WASILLA — The Mat-Su Valley is now home to the first 101 Mobility retail outlet in Alaska.

Owner Scott Heim opened the doors of 101 Mobility of Alaska to the public in late October, following four months of saving start up money from the FDA.

“It’s a big relief to be able to open the doors and say we’re here to help you out,” Heim said. “It does feel really good to finally say we’re open.”

The shop is located within the Phillips Plaza off of Bogard Road, near Wasilla High School. Heim explained that his store is part of a national franchise based off the east coast with over 70 locations spread across the country.

“This is a very handy thing for people having a tough time, “ Heim said.

The store specializes in mobility equipment and furniture that aids seniors and disabled people move around their homes more freely. There’s a variety of accessible options to purchase at 101, including chair lifts, electric scooters, modular ramping systems, vehicle lift attachments, and portable ramp sets.

“There’s a lot of folks out there who need the help,” Heim said. “People want to age in place... People want to stay in their homes.”

Heim lives in Palmer. He said that he’s been in the Valley for over 30 years and takes pride establishing the first 101 location right in his own community. He plans to open additional locations in Anchorage and surrounding state over time.

“I want people to know we’re here to help the Valley,” Heim said. “As the business grows, we’ll grow as well.”

Opening the store resulted directly from COVID-19, according Heim. He said that he was one of many slope workers laid off due to the pandemic.

“I was too young to retire,” Heim said. “I wanted to do something that was gonna help people out. I wanted to establish an essential business. We can get about anything you can order.”

The store also has an onsite work van and offers free in home consultations.

“This is considered an essential service that wouldn’t be shut down during a pandemic,” Heim said.

Heim said that he’s had a lot of support from local businesses like their neighbors Rhoda Paint. He said Rhoda’s store manager Corey Adams helped install flooring in their garage.

“We are very proud of being in the Valley,” Heim said.

For more information, call 907-521-7101.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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