Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter morning at Alaska Garden Gate B&B

While guests are sleeping in or rising to greet this Easter morning, Karen was busy baking for the next breakfast baskets. Today's baskets include carrot walnut muffins, bananas, oatmeal and the Quiche of the Day. Today's quiche is "Loaded Baked Potato:" it has diced potato, crumbled bacon, a few green onions, and sour cream. When it's cool, it will be plated and wrapped, then delivered with the baskets to today's guests for them to enjoy whenever they wake tomorrow!
Mmm, doesn't it smell good!

News from Alaska State Parks

Independence Mine at Hatcher Pass will be open 7 days a week this summer, and the interpretive rangers will be there, too. Last summer, this popular destination just up the road from us had budget issues that kept it closed a couple days a week, at the beginning of summer. We're glad none of our guests will have to miss out on this gem!

If you like remote, rustic cabins, there's good news, that several sites are having their rundown cabins refurbished or rebuilt. Nancy Lake, just west of Wasilla, has very nice plans in store for their hike-or-canoe-in log cabins.

Wayne Biessel, superintendent of parks, was the speaker at last Friday's Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau, and he shared a lot of updates with us. He rolled out plans for the building that will get done this summer at South Denali. When asked how much more of the plans are unfunded, Wayne said between $20-30 million, so it could be many more years before the whole experience/visitor center is finished. But for this year, they'll get some camp sites with extraordinary views put in. The road was put in last year, and the campground is this year's goal.

As he described the area south of Denali in Denali State Park, many hikers were shaking their heads in agreement. He talked about a ridge flank with breathtaking views of The Great One (Denali). That ridge is called Kesugi Ridge, and where the camping is located is a little lower, with even more open, surrounding views of the Alaska Range and Denali. They consulted local Ahtna and Denai people, and the name of the campground came from that: Kesugi-Ken, meaning south of Kesugi. Kesugi means The Ancient One, and that area was prized for rich hunting.

With future development, they are planning to add in trail loops and connections to other trail systems. Wayne said that upon the completion of a next phase, it would create the ability for hikers to be out many days at a time in the wilderness. It seems like it will afford a rare opportunity in this "connected" world to be away from roads/cars/development for that long!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

For your (wired) convenience!

New this year, we've added bedroom lamps that have two electrical outlets right in the base, so you can plug in phones, tablets or other gadgets, right where you can reach them.

Enhance your stay!

Here are today's hand-dipped chocolate dipped strawberries. Treat your special someone to a special getaway! See a list of our add on packages at

Friday, April 11, 2014

A View from the Top

I've always been a big believer in Associations, of people working together to achieve more as a group than each individual could by themselves. It was because of Alaska's Mat-Su B&B Association ( that I chose to move to Alaska, and Palmer specifically. After being involved in AMSBBA for a couple of years, I ran for the board of directors and ended up President. I became involved, too, with the B&B Association of Alaska ( I've been a member of both for over a decade. It has been a great pleasure to have served as the President of BBAA now for nearly four years. My term as BBAA's president is drawing to a close, so I'm looking back on my time at the helm.

What stands out? That I've gained far, far more than I've given! From all the meetings and conversations and chances to hear smart people share, I'm so grateful for all the tidbits and giant "ah-hah's." I learned the new-to-me art of becoming an innkeeper from the ladies and gents who knew far more than I did.

It's been a great pleasure to serve and lead these two groups of bed and breakfast owners. While I brought some new thoughts about websites and marketing and such, these members have taught me so much more! Some of my favorite take-aways are: making a guest feel at home and comfortable, how to clean so a guest would swear no one had ever stayed there before, and how to take it all in stride when we're stressed out and tired! And I doubt I'll ever find a yummier breakfast dish than Mary Littlefair's cheesy hashbrown casserole--mmmm.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Where can you find a gift certificate to Alaska Garden Gate B&B and Cottages?

Giving back in our community is one of our values -- and you could score a great deal on a stay at our B&B!

Coming up:
Travel Auction with KAKM Channel 7, May 1-3. Look for our $1000 Gift Certificate as part of their special Grand Alaska Collection. See
Recent fundraisers:
Our Lady of the Valley Catholic School - a one night stay to the highest bidder!
Mat-Su Miners baseball team - up to $250 toward a stay at our B&B