Author: Brooke Devon

Alaska Bride & Groom

Alaska Bride & Groom

Bride’s name: Kamry Ella Meyer
Groom’s name: Levi Bradley James Hensley
Occupation: Kamry is a barista and Levi is an electrical
apprentice
How they met: “In high school we were friends. We both
moved out of state and grew up a lot. We came back home and reunited ”

The proposal: Levi took Kamry down Cannery Beach Road in Kenai and proposed during a beautiful sunset
Number of guests: About120
Wedding colors: Slate blue, grey, white
Most memorable moment…
For her: “Walking down the aisle with my dad to my loving husband And seeing everyone who showed up for us was so special ”

For him: “Our dance together ”

Unique aspects of the day: “Before my grandpa passed away he cut
some beautiful pieces of wood and that’s what my family used to build our arbor,” recalls Kamry. At the
the reception the couple set up a unique French fry bar “It was amazing!” The guests also enjoyed the open bar, the fun DJ-hosted dance floor, and the beautiful cupcakes.

Funniest moment: Levi’s groomsmen played harmonica and Levi performed “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.“ Alcohol may have been involved but every note was
perfect, they sounded famous. Everyone was cracking up!”
Three words that best describe
their day: “Beautiful fun loving ”

If they had the chance to do it again what they would do differently: “I would do the pictures before the wedding started,” says Kamry.

“We did them after the ceremony and I felt bad not being able to say hi to all our guests and some of them left before we made it back for the reception.”

What Kamry loves most about her husband: “How much he loves his family and shows his love for me I never doubt that I’m loved.”

What Levi loves most about his wife: “How she always sees good in
every situation.”

Best piece of advice for a couple planning a wedding: “Don’t stress on the little things because little things won’t matter at the end of the day. Take time for just the the two of you during the day–even if it’s just walking away for a minute and soaking up YOUR day. When
there are so many people it’s easy to get overwhelmed or forget to soak in the special day.”

The Details

Photography: Brittney Ray Photography • Ceremony & reception site: The Cannery Lodge • Cake: Rosie’s Cake Pop Palace (Shelby Dykstra) • Catering: Main Event Catering • Wedding rings: Fred Meyer Jewelers Etsy • Wedding coordinator: Kelsey Meyer • Flowers: Tundra Rose • Bride’s dress: Anderson’s Bride • Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal • Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Anderson’s Bride • Hair & makeup: Jasmin’s Hair Design (Liz) • Officiant: Nate Lamb, Birch Ridge Church • Entertainment & music: Five Star Entertainment • Accommodations: The Cannery Lodge • Honeymoon destination: Alyeska Resort, Girdwood

Alaska Bride & Groom

Yahoo!

The 25 Best Beach Towns in America

On a warm spring or summer day, if the liquid feeling of sunlight doesn’t instantly lift your mood in one of these charming beach towns, the historical character, quality shopping and grub—and many other pleasing attributes—certainly will.

Just in time for vaccine summer, which is going to be marked by both “Toe Dip Trips” and revenge travel galore, it’s officially time to start planning your next vacation to any one of these charming beach towns in America.

3. KENAI, AK

Yes, seriously, a beach in Alaska! While you’re not wrong to drum up visions of snow-capped mountains when you think of The Last Frontier, you can also add this small beach town to your overall vision. Known as a world-class King Salmon fishing destination, this truly authentic Alaskan village’s beach and water temperatures might not be ideal for sunbathing, but they are where you’ll catch some of the most stunning sunsets in the U.S. If you’re only looking to extend your Alaskan trip, this is the perfect spot for a day trip or a quick weekend getaway.

Stay at the town’s newest hotel, The Cannery Lodge, which offers a lovely bar and lounge, as well as convenient proximity to beaches, hiking and fishing. Basically, it’s a go-to hub for those looking for outdoor adventures. The interiors pay homage to the cannery’s history and feature stunning rustic features and unbeatable views.

Yahoo!

MSN

The 25 Best Beach Towns in America

3. KENAI, AK

Yes, seriously, a beach in Alaska! While you’re not wrong to drum up visions of snow-capped mountains when you think of The Last Frontier, you can also add this small beach town to your overall vision. Known as a world-class King Salmon fishing destination, this truly authentic Alaskan village’s beach and water temperatures might not be ideal for sunbathing, but they are where you’ll catch some of the most stunning sunsets in the U.S. If you’re only looking to extend your Alaskan trip, this is the perfect spot for a day trip or a quick weekend getaway.

