Construction is now underway for Soldotna's new 63 room Aspen Hotel, and is expected to be open for business by next spring.
It all began when Joe Merdes, Aspen Hotel consultant, was talking with former Soldotna Mayor Ken Lancaster during the statewide Municipal League convention held here a few years ago.
"Ken said to me, you need to talk some of your people into building a hotel down here, we're short of rooms down here. So I planted some seeds with Aspen owner George Swift, and now we're on the road to an April 2002 opening," said Merdes at the official ground breaking last week at the new location.
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While the new hotel will add rooms for smaller events in the local area, it will not meet the need of a convention facility in the Central Peninsula, according to Carol Giliam, Vice President of Aspen Hotels. The rooms will be quite unique featuring family suites with separate rooms for the kids featuring bunk beds and Sony play stations and four poster king size beds for Mom & Dad.
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