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Continuing subscribers know that we’ve had several glowing reports in recent years about Painter Creek Lodge (www.paintercreeklodge.com) on the Alaska Peninsula. It is in many ways a very special place, as are the owners of the lodge, Jon and Patty Kent. Well, a most unusual and sad fate has befallen the lodge. Here is the full skinny from Jon Kent.
“I thought I’d bring you up to date on events at Painter Creek. As you have probably heard, the lodge was broken into by a couple of brown bears last winter and sustained a lot of damage. This occurred sometime in December, as a flight over the lodge by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife pilot in late November showed everything normal and a subsequent flight in January revealed the damage. At any rate, the bears, which from tracks appear to have been a sow and a two-year-old cub, spent a lot of time ransacking the place. They took out six windows, numerous doors, and generally trashed the interior, tearing apart the fridge, freezers, furnishings, carpet, etc. They also took out a section of exterior wall below a window to gain access and managed to rip out some buried fuel lines. In addition, we discovered a window and section of wall missing in our crew bunkhouse, as well as in the room where my wife and I live in another building. As you can imagine, it was not a pretty scene. The good news, as such, is that there is no structural damage, and nothing that can’t be fixed.
“The upshot of all this is that after almost 30 years of operation, we have decided to close the lodge, at least for this season. I guess it would be fair to say that we’re just running out of steam. I have contacted all the guests who were scheduled for this season and either booked them into a nearby operation or refunded payments/deposits. Needless to say, there was lots of disappointment, but also sympathy, understanding, and lots of questions about the future of the lodge, which is something I’ve thought about a lot. As many in the fishing community know, we’ve had the place on the market for the past four years, hoping it would be bought as a private fishing-hunting club or retreat by an individual or group. At this point, we’re working to find a buyer sooner rather than later.
“Painter Creek has huge potential due to its location. It is situated on private deeded land, which is incredibly rare in this part of the world, plus we are far enough away to avoid the competition for water that is becoming increasingly common north of us. We also have a very loyal client base that loves the venue and area for just those reasons and are hoping to return as soon as possible. Ideally, I’d like to stick around for a while to share my quarter century–plus knowledge of the fisheries and area, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
“Anyway, Patty and I are heading down to spend the summer at the lodge. We’ve gathered up materials for repairing the buildings, and we plan on fishing and just generally kicking back
and enjoying the place. If anyone has any questions or needs more information, we can be contacted by e-mail at [email protected].”—Jon Kent, Painter Creek Lodge.