A day at Tikahtnu Commons

The Regal Cinemas Stadium at Tikahtnu Commons boasts of Alaska’s only IMAX theater. Photo by Chris Arend.
The Regal Cinemas Stadium at Tikahtnu Commons boasts of Alaska’s only IMAX theater. Photo by Chris Arend.

In just seven years, Tikahtnu Commons has become Anchorage’s largest retail and entertainment center, representing one of CIRI’s most successful investments. While bringing a variety of quality retailers and restaurants to Tikahtnu is a serious business for CIRI, it’s fun to unleash the imagination and think about all that could be accomplished in a day at Tikahtnu Commons.

Outside the Starbucks at Tikahtnu Commons, coffee in hand, you pause in the sunlight, close your eyes, and wonder: Why would you ever leave? Tikahtnu Commons has it all.

It’s a flight of fancy during a mid-workday oasis. Obviously, you’re not going to quit your job and pitch a tent in the parking lot outside Target, living off the Pick-a-Pancake combo and bottomless coffee from IHOP. But as you linger outside Starbucks, indulging this fantasy, it starts to seem not so crazy. One glance around Tikahtnu Commons, and you can easily envision how life as its sole resident would look.

Mornings would start with that IHOP stack – or, if you’re not in the mood for pancakes, you can swing over to McDonald’s for a McGriddle and hash browns. Never one to procrastinate, next you’ll take care of business by stopping by Denali Federal Credit Union to check on your personal funds.

International House of Pancakes. Photo by Joel Irwin.
International House of Pancakes. Photo by Joel Irwin.

With that out of the way, the fun can begin. Stops at Great Clips (where a shampoo and trim will set you back a mere $18), Massage Envy (one-hour massage: $39.99 for members; $79.99 for non- members) and Celebrity Nail and Spa (mani/pedi: $50) will have you coiffed, calmed and ’cured just in time to comparison shop for the new iPhone 6. You’ve got your choice of carrier here, between Alaska Communications, AT&T, GCI or Verizon, with its newly opened shop – next door to Sunsation Tanning, where it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or how little sun we Alaskans are getting.

You’ve got some time to kill before lunch, so you decide to take up a hobby. The only difficulty is in choosing your new interest: Woodworking? You could build an entire house with the lumber and tools at Lowe’s. Outdoor activities? At Sports Authority, you can buy an integrated ski system, boots, helmet and gloves, and be ready to hit the slopes as soon as the snow flies. How about a new furry companion? You’ll stock up on leashes, brushes and treats at Pet Smart. Or, with no fewer than three branches of the military recruiting at Tikahtnu, instead of wasting time with hobbies, you could embark on a whole new career.

By now, your stomach is sending out an S.O.S., so it’s time to find a place to eat. Luckily, at Tikahtnu, this isn’t a problem. For lighter fare, you can wander over to Kenny’s Kitchen or Subway. In the mood for something spicy? A burrito at Qdoba or some Kamikaze wings at Wild Wings and Things will do the trick. Afterwards, you’ll cool down with a yogurt smoothie at Fruitland Fresh, a fro-yo at Avalance Frozen Yogurt or a small ice cream with unlimited mix-ins ($5.49) at Marble Slab.

Restaurants, credit unions video game outlets… Tikahtnu Commons has it all! Photo by Judy Patrick.
Restaurants, credit unions video game outlets… Tikahtnu Commons has it all! Photo by Judy Patrick.

Next stop, GameStop, where you’ll pick up the hottest video game on the market, “Destiny,” for $59.99. You can’t resist dropping into Best Buy next to drool over the 60-inch ultra-high definition televisions – $1499.99 on sale. For the real high-def, surround-sound experience, though, you head to Regal Tikahtnu Stadium 16 to see The Maze Runner in Imax ($17.25 for the 4:30 showing, $8.25 for a large popcorn and $6 for a large soda).

You don’t know how you can be hungry after movie popcorn, but somehow you find yourself moseying over to Texas Roadhouse, where a 20-ounce bone-in ribeye will set you back $29.99. If steak doesn’t suit you, though, you’re at no loss for options, between Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl, Red Robin’s array of entrees, wraps and soups and pizza from Firetap or Great Alaskan Pizza Company.

Next, you’ll walk off dinner by doing a little clothes shopping at Kohl’s and Old Navy (pants are on sale for $19 and up, plus they’re hiring!). With Halloween coming up, at Partycraft you can even pick up an Incredible Hulk costume, complete with built-in muscles, for $26.99 – or, if you’re feeling thrifty, you can settle for a 99-cent eye patch and a pirate beard for $3.79 (parrot not included; this might call for another visit to Pet Stop).

It’s getting late; the early autumn Alaskan sun is disappearing behind the Target logo tower, and you’re feeling sleepy. You could knock on the door over at True Life Chiropractic, see if they’d mind if you took a nap on one of their tables. Or you could keep this party going – there might be a show at Firetap tonight, or you could take in another movie, or wander the aisles of Sam’s Club, marveling at the giant tubs of mayonnaise. All you need is a pick- me-up in the form of a quad-shot Americano from Starbucks…

You shake yourself from your reverie. In the time it’s taken you to finish your coffee, you’ve lived out an entire (imaginary) day, all right here at Tikahtnu Commons – and you haven’t even visited every store and restaurant on the property. Okay, so you might not want to live here full-time (that tent you dreamed of pitching in the parking lot would get awfully cold come winter). But it’s nice to know that in this busy, non-stop world, one-stop shopping really is a reality at Tikahtnu Commons.

Tikahtnu Stores