Chamber President Ryan Kapp said they’d initially tried to buy the Davis Block property next to Soldotna Creek Park, but when negotiations pushed beyond their spending limits, he was pleased to see the City take over. City Manager Mark Dixson will put together a resolution for Council approval to hold the property for five years. FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Three levels of soaring windows overlooking the Kenai River, right in the heart of Soldotna, space for conferences and interpretive displays; that was the vision painted for Soldotna Councilors last Wednesday as the Chamber made their case for a new visitor’s center. The Chamber asked for five years to fully develop their plans, and Councilors seemed generally in agreement. City officials said they preferred the idea of expanding the current conference space at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex, for economic reasons, but were open to the idea of a stand-alone visitor’s center on the river. Kapp: “I think it’s just a pristine spot for it, beautiful on the river, connectivity to the boardwalk, connectivity to the park, the “downtown” of Soldotna, walkability, stores, hotel, restaurants, right there. I think it’s really a prime location.” Kapp: “It’ll be step by step. We’ll start by doing planning, obviously, which will probably entail some drawings, and some needs assessment and some further feasibility. Economic times have changed a lot since we did a couple of those studies, so we want to revisit some of that and make sure we’re doing something that makes sense under the current conditions and like any household, you want to make sure it’s within the budget and affordability. We want to be realistic, but at the same time we want to build something that we can be proud of and grow into as well.” Chamber executives said they’ve outgrown the current visitors center, with 40-50,000 tourists passing through each year. Due to underground springs and DOT restrictions, they cannot expand the existing site. Now, the Chamber wants the City to build a convention and visitor’s center on the property, with space for offices and possibly a cafe.