    Where are all the NATIVE CORPORATIONS and their millions of dollars helping HOMELESS ALASKA NATIVES (who make up a majority of Anchorage homeless)? Thats right, the homeless natives are the ones that got thrown out of their villages for their atrocious (unlawful) behaviour or are just plain drunk/drug addicts.
    Inquiring minds should ask the homeless tzarina on the assembly, Meg, what is the homeless organization doing besides making assembly members rich?

  8. BTW, I intentionally did NOT bash the mayor for having to make this decision, the COMMIE ASSEMBLY has forced us into this position with their dirty rotten greed and treason against we the citizens. The COMMIE 9 see our homeowner taxes and want some for themselves, this is how they line their pockets.

    • Elections are coming up. Do Not vote for any of the Marxist 9, Marxist school board members or their like minded ilk. They are Not representing your best interests and cost you more and more in increased taxes, rent, and increased prices. They represent the Anchorage Coalition to Expand Homelessness, themselves, expanded bureaucratic interests, taking more and more of your money without regard for your necessary living expenses and hard work. I don’t see any positive accomplishments, only self interest. You are just an ATM to them.

    • I am hoping this is ONLY temporarily for the cold snap we have had, and it shouldn’t be extended beyond when it gets warmer.. In another 2-3 weeks. When the snow starts to melt it definitely needs to revert back to what it was intended. Low income place where everyone pays their rent and NOT for the Homeless street people. We need to understand that when “Mother Nature” gets angry and strikes back, we do need to help in some way(?). Mayor Bronson understands when it gets cold, everyone suffers.

  9. The continued prioritization of the vagrant over the taxpayer shows a repugnant abdication of the responsibility of the assemby to represent the voter. In no way is the majority of this body performing the duties for which they were hired.

  10. Mayor Bronson’s original plan was a good one. Muni ‘love’ for the drug-and-booze-addled and mentally-ill homeless population is a costly and seemingly perpetual burden on the responsible citizen-taxpayers of our city. If there are to be no work or treatment conditions (with rigorous drug/alcohol testing) imposed for those who are seeking muni sheltering, then ‘we, the people’ of this municipality are collectively dooming a substantial number of the homeless population to their self-destructive behaviors – to an early grave and Hell. Public funds should be used for constructive programs and projects, and never for aiding in the self-destruction of so many salvageable people.

    • Agree completely. The assembly doesn’t want any solutions or success. All part of leftist strategy, never waste a public nuisance, crisis, tragedy, whatever, as all are effective dysfunctional means to keep their power and control.

  11. All the surrounding neighborhoods, schools, and businesses that did not want the Golden Lion to become a homeless shelter and street culture draw – whom did they vote for and elect to the assembly? They are ultimately responsible for repeatedly electing leftists.

  12. One must wonder, if the current path of ‘Homelessness, build it / fund it and they shall come, in ever increasing numbers’, to simply ‘dissolve all governmental funding and let the private sector take care of what is needed through individual, family, neighborhood, church, and non-governmental, non-mandated solutions so as to nearly eliminate the homelessness issue, because it is not making individuals within local government (Meg Zaletel) rich at the expense of those actually needing help?’

    Let loose the private sector upon any issue that ‘Government’ creates and profits from, not only shall the problem nearly eliminate itself, so will the cost unto the community at large, because, well, without the ‘Government’ profiting from a self-created problem, said self-created problem no longer exists, does it?

    Our ‘Assembly’ constantly, pun intended, creates problems that they can pretend to ‘fix’ with more and more community funding, creating a larger problem, demanding more and more community funding, creating a larger problem, demanding more and more community funding…

    And so, continues the viscous circle….

    The Assembly / Governmental entities profit from their created problems, the populace pays willingly or not towards said profit, and the individuals actually needing help from said problems are denigrated unto merely numbers upon an Assembly / Governmental report so as to allow Assembly / Governmental entities to say they are helping said individuals without actually doing anything for said individuals that actually changes their situation, rather than supporting their current situation, so long as they can profit from said situation.

    So as unto the homelessness ‘problem’, the Assembly / Governmental entities are NOT the solution, they are the very creator and pusher of the homelessness ‘problem’.

    And as the ‘pusher’, they profit, whilst the community pays, and the ‘homeless’, as they were, and are, suffer, with no real solution.

    As it was, as it is, it shall always be. Until the Assembly / Governmental entities are taken out of the solution completely.

  13. WiFi, cable, early breakfast served in bed, maid service everyday, Koran on each table, Illegals welcome. Spanish is first language. Welcome to Anchorage.

  14. “The Golden Lion was purchased with $15 million in proceeds from the sale of the city’s electric utility, Municipal Light & Power. Creating a treatment facility was outlined in the sale agreement to Chugach Electric Association Inc. The remaining money can be used for repairs.”

    Nothing to see here, move along, we know best and anything to the contrary is “misinformation” despite many “city leaders” signing on our behalf promising to adhere to the agreement to Chugach Electric.

