Isolated roadhouse outside Anchorage for sale, no takers

Posted: Monday, March 03, 2008

WASILLA - The Skwentna Roadhouse is on the market but so far, there are no takers.

Manager Bonnie Childs, whose parents own the lodge about 70 miles northwest of Anchorage, said the roadhouse, which is off the road system, could be a dream come true for the right person. But selling a lodge in a place like Skwentna is tough, even if it is popular with snowmachiners during the Iditarod Trial Sled Dog Race.

Childs' parents, John and Joyce Logan of Big Lake, built the lodge in 1982 and still run it in the summer. Childs, her husband and their 17-year-old daughter operate it the rest of the year.

The Logans sold the roadhouse in 1999, but the sale fell through when the new owners failed to pay their bills and abandoned the property, Childs said. Three years ago, the Logans decided to put it up for sale again.

The two-story wood building, located on 10 acres, sleeps 20 and resembles a large but quaint home. It gets a steady stream of fishermen in the summer and snowmachiners in the winter.

At the Skwentna Roadhouse, cooking meals and cleaning are all part of a day's work. But so is chopping eight to 14 cords of wood each spring for heat, hauling 100-pound tanks of propane and picking up groceries flown in from Anchorage, Childs said.

The hard work, isolation and their advancing age are the reasons her parents wanted to sell in the first place, she said.

Now in their 70s, the couple originally built the lodge as a place for area children to stay during the school week.

Barbara and Bernie Vockner, whose Anchorage-based real estate business, Remote Properties LLC, specializes in far-flung parcels, said it typically can take two to five years to sell a lodge. And even that can be a stretch.

"Some never sell," said Bernie Vockner.

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