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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions. 

They are presented here as questions. Jump down to the answer by clicking on the question.

  1. I don't have much to spend, what can I do in Fairbanks?
  2. When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
  3. How far is Fairbanks from Denali Park? (now includes distance calculator link)
  4. I am coming to Fairbanks in September. Since most places close on Labor Day, will there be anything left to see or do?
  5. Why are your italic typefaces hard to read on my Mac?
  6. Why are there events in the calendars with old dates?
  7. How can I add my event to your calendars?
  8. You get a lot of traffic - Can I buy advertising on your site?
  9. Why are there no motels or hotels on your site?

1. I don't have much to spend; what can I do in Fairbanks?

We, who have lived here most of our lives, want inexpensive things to do, too. So we have been searching out ways to enjoy Fairbanks without spending a fortune. You can find the results of our research at Fairbanks on a Shoestring. Check back now and then, as we continue to add to this page. If you have a little more money, check out our Summer Attractions page, our Winter Attractions page, and the Events page (for the dates you will be in Fairbanks.)

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2.When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

The Aurora Borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights, are present year round in the skies above Fairbanks. But they show up best in the winter months. Between April and July they are difficult, if not impossible to see, because of the midnight sun. The very best months for Aurora viewing are in the spring and fall; February, March, September, and October (the Ranch Motel staff recommends March for those wishing to see the ice carving competition, or September). 

For more information about this phenomenon, you can go to our Northern Lights page. UPDATE: BE SURE TO READ THAT PAGE ABOUT THE LOW LIGHTS IN 2009. The Geophysical Institute has been researching the phenomenon for years and has more information. If you tour their facility, they will show you a video about it.

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3. How far is Fairbanks from Denali Park?

Denali Park is 120 miles south of Fairbanks and 240 miles north of Anchorage. The Alaska Railroad makes daily trips to Anchorage every morning, stopping at Denali Park on the way. Below is a link to a calculator you can use to find the distance to or from Fairbanks to or from other places on the Alaska Highway:

Distance Calculator.

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4. What is there to do in September; and how about winter?

This is a good question. And so important that we have decided to add a page with ideas especially for September. You can find it here. For winter months, see this page.

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5. Why is your typeface hard to read on my Mac?

Our new site relies heavily on the Georgia font face, which may not come installed on your computer. When a browser cannot find the correct font, it will display using the default font. For Windows users, this usually means Times New Roman. But for the Mac, it usually means Times (which is similar, but has no italic). Lacking italic, it mechanically leans the type to mimic italic. It does not look well, especially at smaller sizes. We have been gradually lowering the use of italics on our pages. Most italics we use now are for headings, which are typically larger sizes.

To help our visitors with Macs solve this problem, we have added a Font Information Page, which explains the problem, offers a quick tutorial on web fonts, and helps you to download free fonts to solve the problem. Even windows users might benefit from this page!

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6. Why are there events in the calendars with old dates?

We can only update events as their organizers send up their new dates. Many of them do not do so, and there is so much happening we do not have a lot of time to search their websites looking for updates. Some of them do not update theirs until the month of the event! We always appreciate it when someone lets us know when new information is out and we will try to update our info as soon as we can. In the meantime, we purposely leave the old date (but try to highlight the year in yellow so you will notice) especially if the event is likely to be repeated the following year. That way, there is less typing to do when the event is updated, if not many other changes are made.

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7. How can I add my event to your calendars?

For the quickest action, email us your information in the format we normally use, so we can copy and paste. That will save us formatting time.

Start with the name of the event (not too long), followed by the date(s) in parentheses, and then the time, where and other info about what. At the end, put contact info, like a website, email or phone number. If we do not get new dates for a repeating event the next year, at least our readers will have a way to reach you to find out the new dates (and if we are lucky, they will then let us know!)

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8. You get a lot of traffic - can I buy advertising on your site?

Yes, we do allow discrete text advertising to help defray the cost of our site. The text ads may not include pictures; if you want pictures, opt for the full page mentioned below.

bulletA short paragraph (about 8 lines) with two outside links runs $30 a month, or $300 for a year (discount for paying by the year). You may suggest what page you want it on, but we do not guarantee that page.
bulletHalf that, with one link, would be $15 a month or $150 a year. You may suggest what page you want it on, but that placement is not guaranteed.
bulletIf you only want a link (no other text) to your business from an appropriate page, and it does not compete with our former sponsor, we will consider it for less year.
bulletWe also offer full pages designed with information from your own site (or that you provide) plus pictures and links, for a flat $500 a year ($450 if paid yearly) and will link it to one or more of our pages. If you give us the information, we will be happy to write up the content.

Here are the other guidelines:

bulletA text ad would be a paragraph on one page and could contain one link and four lines. (or 8 lines with 2 links). See above for pricing.
bulletYou may suggest on which pages you are interested in having your paragraph, and we will let you know which of them are available.
bulletThe text must be approved by us, and cannot be in direct competition with the Ranch Motel, which sponsors our site. We will be happy to edit it to better fit our site.
bulletWe are a little picky about some types of businesses, so if you represent, for example, a bar or "adult" entertainment, do not bother to apply. We are a family-friendly site!
bulletPayment can be by PayPal if you wish (which takes credit cards as well).
bulletTo inquire further, email TheWebmaster at the name of our site, Fairbanks-Alaska.com. We are open to other ideas as well - it never hurts to ask.

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9. Why are there no motels or hotels on your site?

Our first sponsor, for many years, was the Ranch Motel. In deference to them, we have always limited out site to that one motel. We are now in the process of separating them out to their own site, to help them cut down on some of the calls that concern the website, rather than the motel. They will be located at http://TheRanchMotel.com when the separation is completed.

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For questions regarding this site, or for site updates, please e-mail our webmaster at "thewebmaster" @ "fairbanks-alaska.com" after first removing the spaces and quote marks. See the FAQ for info on advertising on this site. This site of information is provided & Copyrightę1998-2015 by Aurora WebMasters, all rights reserved. This page last modified: Saturday, December 20, 2014.

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