  15. Since the wolves control the election process, would it be a good idea to consult the fish and wildlife people for a solution?

  16. Our Anchorage Assembly has been quietly behind our backs paying millions to support Illegal Immigrants.
    They have one job: seven words.

There is no Legal Definitive prose for Sanctuary City. Therefore they do not exist.
    There are no special privileges for any human committing a crime in America. The term Sanctuary city is just that a term. Illegal’s must be treated at the same standard as any person in America, even higher, no one gets any special rights.
    Illegals must abide by the Laws of America until they can be deported, which should be done immediately.
    We are a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. As a Country WE THE PEOPLE shall abide by the Laws set forth for US to Follow, AS AMERICANS. All illegals must do the same until deported!
    Whomever decided America had Sanctuary City’s is just plain wrong. There is no such place for anyone to hide from established laws. Any person committing a crime, especially a National from another Country shall be deported immediately to face the consequences of the crime in their own country.
    All illegal Persons on American soil shall be deported immediately.
    WE THE PEOPLE shall not, will not, support these persons in anyway. No Rent, Quest cards for food, Medicaid, translators, no immediate American Nationality for being born here to illegal parents, no transportation, phones, clothing, hotel stays. Not one dime. No get out of Jail Free Card. All of this Sanctuary City terminology shall be removed at once, none of it is LEGAL IN AMERICA.
    We shall start deportation of every illegal in this Country at once.
    WE THE PEOPLE. One Nation under God, with liberty and Justice for All Americans.
    Military planes, buses, Freighters, all now deporting.
    Our President cannot hide behind his Executive Pen. That Pen is Used for the Good of American’s Only.
    Once a President has openly Committed Treason it’s each Free American Citizen and State for themselves. The President allowing an Alien Invasion is openly COMMITTING TREASON. Shall be fully responsible for his actions.
    We The People know the consequences for Openly committing Treason.
    All Military to Report Immediately to General Flynn.

    • First, it’s not wise to post something that could be construed as a call to arms against an elected government.

      Involving the military could also be considered inciting mutiny.

      Second, while much of what you posted is technically accurate, neither the voters of Anchorage nor the alleged leadership they repeatedly elect care.

      Deal in reality, not fantasy.

      Most people in Anchorage don’t care, can’t be bothered to care, and those that do mostly support your politburo.

  17. What will shopping become? While in Peru, I wanted to go shopping. My friend took me to the large fenced area in town that had a wide array of goods. At the gate, most had to show identification and enough money to show they could buy something instead of being there to steal merchandise. outside–beggars everywhere, inside the fence like shopping at REI or Safeway. I can see this coming. The haves and the have nots. Hate to see us get this way but with the ever increasing number of folks who lack engagement and responsibility in their life, is there an option? In Peru, yes the guards were armed and the fence patrolled.

  18. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that two former leftist mayors are both bankrolling funds from our current Assembly’s zeal to placate the homeless. Begich and Berkowitz both, with their allies on the Assembly, are well-positioned to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars. As for Zalatel, she can recuse herself from every vote having to do with handouts to the homeless knowing that her friends on the majority will have her back. With insider trading information, what’s to lose for Begich and Berkowitz when they throw down their money on a piece of property knowing in advance they’re going to hit the jackpot? I’m assuming that Bronson expected something in return for opening the Golden Lion only to see the special needs 10 fail to honor their end of the agreement. As for April, who else will you be voting for? Chris Tuck? We’re screwed.

    • Yep. Don’t matter who the Mayor is as long as the commies are running the show.
      And half of them won in a landslide last April.
      By ANC, been nice knowing you.
      I feel so sad for my kids (but 2 of them voted for this stupidity)

  19. Might behoove the Assembly’s Marxist Nine to give some thought to the depth of constituents’ frustration, what it might mean to their political careers if blandly ignored, as it seems to be now.
    Peoples’ frustration is so understandable.
    Sure and it seems near the boiling point when rational, smart people carry on as if voters in general and Mayor Bronson in particular are to blame for Anchorage’s burgeoning bum problem, and for every bloody damned thing else which Anchorage and her citizens have suffered at the hands of M-9.
    M-9? Salvadorans have their MS-13, why can’t Anchorage’s Ruling Class have their M-9?
    Are Anchorage’s M-9 so comfortable doing what they do because the reality is that Anchorage’s easily corruptible election system insulates them from the cold reality of voter outrage?
    Could it be… indulge us briefly… that fixing the bum problem and a host of other evils might be as simple as forcing reform of Anchorage’s easily corruptible election system?
    Tumble the rotten house of cards sustaining Anchorage’s M-9, make it really difficult for an M-9.1 redux, who knows what a free people can do, no?
    Forcing? Now we’re down to how … starting perhaps with “letting Facts be submitted to a candid world”?
    Remember this? “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
    Are we there yet?

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