We (4 adults) stayed at our cabin (mile 88 area of Parks Hwy) on Sunday night. Monday we used to drive up to Denali, stopping in Talkeetna and many other of our favorite spots heading north.
We arrived in Talkeetna about 11 am on Monday for the 1st time (and last) this summer. I've been in Talkeetna a couple of times throughout winter and spring. For me the "Alaskan small village charm" had completely disappeared. I can deal with (barely) the several bits of new construction and completely understand the need for tourism and the small time the community has to get the money from the tourists. I could not deal with what I can only refer to as a "3rd worldish" type of environment that has "popped-up" there... people approaching me on the street to buy their product (come to my kiosk/tent to see/buy this, "I have the best stuff/price/product"!!!!). People also approached me looking to sell their service to help me/us cross the little stream from recent "over-flow" on the Talkeetna side of the river (so you could get to the river). This consisted of aiding you across a small tree for 6 feet. I was very surprised (and disappointed) at the number of "easy-ups" and "independent" vendors selling their wares. I've been to Talkeetna 50+ times over the past 8 years and at this point and time it was completely void of AK, I'll return and hopefully catch a meal at the Wildflower Cafe before they close up, hit-up the Roadhouse, the pizza place, West Rib, etc. during the winter, and chat with some of the residents.
By the way way, the campground in Talkeetna (near the river) was completely empty.