Getting up on Santa’s knee is a little different than cozying up to a 6ft rabbit even if it does have chocolate Easter eggs. But let the Easter Egg Hunt begin and all fear is quickly tossed aside and baskets filled with goodies. Several Easter Bunny sightings were reported in Soldotna over the holiday weekend. With PJ’s Family restaurant offering photo ops and Easter egg baskets filled with goodies for their customers and the new owners of the Peninsula Center Mall having the first major public Easter egg hunt in many years it was a delightful holiday for families of the Central Peninsula. While many little ones were a bit leery of posing with a 6ft rabbit, no one was shy when it came to filling their baskets with the hundreds of eggs hidden throughout the Peninsula Center Mall with a little help from the Easter Bunny’s helpers.
Alex Bias and Matt Steed of Bam Commercial Properties are the new owners and entrepreneurs of the Peninsula Center Mall and say the event was just the first of many to restore the Mall to its heyday as a place for the community to gather, shop and enjoy fun activities. “It was a great Easter celebration, we had face painting, the Easter Bunny, who I am personal friends with and an egg hunt with prizes and I don’t believe the Mall has seen this many people here at one time in a very long time, so we have a lot of ideas and holiday themed events planned for the future. The Mall is an important part of the community and our main focus is to return it to the way it used to be with hundreds of families walking around and enjoying their experience here,” Bias told the Dispatch in an interview. Alex and his partner Matt Steed own a local general contracting firm and have already upgraded the lighting and plan other improvements this summer, “We’ll have a new facelift this summer with new signage and other improvements that will restore it to its former glory for the community and our shop owners. “We want to attract more stores like the Play N Trade to attract the whole family to the mall. We have a 40% vacancy rate so there is a lot of opportunity to fill these areas with new store fronts and a great time for local folks to start up new businesses with the resurgence and growth of the economy on the Peninsula,” said Steed.