Building Our Lodge
“We enjoy our lifestyle and our desire is to share it with each of you when you come to our lodge and fish in the summer or to experience our way of life in the winter.”
In 1984, we spent the summer weekends and winter holidays at the cabin (working mostly), Friends would come out and stay, sometimes we would put them to work. Friends would bring their friends and so on and so on. It got to the point we never got anything done.
In 1985, the home construction business was going downhill fast. We were having friends ask us about their family and friends visiting from the lower 48 coming to “the cabin” to go fishing. We decided at that point, we should consider turning it into a “fishing lodge”. The next summer, we did just that.
Eric managed to fly people to the lodge, take them fishing and hired a neighbor gal to cook. In the evenings he would fly home to Eagle River to call all of his subcontractors to line them out for the next days work on the homes we were building and then fly back to the lodge at 11:00 or so (remember it doesn't get dark in Alaska in the summer).
From 1985-87, many builders were losing everything to the banks. The market was flooded with new homes. We faired the storm much better than most, thank God. We got out of the construction business completely and spent all our efforts on building up the lodge. This was a new occupation for us, so we had a lot to learn about marketing, etc.
Drilling the well in remote Alaska is a real challenge.During these beginning years, Eric still had the desire for building. He never stopped building onto the lodge. Every year was something; two additions to the main lodge, sauna, shed, improved and additional cabins for guests, walkways, docks, a well, a septic system, indoor plumbing, wow, its like living in the city now. Our clientele was growing by leaps and bounds, we needed more guides and Eric couldn't keep up with the flying. We sold the plane, hired more guides and a well established and reputable air taxi service to fly our clients back and forth.