As the winter comes to a close, I would like to point out some events and happenings that had great economic impact to our area but go unnoticed, to some, as an economic benefit.
Soldotna had the privilege of hosting the KPHA State Pee Wee B Hockey Tournament. The tournament encompassed 11 teams from around the state with more than 200 players, plus families and coaches for each. The hotels were full. The stores, coffee shops and restaurants were busy. The following is a letter I received from a Mat-Su "hockey mom":
"From the MatSu Eagles Pee Wee B hockey team and their families!
We were recent guests of your city for our State Pee Wee B hockey tournament. The hockey tournament was hosted by KPHA and coordinator Phillipa Sonnichsen (who should hereby be renamed Saint Phil!).
We may be called the MatSu Eagles, but your city's folks made us feel like the Kings!
Another hockey mom and myself treated ourselves to a pedicure at Hey, Good Lookin! Those pretty little gals made us feel like Zsa Zsa and Eva. I snuck in a tan or two at the new spa on the corner (I think it's the Ultimate Tan and Toes). The owner and her mom remembered my name, my hometown and my team. Talk about customer service! And the signage at Sisters Espresso wishing the "Pee Wee B's good luck" brought us back more than once. We needed the caffeine and enjoyed the hockey talk!
And I would be remiss without mentioning the staff of the Aspen, who kept smiling while housing three hockey teams. That's a feat that would drive most of us to drink (and maybe it did), but during working hours they always greeted us with warm smiles and clean towels.
Thanks again from this hockey mom on behalf of our team. Although we didn't bring home the gold, we felt we "struck gold" by spending time in your city.
MAHA hockey mom"
I called Diane Firmani to get her permission to reprint this letter, and she reiterated her families' pleasure with the time they spent in Soldotna. This tournament is only one example of many held in our area throughout the year.
From the chamber of commerce, we thank you, to Phillipa Sonnichson and all the unnamed volunteers who give their time to events in our cities that spur economic development and give our visitors genuine hospitality.
Nothing showcases our community better than our caring citizens completely rolling out the red carpet for our visitors. Thank you for making us feel proud to be a host.
Soldotna Chamber of Commerce
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