Stay at the town’s newest hotel, The Cannery Lodge, which offers a lovely bar and lounge, as well as convenient proximity to beaches, hiking and fishing. Basically, it’s a go-to hub for those looking for outdoor adventures. The interiors pay homage to the cannery’s history and feature stunning rustic features and unbeatable views.

MSN

Alaska 100

For an epic spring break in the snow, head to The Cannery Lodge

Come play in the snow at The Cannery Lodge this spring break. Photo credit: The Cannery Lodge

Looking to make the most of your spring break? The Cannery Lodge is a great option whether you’re “staycationing” or flying in. Located on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, a gateway to the Caribou Hills and other areas, The Cannery Lodge offers direct access to incredible outdoor adventures. Snow is in the forecast, so pack up a snowmachine and pull up to The Cannery Lodge to play for the week.

After a day of riding, grab a bite from The Cannery Club in the evenings and relax by the outdoor fire pits. Vehicles and snowmachine trailers are secure in our gated campus.

– Jovell Rennie, The Alaska 100

The Alaska 100

Alaska Business Monthly

The Rebirth of Corporate Retreats

Get cozy by the fireplace inside or enjoy the brisk air by the fire pit outdoors at The Cannery Lodge.

Why Alaska is the ideal location to energize, motivate, and inspire

By Kathryn Mackenzie
Corporate retreats took a backseat to more pressing financial matters as the economy dipped and companies began cutting costs wherever they could during the past decade. As the national economy has slowly eked its way out of recession, more businesses are considering investing in offsite trips to get employees away from their workstations to gain new perspectives and forge new bonds.

Work-related trips mean different things to different people. For business leaders they can be a great way to bring together workers from different departments and remote offices to meet face-to-face, create cohesiveness, instill company ideals and culture, and form new bonds and friendships. For employees, the concept of a “work vacation” often creates a sense of dread, conjuring images of embarrassing workshops learning trite trust exercises; long, dry, day-long meetings and brainstorming sessions; and precious time away from family members.

Alaska’s corporate retreat offerings turn those perceptions upside-down by offering adventure, luxury, and one-of-a-kind experiences for businesses of all sizes. Its many resorts, inns, and lodges feature activities designed to inspire productivity, spark the imagination, and soothe even the most harried soul.

Stillpoint Lodge
Stillpoint Lodge is a second-generation, family-owned and -operated lodge. Originally designed to host retreats for artists and interfaith spiritual groups, the facility expanded its services in 2007 to offer more events such as board retreats, weddings, and continuing education credit workshops. JT Thurston, son of the original lodge’s founders, Jim and Jan Thurston, operates Stillpoint Lodge with the help of Beka and Lucas Thoning, managers of Stillpoint Lodge for nearly a decade.

“Stillpoint was built as a retreat center and workshop space that the original owners ran for ten years. Their son wanted to bring more adventure to the place, and one pivotal thing he did that has attracted more groups and business clientele is to add private showers and bathrooms. You don’t want to be showering in the main lodge with your CEO right there,” Beka Thoning, general manager and executive chef of Stillpoint Lodge, laughs. “Previously the lodge operated with compost bathroom facilities; now we have really nice bathrooms, a hot tub, and a bar and liquor license. The renovations have revolutionized the way we operate.” As an adventure lodge, Stillpoint offers a “unique combination of eco-adventure, leisure, and culture.”

An aerial view of Stillpoint Lodge, where wilderness meets luxury.

Stillpoint Lodge is located in Kachemak Bay and Wilderness Park and surrounded by Kachemak Bay State Park, just twelve miles from the Homer airport, according to the company website. The lodge can be directly accessed via boat, float plane, and helicopter. The idea behind Stillpoint Lodge is to provide a comfortable, upscale, and remote place for groups of twelve to twenty-five people to hold meetings to enrich individuals and also foster team building through common interests. Executive groups, including physicians and lawyers, can earn continuing education credits in between whale watching, wildlife spotting, helicopter and plane rides, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and biking. With stunning views and luxurious amenities, a business trip to Stillpoint Lodge will likely leave visitors wanting more.

