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Progress Days highlights city's commerce

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2003

In the months of June, July and August, Soldotna becomes a buzzing hive of commercial activity, with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services to choose from.

This year, the Soldotna Progress Days parade will highlight the businesses which give the city its distinctive frenzied flavor with this year's theme, "There's no business like Soldotna business."

Located at the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, it's natural that Soldotna would become the focal point of the area's business community. The city is strategically located to take advantage of both automobile and boat traffic, with both the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways, as well as the Kenai River, passing through town.

The location makes a big difference when it comes to finding customers. Soldotna's Mike Sweeney has owned and operated Sweeney's Clothing for 15 years. He said one of the main keys to his business is the fact that he's strategically located at the center of the action on the central peninsula.

"For many years, we've had very good tourist business," Sweeney said.

Sweeney's store specializes in selling apparel to fishers, hikers, hunters and workers who spend a lot of time outdoors. He said the key to his success lies in the fact that he's been able to capitalize on the market that's available in town.

"We have a niche we fill," he said.

Business often depends on what's going on out on the river. When fishers or dipnetters hit town, Sweeney said he definitely sees business for things like rubber boots and rain gear pick up. In fact, once dipnetting opened on the Kenai River, Sweeney said business remained strong, even though sunny weather may have cost him a few rain jacket sales.

"It's been a good, strong week," he said, a week after the dipnetting frenzy began.

What the river can give Soldotna business, it can also take away. When the Alaska Depart-ment of Fish and Game ordered king salmon fishing closed in June of 2002 due to a poor return of fish, business in the city struggled. In fact, things got so bad that many business owners wondered aloud whether they'd make it. However, the fish returned in July, just in time to get business picked up again.

Doing business in the city often depends on filling a need. That fact can be seen everywhere across town, as new shops and restaurants seem to be popping up constantly.

The city is home to more than 30 restaurants, several tackle shops, an Internet cafe, hotels, variety stores, hobby shops and just about everything in between from a "big box" store to an independent skate and snowboard shop.

The idea that the city is a haven for both businesses small and large played prominently in the decision to honor the city's businesses with this year's Progress Days theme.

According to Soldotna Chamber of Commerce member services manager Erica William-son, the chamber wanted to do something to highlight the fact that the business community is what makes the city go. She said parade-goers can expect to see a host of commerce-themed parade entries this year.

"Some will probably really decorate on the theme," she said, though she cautioned there's always a few free spirits in every parade. "Some follow their own rules."

Considering the variety of commercial services available in Soldotna, that might be an apt description of the town's business people.

By MATT TUNSETH

Peninsula Clarion

In the months of June, July and August, Soldotna becomes a buzzing hive of commercial activity, with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services to choose from.

This year, the Soldotna Progress Days parade will highlight the businesses which give the city its distinctive frenzied flavor with this year's theme, "There's no business like Soldotna business."

Located at the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, it's natural that Soldotna would become the focal point of the area's business community. The city is strategically located to take advantage of both automobile and boat traffic, with both the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways, as well as the Kenai River, passing through town.

The location makes a big difference when it comes to finding customers. Soldotna's Mike Sweeney has owned and operated Sweeney's Clothing for 15 years. He said one of the main keys to his business is the fact that he's strategically located at the center of the action on the central peninsula.

"For many years, we've had very good tourist business," Sweeney said.

Sweeney's store specializes in selling apparel to fishers, hikers, hunters and workers who spend a lot of time outdoors. He said the key to his success lies in the fact that he's been able to capitalize on the market that's available in town.

"We have a niche we fill," he said.

Business often depends on what's going on out on the river. When fishers or dipnetters hit town, Sweeney said he definitely sees business for things like rubber boots and rain gear pick up. In fact, once dipnetting opened on the Kenai River, Sweeney said business remained strong, even though sunny weather may have cost him a few rain jacket sales.

"It's been a good, strong week," he said, a week after the dipnetting frenzy began.

What the river can give Soldotna business, it can also take away. When the Alaska Depart-ment of Fish and Game ordered king salmon fishing closed in June of 2002 due to a poor return of fish, business in the city struggled. In fact, things got so bad that many business owners wondered aloud whether they'd make it. However, the fish returned in July, just in time to get business picked up again.

Doing business in the city often depends on filling a need. That fact can be seen everywhere across town, as new shops and restaurants seem to be popping up constantly.

The city is home to more than 30 restaurants, several tackle shops, an Internet cafe, hotels, variety stores, hobby shops and just about everything in between from a "big box" store to an independent skate and snowboard shop.

The idea that the city is a haven for both businesses small and large played prominently in the decision to honor the city's businesses with this year's Progress Days theme.

According to Soldotna Chamber of Commerce member services manager Erica William-son, the chamber wanted to do something to highlight the fact that the business community is what makes the city go. She said parade-goers can expect to see a host of commerce-themed parade entries this year.

"Some will probably really decorate on the theme," she said, though she cautioned there's always a few free spirits in every parade. "Some follow their own rules."

Considering the variety of commercial services available in Soldotna, that might be an apt description of the town's business people.

By MATT TUNSETH

Peninsula Clarion

In the months of June, July and August, Soldotna becomes a buzzing hive of commercial activity, with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services to choose from.

