When your staff love Alaska it makes all the difference!

Taken at Summit Lake Lodge

We’re thrilled to have these two working for us! Taken when we stopped for brunch one trip to Anchorage.

One of the greatest challenges of a seasonal business is finding employees.  In recent years the easiest and best employees have been foreign exchange students participating in the Government sponsored Cultural Work & Study Program. The students were always hard workers and we’ve enjoyed and remained friends with all our foreign students; the hardest thing about using that program are the dates of work the students have.  Often the season has either started or lasts long beyond their work date windows, so we’re faced with the challenges of more temporary hires; which often need the same training. There have been some years that we’ve had to train as many as This summer we are to find 2 wonderful young women, one from Michigan and the other from Pennsylvania willing to come to Alaska for the summer.  Turns out they both love Alaska, are both great workers and better still, like each other and get along (they share our employee housing)!  We have our fingers crossed one or both will decide they love it here so much they’ll stay year round (at least for a few seasons)! 🙂

 

Spring is here! Time for upgrades and enhancements!

Another spring is upon us here in Alaska and we’re preparing for a busy visitor’s season.  We have a long list of things we’re working on, which includes upgrades to the TVs and DVD players in all the cabins and rooms, and a new enclosed stairwell for the Heron Roost building.  These are the things we planned on, but in the middle of April we were given a software project we hadn’t planned on!

You probably know if you’ve inquired, or booked with us, we have several website forms we use.  We had two different inquiry forms on our Angels Rest on Resurrection website, and a separate secure (https:) site called “Actually Alaskan” (actuallyalaskan.com) where we had our reservation form. The reservation form is a 2 page form, for added security for our guests.

On April 18 we received just page 2 from someone’s reservation. Later that day we received several notes from guests indicating that they had finalized their reservation…..but we didn’t receive the submissions. This prompted us to do some testing, only to discover that the forms were not working!  Shocked, and a bit panicked, we called GoDaddy, our website provider.

After over an hour on the phone, the technician claimed he had solved the problem. We received his test submissions, so we went to sleep that Friday night thinking they fixed the problem.

The next morning however, when there were no inquiries or reservations, we did some more testing.  Both websites, all the forms, on both failed to work!

Several hours later GoDaddy told us that they had applied a patch to their Website Tonight software that had caused all my forms to stop working!

We’re lucky that Lynda had the time to drop everything else she had planned to work on the websites! (She’s recovering from a shattered femur, so she’s been doing a lot of sitting around anyway! LOL)Screen Shot Angels Rest Secure Booking Site

So, in addition to the upgrades and enhancements we had planned, we now have a brand new secure website for both inquires and reservations!

 

Check out: https://www.actuallyalaskanlodging.com!  We hope you like the design! We’ll be redesigning our main website, angelsrest.com to match this design. This new website should work well from both computers and mobile devices!

Thank you Dear Reader!

We welcome your comments and feedback!

Namaste’

From Deacon Row to Beach Drive, We’ve Come a Long Way!

Looking South from Angels Rest towards Border Avenue

Looking South from Angels Rest towards Border Avenue

In 1997, when I bought the land for Angels Rest on Lowell Point, it was known and identified by the Lot and Block numbers. There were no real road names, and the dirt two-lane track that divided the east and west side of the lots was a right-of-way. “Deacon” after the homesteader that subdivided the land and eventually sold the lots off.

Since I purchased my land, there have been upgrades made to the two-track dirt right of way, turning it into a gravel road.  When Emergency Services and 911 reached our remote part of the world in the early 2000’s, we went from giving directions such as “past the large rock next to the bent spruce” to road names with street address numbers!

Looking from the very north end of Beach Drive, looking south

Looking from the very north end of Beach Drive, looking south

Beach Drive is often subject to flooding particularly during winter and spring months when the ground is frozen, and it rains.  Sometimes the puddles would be so deep small cars could not drive through them.  Over the years, my husband and I have attended several Road Board meetings, with our photos of the problems and requests for improvements. Other neighbors took up the torch after we got tired of local politics and with much perseverance and diligence, and years of waiting, we have finally been rewarded.

This late spring and spilling into June (our apologies to guests who suffered through the process), our local contractor Metco worked for several weeks on the improvements to Beach Drive, which included a lot of ditching, placing of culverts and installing a special drain system to allow the road run-off to run into the bay without the road taking on ocean water. Then they raised the road surface and topped it with fresh gravel.

The result is a beautiful wide thoroughfare all the way from the corner at Border Avenue to the north end of Beach Drive.  We haven’t solved the problem of the north end of Beach Drive not having a cul-de-sac, but the owner of the land to the north, “Silver Derby Campground” has allowed their driveway to connect to the north end of Beach Drive, so instead of having turn around, as in years past, you can make the loop and you end up back at Lowell Point Road just south of the bridge that crosses Spruce Creek.

Beach Drive from corner at Border Avenue

Beach Drive from corner at Border Avenue; Angels Rest is 700 feet to north of this corner

For those of you who have already visited, you’ll really see the difference in this last photo.  In the past, folks would be often be confused when they would turn the corner onto Beach Drive and it would seem as if the road had disappeared into a parking lot.  These most recent improvements have helped to clarify the road and has really opened up the corner and given traffic a way to flow. It’s very exciting!

We’re grateful to the Kenai Peninsula Borough for securing the funding for the project and for coordinating and implementing it; and to Metco for doing such great work!

 

Wi-Fi that Works! Best Improvement Award of 2012!

As some guests know, there have been problems getting a good wi-fi signal in some locations at Angels Rest.  Some of the funniest/saddest stories would be from guests at the Gatehouse, that would have to stand in the kitchen, or sit in the bathroom, to get connected to the Internet.  There were “dead” spots in all three of the waterfront cabins, and depending on what kind of equipment guests had, they had various success.  It was always my least favorite discussion. I’d have to suggest, to those having real signal problems, that they’d have to “get closer” to the Guest Services Building; come sit on the porch…..

When we first opened, we tended to encourage people to enjoy the view and “unplug!” With the spread of smart phones and the pervasiveness of social media, there is no “unplugging.” The ability to upload perhaps hundreds of photos, so friends and family can follow along, have increased demand for good wi-fi and there is no denying the need.

Sometimes, to solve a problem, you just need patience, and to let technology catch up with your needs.  We get our Internet via DSL from our local telephone company.  For years, every Spring, we’d call TelAlaska, and talk to them about what we might be able to do to strengthen our wi-fi signal for our customers.  Finally, in 2012, a solution! Whoo Hoo!!!!

In several locations around the property you may notice small white “mouse” like looking devices,  on the buildings.  These are the relay devices.  It was an expensive investment.

As we near the end of the first year of the new hi-speed, property wide, wi-fi, I’m struck with a complete sense of joy and peace.  In the year since we’ve had this wi-fi network, there has been one time that the router needed resetting.  The only other question or problem we ever had with it has simply been folks needing the password.

In a world where our money is often spent on disappointing experiences, it’s so nice to say this was a worthy investment, worth every penny! Thank you to the Universe, and TelAlaska for a great solution! Guests can enjoy wi-fi anywhere at Angels Rest on Resurrection Bay, LLC, Waterfront Lodging & Retreat Center!

Thank you Dear Reader,
With Great Love, Namaste’
❤ LAMP ❤

P.S. I welcome your comments and questions!