I'm excited to be working with Hard Rock Cafe to produce a whole year's worth of First Friday Comedy Showcases! Not only that, but these shows placed 3rd in the 2017 Anchorage Press Picks for Best First Friday Venue/Event, and that's after doing only a handful of them! Click on the poster for the Facebook event page and come see what all the hype is about. Together maybe we can get 1st place in 2018!
This year marked a lot of change with the Quick Freeze Film Competition growing to become the 5-Day Film Royal. One thing that hasn't changed is how much I love organizing this event with such wonderful friends and getting to put together the annual behind-the-scenes documentary. Visiting the teams and watching them work is always inspiring and a great reminder of what I love about being a filmmaker. Congratulations to all the participants, both old and new. I can't wait to work with you all again! Click the image for the behind-the-scenes video.
The Anchorage International Film Festival's Quick Freeze Film Competition has been a staple in our filmmaking community for a long time. And while it's been an honor running the event for the past two years, my co-organizers and I feel that it's time the event was reborn into a form more consistent with our other film competition, the 24-Hour Film Royal. So I'm excited to announce that the Quick Freeze Film Competition will now be known as the 5-Day Film Royal!
There's a lot to be thankful for, like a brand new Friday Comedy Showcase with a new serving of Anchorage's funniest comedians! Keep in mind that this particular show takes place on the second Friday of November instead of the first Friday like the other shows. This month's lineup is Matt Burgoon, Ben Farleigh, Kyle Farrell, and Kate Sortino. Click on the photo to go to the Facebook event.
Getting pretty chilly out there, isn't it? Then cozy up inside the Anchorage Hard Rock Cafe at the next First Friday Comedy Showcase! This month's guests are Chris Coleman, Matt Collins, John Norris, and Anji Stubbs. Click on the image to check out the Facebook event.
Kick off Labor Day weekend with some laughs at the Hard Rock Cafe in Anchorage with Rudy Ascott, James Engberg, Fred Koski, Kass Smiley, and me! Click on the image for the Facebook event.
Don't miss out on Jessica Michelle Singleton's annual Anchorage homecoming show at Hard Rock Cafe, hosted by me! Click on the image to be sent to the Facebook event.
Fun fact: There are more self-storage facilities in America than there are Starbucks coffee shops. To be more specific, while Starbucks has more than 13,000 locations in the country, self-storage facilities still outnumber them five to one according to a recent report from commercial real estate publication REJournals.
This surprising statistic was not lost on Dick Gilroy, owner of the Stor-House chain of self-storage facilities in Washington State, which coincidentally is the birthplace of Starbucks.
Prior to starting Stor-House, Dick spent 30 years as a real estate developer working on residential housing and commercial developments. Being in real estate development proved to be the perfect position to watch the self-storage industry grow.
With his interest piqued, Dick decided to attend several self-storage workshops and seminars. It wasn’t long before he decided that going into the self-storage business himself would not only be a good investment opportunity, but a refreshing career change as well.
Breaking ground on Stor-House proved to come with its own set of hurdles, even with Dick’s many years of experience in real estate development.
“One of the challenges of developing self-storage facilities is finding the correct zoning,” he explained. “Most municipalities only allow self-storage in industrial zones. It’s our belief that since a large percentage of business comes from homeowners, the most convenient location is a commercial zone similar to gas stations or drug stores.”
In order to secure a location for Stor-House that was convenient for customers, Dick had to undergo several public hearings to request a variance in the existing zoning.
“Neighbors, examiners, and city staff can be difficult to convince that self-storage is an asset rather than a negative to a neighborhood,” he recalled. “However, with the right design and attention to their concerns, it can be accomplished. When that happens, it’s a great feeling when city staff or neighbors stop by to compliment you on the new facility.”
Several years after successfully opening their first facility, Dick decided to grow Stor-House and bring their easy-access, user-friendly approach to self-storage to other Washington communities. In order to reposition his business for expansion, he needed to refinance his existing loan under some tight deadlines. When his then-current bank was unable to meet those timeframes, Dick decided to partner with Alaska USA.
“Not only was Jeff Gregg able to meet our requirements and close the loan on time, but he was able to do it while offering competitive rates and terms,” he described. “That was my first experience with a credit union–the time was far shorter than what a commercial bank would’ve taken and it’s a very hands-on experience. In my 30 years of real estate development I’ve worked with many commercial banks and none have performed better than Alaska USA.”
Today Stor-House has grown to include locations in Bellevue, Renton, and Richland, with even more on the way. “We’re currently looking to expand with three additional facilities,” Dick said. “We look forward to working with Jeff and Alaska USA on our new facilities.”
Summer has officially arrived in Anchorage! Come to the 49th State Brewing Company and celebrate the fleeting return of sunshine with some clean comedy provided by yours truly, as well as Fred Koski, Rudy Ascott, Matt Collins, and Anji Stubbs! Click on the image to be linked to the Facebook event page.
Huge thank you to everyone who entered this year's competition or made it out to support local filmmaking. Can you believe this is the 24-Hour Film Royal's third year? Every year we talk about how much larger the community has grown and how much better the quality of everyone's work is becoming, but the leap from last year to this year is staggering! Not to mention that the number of brand new filmmakers who entered this year is incredibly inspiring! As per tradition, here's this year's behind-the-scenes documentary showing just a few of the teams doing what we all love: making movies. Here's to many more years of working together! Click the image for the behind-the-scenes video.