Anchorage's Hotel Captain Cook is named for British explorer and cartographer whose three major voyages took him around the southern tips of Africa and South America, to Easter Island and, on his final voyage, along Alaska’s majestic coastline. Cook helped define Alaska in the 18th century by mapping its jagged coastline for the first time. In June of 1778, while looking for a Northwest Passage to Hudson Bay, he and his crew on the HMS Resolution dropped anchor in Turnagain Arm—within sight of the spot where the Hotel Captain Cook stands today.
An earthquake in 1964 leveled much of downtown Anchorage. Businessman Walter J. Hickel, who was also Alaska's mayor, had already been investing in Alaska’s future for decades, building hotels and business centers as well as serving as Alaska’s governor, all with an eye to making Alaska the American gateway to the Pacific Rim. The Hotel has prospered and expanded with the times: the first Tower opened in 1965, followed by Tower II in 1972 and Tower III in 1978. Today, the 547-room hotel plays host to dignitaries, celebrities and people from all walks who love the grandeur of Alaska.
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