Taku Glacier Lodge, Inc.
Taku Lodge, originally built in 1923, was one of Alaska’s first hunting and fishing lodges and provided a base camp for activities in the valleys and streams of the Taku River. The Taku Glacier Lodge, the new name was officially adopted in 1949, has had a number of owners over the years. Ken and Michelle Ward, current owners, bought the property in 1993 and their five children have grown up spending summers at the lodge. The lodge is listed on the National Historic Registry.
In 1979 the lodge began offering day visits to tourists when the previous owners started the Wilderness Salmon Bake & Scenic Flight. Today the lodge operates exclusively as a tourist shore excursion for cruise ship and independent visitors. The visitors today still enjoy the salmon bake, flightseeing , and self-guided hikes on the many trails on the 24 acre property. The lodge serves approximately 14,500 tourists each year and consistently ranks in the top five shore excursions for cruise ship passengers visiting Southeast Alaska. This is an Alaska family run business that employs ten people in the main lodge and gift shop building.
AIDEA partnered with First National Bank of Alaska (FNBA) to assist in the Ward’s refinancing of a high interest debt on the property and extract equity to facilitate renovations at the lodge which included treating the logs that make up the main building, a major kitchen remodel, and the installation of a solar power array that will now completely power the lodge (vs. gasoline generators). FNBA originated the $775,000 loan and AIDEA participated at 90% of the loan in the amount of $697,500. AIDEA’s portion carries 15-year term at a fixed rate of 3.90%.
“The long-term fixed rates were very attractive and helped us increase cash flow and reduce our interest expense for years to come. You don’t typically see the same low rates from a bank, or the fixed rate feature for such a longer term. ”
Ken and Michelle Ward, Owners