35th Annual Home Show forecasts robust Peninsula economy

The Home Show just like spring was early this year and that was perfect timing for anxious home builders and residents eager to get their summer projects underway after a mild winter. A beautiful clear spring Friday was followed by two inches of snow to open the show on Saturday and encouraged thousands to attend the 35th Annual event.“It’s been fantastic with people going to all the different booths and eager to get summer and excited to be living on the Kenai,” said Rick Abbott, SBS Soldotna manager in an interview with the Dispatch.Over the years the popular Paul Moses of SBS who helped organize the first Home Show on the Peninsula would forecast the summer economy for the local area based on the attendance and support of the event, along with other mystical logarithms and balances of nature.Moses retired a few years ago with a 100% perfect record for his predictions.Stepping up to continue the crystal ball tradition have been SBS managers Jeff Warton in Kenai and Rick Abbott in Soldotna. Warton’s forecast last year of an active summer turned out to be an underestimation of the robust 2013 building and real estate season, “2013 was indeed an outstanding year on the Peninsula and this year as we look to the continued activity out the North Rd. an elsewhere so I don’t need Paul’s crystal ball to predict an outstanding year for the Peninsula at least comparable to last year,” said Abbott.

In her annual wrap up for the show Cindy Rombach, executive officer for the Kenai Peninsula Builders Assoc. (KPBA) reported, “Dreams to Build On, was an appropriate theme this year as the show was a dream come true,” she said, “ It was a sold out show with an arena full of exhibitors. Attendance was extremely strong and we were happy to see the large number of families present.Joe Gallagher from Homer Electric Association presented $500 cash to Jackie Boisvert, this year’s winner. Jackie took her entry form around the show to KPBA member booths to have her form stamped, and ended up being the 2014 lucky winner. We started the Home Show stamping 15 years ago as a fun way to spotlight our KPBA member exhibitors, and it’s still going strong today. HEA is our original sponsor, and continues to support this popular Home Show tradition,” she said.

The Annual Garden Shed Raffle to benefit the KPBA Scholarship Fund was won by Claude Wall. Claude purchased his winning ticket at the show on Sunday. “This year the KPBA will be awarding four $1,000 scholarships to area youth who are pursuing building related careers. Our thanks to the community for supporting this worthwhile fundraiser through the years,” said Cindy. During the show door prizes were given away every ten minutes throughout the weekend, and hundreds of show-goers walked away with everything from hefty gift cards to local building supply companies, to lawn furniture, to hanging baskets, to beautiful handmade exotic wood tables. “Builders reported high interest in building and remodeling projects with a lot of great questions being asked and information provided from our members and vendors,” she reported.

The gas grill sponsored by First American Title was won by Owen Gaard of Soldotna; the mountain bike sponsored by Stewart Title was won by Holly Geib of Soldotna.Another indicator of the successful Home Show will be that if have a project you’re dreaming of the sooner you start the greater the changes of finishing before the snow flies in the fall. “KPBA is already planning for and looking forward to the 36th Annual show!” said Cindy.