“One thing we experience over and over again is that once they get here, our visitors always regret not booking another night or two. They think they want to go somewhere else, but once they’re here they realize they can access anything there is to do in Alaska right here,” says Thoning. “There’s something for everybody. We have captains and pilots right on staff, so not everybody has to do the same thing and we help tailor activities to keep everyone happy.”

Since the lodge is open only in the summer, Thoning recommends booking an executive getaway one to two years in advance, if specific dates are needed. “I do get requests for corporate groups year-round, but we’re really only able to accommodate groups Memorial Day through September. So for us, trying to schedule that and make sure we have chunks of time for a whole-lodge buyout… gets a little tricky if people wait too long. I really do like it if people call me and give me a year’s notice. Then we can really dial-in the dates that they prefer and tailor their activities to fit their unique needs,” she says.

Stillpoint Lodge features round-the-clock access to meals, a hot tub, sauna, Wi-Fi, a wellness library, yoga space, lounge, and beverages. After a day of learning, bonding, and sightseeing, visitors can rest easy with all the creature comforts of home in their cabins, each with its own private bathroom, handmade quilts, and flannel sheets. When the day is done, it’s time to disconnect and enjoy the surroundings—no televisions here. “People are blown away by how a place can exist like this away from a city. It has a Scandinavian feel and is very classy, everything is being renovated to be classy, clean, and modern,” says Thoning.

The Cannery Lodge
Located on the Kenai Peninsula, The Cannery Lodge is ideal for businesses large and small seeking a remote location to pursue their corporate goals. The Cannery Lodge offers lodging, private events and corporate retreats, catering, concierge services, a private social and recreation club, and conference space. “Given our logistics infrastructure onsite [heliport, boat launch and floating dock, commercial dock, and overland capability] our facility has been utilized to support oil and gas projects in the area while housing key personnel for their respective projects in the Cook Inlet area,” says Ron Hyde, president and CEO of PRL Logistics and its Cannery Lodge.

The Cannery Lodge is the result of about one year of design, preservation, and restoration work to renovate an iconic 100-year-old cannery administration building and surrounding site into the current facility, a testament to old-meets-new with salvaged pieces of the old site used throughout the new design: dock planks became stairs and desktops, wood gutters are railings, metal roofing became wainscoting, and industrial cannery pulleys wired with 1920s fixtures serve as chandeliers, the company notes.

That attention to detail doesn’t stop at the design; executive groups at Cannery Lodge are treated to top-notch lodging, full-service meals, and project services.

“One of the keys to successful retreats is the logistics of their travel and complete onsite sustainment—having everything within their reach for lodging, dining, and entertainment in one campus. What makes our facility special is that our clients get that dose of real Alaska within an easy trip from the main city of Anchorage,” says Hyde.

Corporate visitors to The Cannery Lodge can make use of a sixty-acre private campus with lodging, custom dining, and multiple break-out and conference spaces, including an outdoor amphitheater for music performances and an intimate lounge and club environment for socializing, as well as access to fishing, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, and other recreation throughout the Kenai Peninsula. “Our clients have access to our onsite heated and lighted heliport, boat launch, and floating dock facilities. Not only is there river access at our lodge, but we also have beachfront property along the shores of Cook Inlet. Our property boasts beautiful landscaping and views of the city of Kenai, the mouth of the Kenai River, and Cook Inlet and is only minutes away from the airport. Not only will we provide the venue but our staff plan the entire retreat agenda and activities, including organizing all of the travel and onsite media projection and presentation equipment,” says Hyde.

Location, Location, Location
While the reasons for going on a corporate retreat are vital, the destination is arguably equally important. “One of the things we get the most feedback about is how being in such a beautiful, remote location gives people a sense of mindfulness and rest that they don’t find in other places. One of the goals we have here is to offer a transformational experience. When everyone is having that experience together, inevitably they are building stories that they’ll be able to tell when they get back to their office or their different branches,” says Thoning.

A beautiful space to enjoy some quiet time at The Cannery Lodge.

Doug Ramsay, marketing coordinator of Adventure Associates Inc., says companies typically come to Alaska for an enjoyable shared experience that builds trust, develops camaraderie, and improves communication. He says a group’s motivations can range from simply having fun and celebrating (such as during incentive trips) to working on bigger issues affecting group dynamics. Companies are also seeking a way to introduce newly-formed teams or groups that have recently gone through mergers to help them “get off on the right foot.”

