Make Soldotna your home for business, exploration and adventure! We’re within easy driving distance of Seward, Kenai, and Homer, and we offer all of the modern services that you expect. Anchorage is a beautiful, scenic 3 hour drive or a quick 20 minute commuter flight away.
The City of Soldotna is in a healthy financial position, has a stable tax structure, and a sustainable fund balance that allows the municipality to continue to invest in high-quality infrastructure and economic development. Soldotna is forward-thinking, strategic, and City staff know how to partner with the private sector and local organizations to get things done. Examples of programs that were developed to support local entrepreneurs and business owners, include: A storefront improvement program, which has provided municipal matching grant funds to local businesses for façade improvements, since 2012; A series of phased downtown improvements, including right-of-way landscaping and beautification, gateway signage, and park improvements and event programming; Coordinating and participating in Alaska Startup Week.
Soldotna also ranks #1 in retail sales, which peak during the busy summer tourism months, but are also sustained by a healthy year-round economy.
An economic development strategy wouldn’t be complete without a high quality of life – in Soldotna that means over 450 acres of parks and over 50 miles of trails, bike lanes and riverfront boardwalks, year-round outdoor live music at Soldotna’s river-front park, including Alaska’s only outdoor winter beer festival, restaurants/bars, safe neighborhoods that are family-friendly, and a community where people know each other.
Soldotna is big on health care, with 60% of all gross sales in that industry, borough-wide. Anchoring this industry is Central Peninsula Hospital, an acute care hospital with 49 beds, located in the heart of Soldotna’s growing health care district. CPH employs more than 80 physicians and allied medical staff, and operates several facilities including a 60-bed long-term skilled nursing facility, and nine family and specialty services clinics. Recent growth in this area continues, as private practitioners are choosing to locate close to this dense concentration of health care providers.
K-12 and post-secondary education are also big in Soldotna. About one-third (31%) of all K-12 students in the borough attend a school in Soldotna. Kenai Peninsula College, with its Kenai River Campus in Soldotna as well as Kachemak Bay campus in Homer and extension site in Seward – serves approximately 2,880 students each semester and delivers more than 15,000 credit hours of instruction. KPC provides certificates and degrees to students in high-demand fields, including process technology and instrumentation, nursing, and education.
The history of the City of Soldotna begins with homesteading that occurred in the late 1940s, although Native Alaskan Athabaskan peoples had lived and used the areas around the Kenai River for many thousands of years prior to the city’s establishment. After World War II, veterans were given priority in homesteading in this area and settlement began to grow.
The construction of the Sterling Highway from Anchorage and the Kenai Spur Highway occurred in the 1950s, resulting in increased settlement in the area. A post office for Soldotna was established in 1949. Oil was discovered at the nearby Swanson River area in 1957, giving the population and economy of the area another major boost.
Soldotna’s location at the junction of the Sterling and Kenai Spur Highways resulted in the area becoming a major location for retail trade, services and government on the Kenai Peninsula.
The City of Soldotna’s population remains steady, and we continue to see development in both residential and commercial construction. The projection of the economy of Soldotna remains positive. The Kenai Peninsula Borough economy as a whole is diverse, as is Soldotna’s, which will continue to provide stability moving forward.