Frank Kelty moved to Unalaska in the 1970s and says it has grown significantly since then. He says there were about 400 full-time residents then. Now there are more than 4,000.
“The quality of life in this community is great. It’s a great place for families now,” Kelty said. “We have many of the residents that started out as seasonal and now make their homes here.”
But Unalaska is a bit removed from the rest of the state, with limited ferry service and expensive transportation options. Housing costs are also a concern, as are fuel costs, and the cost of living.
Kelty says the community does a great job of managing the fishery in the area.
“I think we’ve been blessed to have excellent management on the federal and state side,” he said. Kelty says he was there when the town went through the crab boom and bust in the early 80’s.
“Unalaska was devastated,” he said. “We were a one-horse town in those days.”
He says when the ground fish industry started in 1986 it brought new vitality to the community.
To Kelty, Unalaska is unlike any other place you will ever visit. It has rich Aleut culture, weather extremes, and beauty not like many other places.