“Corporate retreat goals are often higher level than shorter team building and training programs, with an emphasis on working through more specific issues affecting the company. Often they involve discussion forums, strategic planning, and consensus building. The impetus for taking a corporate retreat can vary widely, though, and can be anywhere on the spectrum of simply having a relaxing time together to working through serious crises or doing high-level planning for the organization,” says Ramsay. Adventure Associates designs and facilitates corporate retreats and meetings to help companies meet their corporate objectives. “Each is collaboratively designed to capture participant imagination, unleash their potential, and create a platform for sustainable development,” the company says.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
Transporting teams of people to remote locations requires significant resources, planning, time, and money, so choosing the right location for a corporate retreat or incentive trip is key to making any work-related trip a success. No matter how interesting the speaker or classes, simply plunking employees down in the middle of a claustrophobic conference room for hours on end is not likely to inspire anyone to do much of anything. If invigoration, motivation, and excitement are on the agenda, Alaska’s corporate retreat offerings are sure to meet and exceed any corporation’s expectations. “Participants typically walk away with more insights about their own behavior as well as their group’s dynamics than they would have originally thought possible. And, most importantly, they are energized to work toward improved communication and common goals while gaining a better perspective on how their organization operates most effectively,” says Ramsay.

Hyde concurs saying, when guests arrive at The Cannery Lodge, he notices various levels of excitement and fatigue, but once they have a chance to unpack and settle in “we start to notice a lot of enthusiasm in their interactions with their peers and members of their group, whether it is sitting around one of the many fire pits or relaxing in the lounge or the breakout spaces.” And, by end of the trip, Hyde and Thoning agree, they see a marked change in their corporate visitors “once they are able to stop and really take in the Alaska elements, the wildlife, and the natural beauty surrounding them,” says Hyde.

Kathryn Mackenzie is the Managing Editor of Alaska Business.

Alaska Business Monthly

Anchorage Daily News

Alaskan Businessman Invests More Than $2 Million to Renovate Historic Kenai Landmark

Alaskan Businessman Invests More Than $2 Million to Renovate Historic Kenai Landmark

ANCHORAGE – PRL Logistics, an Alaskan-owned and operated logistics company, hosted a grand opening celebration for its new facility servicing the Cook Inlet on the Kenai on Saturday, April 5.

PRL’s newly renovated facility is located at the historical Kenai Landing at the mouth of the Kenai River. This site has been inhabited dating back more than 100 years when it was the former Libby, McNeill, & Libby cannery. PRL CEO Ron Hyde, a life-long Alaskan, has invested more than $2 million renovating and expanding the building and associated properties using local labor and maximizing the re-purposed historical materials. PRL will be investing even more during Phase II of the renovation as 16 efficiency apartments are refurbished to house project personnel working in remote areas of Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula. This facility is PRL’s new base of operations in Kenai providing logistics and project management expertise in the Cook Inlet region. PRL’s corporate headquarters will remain located in Anchorage at the historical railroad depot.

“I started this company almost 14 years ago with one vision, to provide a service and a skill set that enables corporations to invest in Alaska by managing the unique remote logistics of Alaska using the knowledge of Alaskans. PRL is able to demonstrate to these corporations how to safely and efficiently implement projects and operate in the remote areas of Alaska,” said Hyde. “To open a second location and be in a position where we can hire even more Alaskans is an incredible feeling and a huge opportunity. It’s the realization of a dream come true.”

PRL Logistics employs more than 150 employees in the state. It specializes in providing services that include transporting and sustaining people and supply chains in extremely remote locations. PRL is known for its ability to strategically plan project logistics and its agility in responding to changing conditions. PRL has successfully operated in uninhabited regions – everywhere from the North Slope of Alaska to the Russian bush – delivering goods and services for a variety clients ranging from individual villages, private corporations, and government organizations. PRL’s project locations have encompassed the lower 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Russia, and the Pacific Rim. Currently, PRL is providing logistics services to Repsol Winter Drilling Program, ExxonMobil’s Point Thomson Project, and a number of other projects from the tip of the Aleutians to the arctic regions of Alaska.

The business is located 2101 Bowpicker Lane, Unit 5, Kenai.

Anchorage Daily News