This year, the Soldotna Progress Days parade will highlight the businesses which give the city its distinctive frenzied flavor with this year's theme, "There's no business like Soldotna business."

Located at the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, it's natural that Soldotna would become the focal point of the area's business community. The city is strategically located to take advantage of both automobile and boat traffic, with both the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways, as well as the Kenai River, passing through town.

The location makes a big difference when it comes to finding customers. Soldotna's Mike Sweeney has owned and operated Sweeney's Clothing for 15 years. He said one of the main keys to his business is the fact that he's strategically located at the center of the action on the central peninsula.

"For many years, we've had very good tourist business," Sweeney said.

Sweeney's store specializes in selling apparel to fishers, hikers, hunters and workers who spend a lot of time outdoors. He said the key to his success lies in the fact that he's been able to capitalize on the market that's available in town.

"We have a niche we fill," he said.

Business often depends on what's going on out on the river. When fishers or dipnetters hit town, Sweeney said he definitely sees business for things like rubber boots and rain gear pick up. In fact, once dipnetting opened on the Kenai River, Sweeney said business remained strong, even though sunny weather may have cost him a few rain jacket sales.

"It's been a good, strong week," he said, a week after the dipnetting frenzy began.

What the river can give Soldotna business, it can also take away. When the Alaska Depart-ment of Fish and Game ordered king salmon fishing closed in June of 2002 due to a poor return of fish, business in the city struggled. In fact, things got so bad that many business owners wondered aloud whether they'd make it. However, the fish returned in July, just in time to get business picked up again.

Doing business in the city often depends on filling a need. That fact can be seen everywhere across town, as new shops and restaurants seem to be popping up constantly.

The city is home to more than 30 restaurants, several tackle shops, an Internet cafe, hotels, variety stores, hobby shops and just about everything in between from a "big box" store to an independent skate and snowboard shop.

The idea that the city is a haven for both businesses small and large played prominently in the decision to honor the city's businesses with this year's Progress Days theme.

According to Soldotna Chamber of Commerce member services manager Erica William-son, the chamber wanted to do something to highlight the fact that the business community is what makes the city go. She said parade-goers can expect to see a host of commerce-themed parade entries this year.

"Some will probably really decorate on the theme," she said, though she cautioned there's always a few free spirits in every parade. "Some follow their own rules."

Considering the variety of commercial services available in Soldotna, that might be an apt description of the town's business people.

Clarion file photo

The theme of this year's Progress Days is There's No Business Like Soldotna Business.

Progress Days highlights city's commerce

By MATT TUNSETH

Peninsula Clarion

In the months of June, July and August, Soldotna becomes a buzzing hive of commercial activity, with a wide variety of shops, restaurants and services to choose from.

This year, the Soldotna Progress Days parade will highlight the businesses which give the city its distinctive frenzied flavor with this year's theme, "There's no business like Soldotna business."

Located at the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, it's natural that Soldotna would become the focal point of the area's business community. The city is strategically located to take advantage of both automobile and boat traffic, with both the Sterling and Kenai Spur highways, as well as the Kenai River, passing through town.

The location makes a big difference when it comes to finding customers. Soldotna's Mike Sweeney has owned and operated Sweeney's Clothing for 15 years. He said one of the main keys to his business is the fact that he's strategically located at the center of the action on the central peninsula.

"For many years, we've had very good tourist business," Sweeney said.

Sweeney's store specializes in selling apparel to fishers, hikers, hunters and workers who spend a lot of time outdoors. He said the key to his success lies in the fact that he's been able to capitalize on the market that's available in town.

"We have a niche we fill," he said.

Business often depends on what's going on out on the river. When fishers or dipnetters hit town, Sweeney said he definitely sees business for things like rubber boots and rain gear pick up. In fact, once dipnetting opened on the Kenai River, Sweeney said business remained strong, even though sunny weather may have cost him a few rain jacket sales.

"It's been a good, strong week," he said, a week after the dipnetting frenzy began.

What the river can give Soldotna business, it can also take away. When the Alaska Depart-ment of Fish and Game ordered king salmon fishing closed in June of 2002 due to a poor return of fish, business in the city struggled. In fact, things got so bad that many business owners wondered aloud whether they'd make it. However, the fish returned in July, just in time to get business picked up again.

Doing business in the city often depends on filling a need. That fact can be seen everywhere across town, as new shops and restaurants seem to be popping up constantly.

The city is home to more than 30 restaurants, several tackle shops, an Internet cafe, hotels, variety stores, hobby shops and just about everything in between from a "big box" store to an independent skate and snowboard shop.

The idea that the city is a haven for both businesses small and large played prominently in the decision to honor the city's businesses with this year's Progress Days theme.

According to Soldotna Chamber of Commerce member services manager Erica William-son, the chamber wanted to do something to highlight the fact that the business community is what makes the city go. She said parade-goers can expect to see a host of commerce-themed parade entries this year.

"Some will probably really decorate on the theme," she said, though she cautioned there's always a few free spirits in every parade. "Some follow their own rules."

Considering the variety of commercial services available in Soldotna, that might be an apt description of the town's business people.



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