Nome is a city in the Nome Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska, located on the southern Seward Peninsula coast on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea. According to the 2010 Census, the city population was 3,598. Nome was incorporated on April 9, 1901, and was once the most populous city in Alaska. Nome lies within the region of the Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC). The city of Nome claims to be home to the World's largest gold pan, although this claim has been disputed by the Canadian city of Quesnel, British Columbia. In the winter of 1925, a diphtheria epidemic raged among Inuit in the Nome area. Fierce territory-wide blizzard conditions prevented delivery of a life-saving serum by airplane from Anchorage. A relay of dog sled teams was organized to deliver the serum. The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this historic event.
Nome has a seaport, used by freight ships and cruise ships, located at 64° 30’ N and 165° 24’ W on the southern side of the Seward Peninsula in Norton Sound. The Corps of Engineers completed the Nome Harbor Improvements Project in the summer of 2006 adding a 3,025 ft (922 m) breakwater east of the existing Causeway and a 270 ft (82 m) spur on the end of the Causeway making it to a total of 2,982 feet (909 m). The City Dock (south) on the Causeway is equipped with marine headers to handle the community's bulk cargo and fuel deliveries. The City Dock is approximately 200 feet (61 m) in length with a depth of 22.5 feet (MLLW). The WestGold Dock (north) is 190 feet (58 m) in length with the same depth of 22.5 feet (ML,LW). The Westgold dock handles nearly all of the exported rock/gravel for this region and is the primary location to load/unload heavy equipment. The opening between the new breakwater and the Causeway (Outer Harbor Entrance) is approximately 500 feet (150 m) in width and serves as access to both Causeway deep water docks and the new Snake River entrance that leads into the Small Boat Harbor. The old entrance along the seawall has been filled in and is no longer navigable. (See photos on website) Buoys outline the navigation channel from the outer harbor entrance into the inner harbor. The Nome Small Boat Harbor has a depth of 10 feet (MLLW) and offers protected mooring for recreational and fishing vessels alongside 2 floating docks. Smaller cargo vessels and landing crafts load village freight and fuel at the east, west and south inner harbor sheet pile docks, east beach landing and west barge ramp for delivery in the region. A new addition to the Nome facility in 2005 was a 60-foot-wide (18 m) concrete barge ramp located inside the inner harbor just west of the Snake River entrance. The ramp provides the bulk cargo carriers with a suitable location closer to the Causeway to trans-load freight to landing crafts and roll equipment on and off barges. This location also has approximately 2 acres (8,100 m2) of uplands to be used for container, vessel and equipment storage.
The road system leading from Nome is extensive, though sparsely used during the winter months and leads mostly through remote terrain Local roads lead to Teller, Council and the Kougarok River. There are also smaller roads to communities up to 54 miles (87 km) from Nome, yet no road connection to the other major cities of Alaska. There are no railroads going to or from Nome. A 500-mile (800 km) road project (Manley Hot Springs–Nome) is being discussed in Alaska. It has been estimated (in 2010) to cost $2.3 to $2.7 billion, or approximately $5 million per mile.
Nome is a regional center of transportation for surrounding villages. There are two state-owned airports.
- Nome Airport - public-use airport located two nautical miles (3.7 km) west of the Central business district of Nome, it has two asphalt paved runways: 3/21 measures 5,576 by 150 feet (1,700 x 46 m) and 10/28 is 6,001 by 150 feet (1,829 x 46 m). An $8.5 million airport improvement project is nearing completion.
- Nome City Field - a public-use airport located one nautical mile (1.85 km) north of the central business district of Nome, it has one runway designated 3/21 with a gravel surface measuring 1,950. It is serviced by general aviation.
- The University of Alaska Fairbanks operates a regional satellite facility in Nome called the Northwest Campus (formerly known as Northwest Community College).
Nome is served by the Nome City School District and the following public schools:
- Nome Elementary School, serves grades PK-6
- Nome-Beltz Junior/Senior High School, serves grades 7-12.
- Anvil City Science Academy, a 5-8 charter magnet, is also part of the school district.
- Nome Adventist School, a private school encompassing grades 1 through 9.