About Us

Hyland Hotel History

The Hyland Hotel, also briefly known as the Hotel Palmer and Everglenn Hotel, is a historic hotel building located at 333 W Evergreen Avenue in the heart of Palmer, Alaska. The Hyland Hotel is recognized as a building of historical significance by the city of Palmer and was officially listed by the United States Department of the Interior on the National Register of Historic Places on June 21, 1991. This property was built as a direct result of The New Deal Colony Settlement of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Alaska, where settlers were brought to the Matanuska-Susitna valley to colonize Alaska from 1935 – 1940.

It is a 2-1⁄2 story wood-frame structure with a front-gable roof and a glass-enclosed porch that has been converted to hotel rooms which extend across the front of the building. The original building was constructed in 1935 and measures 30 x 30 feet. A 10 x 14 foot addition was built on the rear of the building in 1953 to add additional living and storage space.

The Hyland Hotel was among the earliest commercial properties built in the new town of Palmer in 1935. Its establishment was an indication that private capital saw Palmer as an attractive business location and contributed to a feeling of permanence in the new town. Shortly after the arrival of the Matanuska Colony settlers, Myles and Joanna Hyland moved to Palmer from Girdwood Alaska where Myles had been working for the Alaska Railroad. The Hyland’s bought a lot of land from John Bugge, a pre-colony homesteader, in what is now downtown Palmer, and began building the hotel.

In September of 1935, the Hyland’s began digging the basement for the hotel by hand. To help financially, Joanna cooked and served meals in a tent on the property while the hotel was being built. Lumber for the hotel came from a dormitory that had stood at the nearby Eska coal mine. The Lutheran congregation purchased the dormitory and dismantled and moved it to Palmer to be used to build their church. The congregation sold the surplus lumber and windows which Myles and Joanna would use to build the hotel. The Hyland’s furnished the hotel with $100 worth of furniture they purchased in Anchorage and opened for business in 1936. When the hotel opened, single rooms rented for $3 a day and double rooms for $4 a day. Valley coal miners often rented rooms in the hotel during the winter months and the Hyland’s were able to establish a successful hotel business.

The Hyland’s operated the hotel together until Myles’ death in 1949, then Joanna took over on her own. Joanna later married a local miner named James Smith, and they operated the hotel until 1966. Except for a brief period in the late 1950s, the hotel has been in continuous operation since 1936.

For several decades, the building changed ownership and has most recently been operated as a month-to-month rental for local Palmer residents. Tenants who rented rooms by the month could expect to share a community bathroom with as many as six other tenants as only three of the eleven rooms had private bathrooms. Unpermitted modifications, ownership turnover, poor management, lack of preventive maintenance, and a lack of investor interest to commit the capital required to rehab the deteriorating property threatened the future of this historic building.

The building was most recently purchased in November of 2021 by a local Palmer couple looking to revive the building and preserve a piece of Palmer’s history. The new owners worked with tenants to help them find new accommodations and plan for moving expenses by refunding all deposits, forgiving late rent, forgiving late fees, and even allowing tenants to live rent free for their final month on the property. Full scale demolition work began in May of 2022 and the next chapter of the hotel began. After twelve months of hard work and extensive renovations, the Hyland Hotel renovations were finally complete, and the Hyland Hotel once again opened for business in May of 2023.

The building now boasts a total of four 1-bedroom suites and four hotel rooms, all with queen beds, desks, flat screen TVs, coffee makers, free Wi-Fi, individual climate-controlled heat, and most importantly, their own private bathrooms. The property now has indoor security cameras in common areas as well as outdoor cameras in the front and back of the building, and an updated fire alarm system which is remotely monitored by a third-party contractor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The new owners were unable to salvage much of the original materials as they had deteriorated beyond repair, but special care was taken to recreate the same colonial look and feel of the original building from 1936, including the use of the original radiators in the common areas on the first and second floors and carpenter style trim around doors and windows. In addition to repairs and upgrades, the new owners have incorporated unique design elements including built-in stained-glass features, custom doors, custom stair handrails, and accommodations which maximize the efficiency of the rooms while maintaining a comfortable, historical, and unique boutique feel for the newly renovated Hyland Hotel.

We have worked very hard to restore this building and establish a local family business here in Palmer. Every member of our family has personally labored on this project, including our two youngest children ages 9 and 11. We have poured countless hours, effort, and resources into this venture, and have done everything we could think of to create a special and unique experience for our guests. Our commitment to anyone staying on our property is that we will do everything possible to make sure your stay at our historic hotel is positive, memorable, safe, and comfortable. We want you to fall in love with our property and community the same way we have over the past 20+ years and look forward to doing our absolute best to make sure your stay with us meets or exceeds all your expectations!