The Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn has opened as a hostel in Girdwood. The hostel has capacity for 39 guests, with five private rooms with double beds and a bunk, and dorm-room beds in separate male and female quarters, said Amy Johnson, co-manager.
Owner James Boring, who also owns the Alaska Backpackers Inn in Anchorage, said he aims to make the inn the first hostel to be granted a Gold-Level LEED for Homes rating for energy-efficient construction techniques and environmentally friendly operations. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the criteria for being LEED certified is strict, he said. Boring said planned and existing features of the hostel include low-flow/dual flushing toilets, passive solar heating and use of locally available, recycled building materials. It also has incorporated use of alternative energy sources, soy foam insulation and energy-efficient technologies such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances.
Brandon Follett co-manages the inn at 365 Gold Ave., near the Tesoro station along the Seward Highway, along with Johnson. The phone is 727-4678, and the Web site is www.hostelgirdwood.com.