Joshua Broda

Settlers Bay Lodge owner Joshua Broda

WASILLA— Settlers Bay Lodge owner Joshua Broda recently participated in a question and answer interview to discuss their recent efforts moving forward in spite of the constant constraints caused by the pandemic.

How have things been in general?“Good. November was pretty brutal,” he said with a laugh. “That was really our first month that it kind of got really slow. We’re off to a good start this month. Overall, we’re doing well. Staffing is improving. It always seems like we could always use one more person.”

Are you taking applicants for cooking positions then?“Yeah, if we can get people to apply.”

What projects are you currently working on?“We are shutting down for the first two weeks of January for renovations… We’re going to replace the main cooking line and expand our cooking abilities. So, replacing some old equipment and expanding the cooking area so we can have faster service times and improved guest experience.”

How long have you been wanting to make those renovations?“Since I bought it,” he said with a laugh. “Everything takes time. It’s not a cheap thing… I’m excited to get that done. We tried to get it done earlier, but just with the way shipping is, everything is back-ordered. Now, we’re working on our next project at the Best Western lake Lucille.”

What’s going on at the Best Western?“We bought that property earlier this fall. The hotel is currently open but the restaurant that’s been there has been closed for 15 years or so. So, we’re going to completely renovate that and rebrand it as The Chop House at Lake Lucille… It’s a killer spot. It’s exciting and it’s a lot to take on, but it’s doable. It’s exciting for the team for sure.”

Does it feel like you’re moving forward and getting through all the ups and downs?“Yeah, we’re doing the best we can. We’re projecting a busy summer. We anticipate some if not all the tour buses to be back, which is exciting for Alaska.”

What are some of the things you’ve done to adapt to everything?“Just outwork the competition. You gotta outwork the other guy.”

How do you feel about your small but dedicated team stepping up to keep things going all this time?“We would not be successful without our team of dedicated staff. We definitely couldn’t do it without them. The men and women on our staff are what keep the wheels turning.

For more information about the Settlers Bay Lodge, call 907-357-5678 or visit settlersbaylodge.com.

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

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