The former Golden Lion Hotel was not used by a “for profit” company according to Director of Office of Economic & Community Development Adam Trombley.

Trombley made his comments at the Navigation Center listening session last evening in response to questions presented to him by Anchorage Action co-founder Andrew Gray.

Responding to a question about WEKA’s use of the Municipality of Anchorage owned property, Trombley explained why the Bronson Administration did not charge WEKA when they stood up their COVID-19 treatment center in the former Golden Lion Hotel.

“The facility was not used for a for-profit company. They actually, I don’t know, I don’t know their business model but we did not, we did not charge them. And we have the ability to not charge them under our rules for real estate because, you know, because I believe they were a non-profit.”

I’m unable to locate any state documents that indicate WEKA to be a “nonprofit.”

Trombley then asked outloud whether he was correct about his statement. Noticeably, nobody on the Navigation Center listening panel responded to his question and Trombley said he would get more information about the subject at a later time.

Continuing with his response to Gray, Trombley said that while he was not familiar with how much WEKA charged for their COVID-19 treatment services, he believed WEKA had lost money as a result of providing its “service” to the community.

WEKA had been charging patients an upfront premium treatment fee of $550 and billing individual health insurance. Some former WEKA patients have stated that they were under the belief that their insurance companies would reimburse them for the out-of-pocket upfront treatment fee. Some former patients have said they received no such reimbursement and have been in communication with Alaska DHSS, who have reportedly been fielding WEKA-related billing complaints.

On April 20 it was revealed that the Mayor’s Office through Municipal Manager Amy Demboski signed a Use Agreement Permit that allowed WEKA to stand up their COVID-19 treatment operations in the former Golden Lion Hotel and that the MOA had paid WEKA’s utility costs while they operated there. In addition, the Anchorage Health Department through the city’s emergency preparedness program, made cots, medical carts, wheelchairs and associated equipment available to WEKA in support of the delivery of monoclonal antibody treatments to COVID-19 patients.

Trombley’s response to Gray can be viewed below.