Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney, center, and representatives of Aspen Creek Senior Living celebrate a ribbon cutting during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney, center, and representatives of Aspen Creek Senior Living celebrate a ribbon cutting during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek celebrates expansion, readies to widen its community

The facility is in one of the areas described in the city’s Soldotna Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment Plan

At Aspen Creek Senior Living’s Soldotna facility on Friday, Feb. 9, a grand opening and ribbon-cutting was held for a recent expansion that added rooms and increased capacity. The company also announced plans for another expansion that will add a wing to the building for “memory care.”

Speaking ahead of the ribbon-cutting, Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg said that the expansion of the facility drew a lot of community involvement, in part because the facility is in one of the areas described in the city’s Soldotna Downtown Riverfront Redevelopment Plan.

Expansion of the Aspen Creek facility is an opportunity, Clegg said, for the seniors in the community to express themselves as part of that expansion.

Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney said the city is in “an exciting time,” naming the expansion of the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex with the Soldotna Field House, the Riverfront Redevelopment, and other developments like the expansions at Aspen Creek.

“We spent a lot of time talking about this,” Clegg said. “A project like this takes about eight months to build — and 18 months to get ready to build.”

Prior to the expansion’s opening, around 50 seniors were being served at the Soldotna facility. For those 50 residents, the facility has a staff of more than 40, Clegg said — “it takes a whole lotta love.”

That staff provides a service that people need to be able to rely on for the care of their loved ones, Clegg said. He described that service as hinging on being able to deliver on residents’ needs, to provide quality food and to provide engaging activities.

The expansion that opened last week extends the building’s two-story hallway that includes rooms for all residents, adding new rooms and capacity for around 20 more residents. Clegg said that the newly designed rooms are a little larger than previous ones and use a new heating system — based on lessons learned over the years about the needs of residents at the building.

All the new rooms have already been connected with residents, and Clegg said he anticipates seeing move-in processes completed in the next couple of months.

Seeing Aspen Creek grow, Clegg said, means seeing its community of seniors grow. He said when new people come in, many of them have friends already living at the center — or they’ll make new ones.

The facility, he said, is intended to provide an experience that isn’t “the end of the road,” instead “a paradigm shift forward.” That’s why things like the activities programming is so important.

Clegg says the response from the community — who are hearing from their own loved ones speaking about their experiences living at the home — shows that they’re successfully providing that.

“When we’re in a position to do an addition like this and we’ve got enough people to do it, that tells me the good things are happening,” he said.

The next expansion, for the memory care wing, is intended to serve folks with special needs related to things like Alzheimer’s and dementia, Clegg said. While the first expansion was on the building’s right side, reaching out toward the Sterling Highway, the memory care wing will be on its left, in the direction of Soldotna Creek Park.

For more information, visit aspencreekseniorliving.com.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

Aspen Creek Senior Living Executive Director Ashley Nichols speaks during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living Executive Director Ashley Nichols speaks during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg speaks during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg speaks during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg, with the microphone, calls up members of the Soldotna location’s staff during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg, with the microphone, calls up members of the Soldotna location’s staff during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg and Executive Director Ashley Nichols listen as Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney speaks during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Aspen Creek Senior Living CEO Doug Clegg and Executive Director Ashley Nichols listen as Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney speaks during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney, center, and representatives of Aspen Creek Senior Living celebrate a ribbon cutting during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Mayor Paul Whitney, center, and representatives of Aspen Creek Senior Living celebrate a ribbon cutting during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A board displaying an upcoming addition to the Soldotna Aspen Creek Senior Living location is showcased during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

A board displaying an upcoming addition to the Soldotna Aspen Creek Senior Living location is showcased during a grand opening event at Aspen Creek Senior Living in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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