The Downtown Association of Fairbanks announced its 2019 achievement awards given to businesses that had “stand-out” projects or achievements that helped foster the area’s revitalization, according to David van den Berg, executive director of the association. 

The Business of the Year Award went to the Bridgewater Hotel for the extensive interior and exterior renovations that allow the hotel to stay open year-round. 

Fairbanks Rings and Things earned the Expansion of the Year Award for “adding what downtown needs most — scoop ice cream,” van den Berg said.

Zöe Rabjohns earned the Revitalization of the Year Award for her mural promoting the art of quilting on the east wall of the Lathrop Building.

That Old Sew and Sew earned the Idea of the Year Award for commissioning Rabjohns’ mural to promote the business.

Van den Berg also mentioned several other projects in 2019 that are enhancing the downtown area. They include the following: exterior facelifts at the Fairbanks Native Association and Garden Island Party Store; new exterior paint at Denali State Bank, Tanana Valley Clinic, the 7th Avenue Office Building, and Brice Inc.; murals at Lavelle’s Taphouse and the Crepery; and a new deck at the Midnite Mine. New businesses opened downtown, as well: Midnite Mine Brewpub, Goldie’s, Salty’s on 2nd, Northern Whimsy Art Studio, and the Library. Willow Physical Therapy also relocated its business to the downtown area in 2019.