The renovation of Kenai Landing as a tourist destination and community center has taken its first step into reality. According to John Faulkner, one of the owners of the newly opened establishment, the floating dock has been opened for public access, along with the new Sockeyes Restaurant, lodging facilities, and 8 to 10 stores featuring local art & crafts. Faulkner describes the new facility in a word as, "'Unique.' It's a historic community, it's very large (65 acres), it's a visitor facility, but it's also mixed use. It's unlike anything that exists in Alaska, so I can only compare it to Pier 21 in San Francisco, or like Pikes Street Market in Seattle, but it's none the less a conversion of a former cannery." Faulkner says mixed use visitor facility because there is also a viable commercial fish processing component that remains in operation at the Landing, in addition to the restaurant, shops, and nature trails. "It's all very much focused on the visitor industry and that means local Alaskans as much as it means out of state people, and it's designed to provide multiple attractions and reasons to visit," said Faulkner, who also owns Lands End in Homer, and the Van Gilder Hotel in Seward.
Faulkner says that even though they are now open, the project is far from being completed, "What we have now is very representative of where we want to take the project and there is already plenty there for people to do and enjoy, so our plan is to take it slow and accommodate those who come, without a grand media blitz at this point," Faulkner told the Kenai Chamber of Commerce recently. Kenai Landing will close for the winter, but long term plans are to eventually keep the resort open year round. Faulkner is a life long Alaskan who moved to Homer in 1988.
August 27th, Sockeyes restaurant will host the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's annual Soup Supper, an event that has traditionally sold out in advance for lack of space. Not to be confused with the Kenai City Harbor, Kenai Landing is off of Cannery Road, which is about 2 miles out Kalifornsky Beach Rd. after the Bridge Access intersection, about a mile down Cannery Rd. to end of the pavement on the right. Kenai Landing is now open seven days a week from 11:00am to 11:00pm and the Mall opens at 10:00am.
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