If attendance at the Annual Builders Show is an economic indicator, the Kenai Peninsula is in for a record breaking summer. According to Cindy Heaverley, executive officer with the Kenai Peninsula Builders Association (KPBA) the previous high attendance was 5,000 visitors set in 2002 and equaled in '03.
"The people seem to come rain or shine, early or late spring," said Heaverley.
Rick Abbott and Paul Moses of SBS, co-sponsors of the Home Show, greet visitors.
Spenard Builders Supply was a co-sponsor of the Home Show this year along with the KPBA and has been a strong supporter since the show's inception a quarter of a century ago. "We had the first shows at the Armory and Kenai Mall and the vendors had to literally build their own booths," said Heaverley. This year the Show featured 120 different vendors, and according to Heaverley, the 2005 Home Show is already sold out.
"There was a great deal of community interest at this year's show, a lot of new vendors and a lot of new creative products and I think things will really start busting loose here in the next few weeks and overall I think we'll see good economic growth this year," said Moses, known as the SBS guru because of his Home Show crystal ball predictions.
Bruce Jackman times 5-year-old Kiana Cissell at Habitat for Humanity's nail pounding contest.
"I always use a lot of hindsight in my predications, and the fact that people forget what I said last year is a big part of always being accurate. But bottom line, this is a great community and it's always a good year," added Moses. The late spring drew a lot of interest at the spa booths. "It's a way of bringing a little bit of summer all winter long, you can watch the Aurora and still be warm. In the summer we call them Alaska swimming pools and the kids love them," said Rhonda, at the Alaska Spa Headquarters booth.
From pots and pans to locally made log furniture, worms for recycling, to home safety, and even the first opportunity to buy memorabilia for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, there was something for everyone. The long winter was given credit for the record breaking attendance which exceeded 5,200 visitors for the first time in history. "My favorite addition this year was the 4-H Petting Zoo," said Heaverley, "It really added to the show and the 4-H kids worked their hearts out helping hundreds of kids all day long enjoy petting their animals, they really did an exceptional job."
Kids enjoyed the 4-H Club petting zoo at the Builders show, 4-H Club members Valerie & Rachel Mackie, Johnnie Dexheimer, with Kendra & Bill Ashwell.
The raffle for the sauna raised $4,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula, and was delivered by the KPBA to the winner King Titera of Nikiski. The sauna was built by KPBA president Tim Moerlein, of Moerlein General Contractors and the materials were donated by Spenard Builders Supply. Scott McBride of Kenai won the $500 cash give aways. "There was heavy support in all the give aways this year, especially the one for the $500 cash. I had to print 1,000 extra tickets on Saturday because we ran out," said Heaverley.
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