Business Briefs

Posted: Thursday, September 07, 2000

Regional Tourism Conference will convene in Kenai

The Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council holds its Regional Tourism Conference, Alaska-2000, Sept. 22-23 in Kenai.

Keynote speaker is Jay Rifenbary, president of the Rifenbary Training & Development Center and author of "No Excuse! I'm Doing It," a new philosophy for overcoming obstacles and achieving excellence. Sessions at the Challenger Learning Center, Kenai Senior Center and Kenai Visitors and Convention Bureau include a simulated space mission and seminars on leadership, sales tactics and "Jazzing Up Your Business." The culinary theme is Cajun, with a New Orleans breakfast, a gumbo and jambalaya lunch and an awards banquet and auction featuring crawfish, shrimp, king crab, free beer and Dixieland jazz.

Pie auction is Oct. 21

A trip for two to Hawaii is the grand prize at this year's Soldotna Chamber of Commerce Pie Auction, coming Oct. 21 to the Soldotna Sports Center. Some 45 pies will be up for auction, each with a secret prize attached. The evening begins with a no-host bar at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. The theme is Hawaiian, and the luau includes Hawaiian music, roast pig and leis. The auction starts at 7:30 p.m., with Norm Blakeley of Blakeley's Auction at the podium. Call the chamber at 262-9814 and reserve a table for 10 for $200. Proceeds support the chamber's scholarship program and other Merchant Committee programs.

Tourism awards announced

Soldotna's Paul Gray was winner of the Outstanding Individual in Tourism award at Industry Appreciation Day, held Aug. 26 in Kenai. Gray has been in the media business for 13 years, first publishing a weekly newspaper, then producing a weekly television show, "Exploring Alaska." He has aired shows that depict the best of the Kenai Peninsula and offers videos that promote the area, according to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. Gray also helps at trade shows and serves on the Soldotna and Alaska chamber of commerce boards.

Era Aviation took the Outstanding Business in Tourism award. Era has been flying for 50 years and offers more than 90 flights per day in Southcentral and Western Alaska and the Yukon Territory. It operates as an Alaska Airlines partner and donates frequently to nonprofit groups. Print Works/Super Software in Homer won the Outstanding Tourism Support Business award. Partners Kevin Farley and Dana Hofseth opened Print Works in 1995 to offer full-color printing. Print Works merged in 1998 with Super Software, owned by Marvin Super. The business now has 2,000 clients statewide, of which 90 percent are in tourism.

This year, Industry Appreciation Day recognized tourism with oil, gas and commercial fishing. The Kenai and Soldotna chambers gave away more than 500 pounds of watermelon.

Wine & Beer Experience on tap

The Kenai Chamber of Commerce has tickets for its 16th annual Wine & Beer Experience, to be held Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Diamond Rose. Proceeds fund the annual Christmas Comes to Kenai celebration, which includes a visit from Santa, free cookies, hot chocolate, candy canes, the fifth annual Electric Light Parade and fireworks. For Wine & Beer Experience tickets, call 283-7989.

GCI boosts Internet capacity

GCI has increased its Internet capacity between Alaska and the Lower 48 by 50 percent to accommodate explosive growth in Internet use. It is the company's third such increase in the last 18 months.

"The virtually unlimited capacity of our undersea fiber-optic cable, newly launched satellite facility and metropolitan area networks provide the broadband platform required to continuously upgrade services," said Terry Nidiffer, vice president of Internet services. GCI Internet subscribers have grown from 6,000 in February 1999 to more than 73,000 today.

Alaska USA introduces online credit card services

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union customers can now check Alaska USA Visa credit card account histories and balances online. Card holders also can make electronic payment transfers online or by touch-tone phone. Credit card account access is available through Alaska USA's secure electronic account access program, which also allows credit union members to access their accounts.

Soldotna chamber speakers announced

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon speakers are Evy Gebhardt speaking on the United Way campaign kickoff Sept. 12, Denise Newbould speaking on Caring for the Kenai contest winners Sept. 19 and Allen Auxier of KDLL public radio on Sept. 26.

Chamber luncheons are Tuesdays at noon at Riverside House.

North Peninsula chamber speakers announced

Luncheon speakers at the North Peninsula Chamber of Commerce are House District 9 incumbent Rep. Hal Smalley today, Evy Gebhardt of United Way on Sept. 14, Mark Norgren, Nikiski Elementary School principal on Sept. 21, and Mike Szymanski, Democratic candidate for Senate District E on Sept. 28. Chamber luncheons are Thursdays at noon at the Lighthouse Inn.

Oil exec to speak at Boys and Girls Club fund-raiser

Kevin Meyers, president of Phillips Alaska Inc., is keynote speaker at the Friends Luncheon Fund-Raiser of the Boys and Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula. The luncheon is Sept. 14 at noon at Paradisos in Kenai. The club hopes to raise $20,000 at the luncheon to support its programs and provide scholarships for children who could not otherwise afford to participate.

The Boys and Girls Club operates after-school programs in Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Seldovia, plus weekend and summer programs such as sports, art, drama, dance, violence prevention, parenting classes and karate.

Reserve a luncheon seat by calling Kim at 283-2682 by Tuesday.

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