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Three Bears to open store and lodging in Cooper Landing

Sabine Poux/KDLL

Alaska grocery store chain Three Bears Alaska has purchased 13 acres in Cooper Landing to build a store there.

Company president Dave Weisz said Three Bears brought the piece of land, on the Sterling Highway, across Quartz Creek from the borough’s transfer facility, from a private property owner last winter. Now, it’s coordinating with the Kenai Peninsula Borough about building requirements.

Weisz sad the company will be in touch with residents of Cooper Landing soon to present details about the plan. He estimates construction might be finished in spring 2022.

Three Bears has nine locations around Alaska and one in Montana, including a store in Kenai and one in Ninilchik. In addition to a grocery store, this location would include a liquor store, gas fill-up station, over 50 RV campsites, tent sites, about 10 cabins for rent, showers and a laundromat. 

A few other Three Bears locations also have campsites and rooms to rent. Weisz said they’re considering building cabins that would be around 16 by 20 feet in size.

He said the company chose this location because it’s about halfway between Anchorage and Kenai, and because Cooper landing is a “beautiful area.”

Weisz said he’s not worried about the upcoming Sterling Highway bypass project curtailing business.

A representative from the borough planning department says the company is in the process of trying to remove an easement that runs through the property, and is awaiting approval from the state on that plan.

Weisz said the company will make sure the building design fits the area. 

Sabine Poux is a producer and reporter for the Brave Little State podcast of Vermont Public. She was formerly news director and evening news host at KDLL in Kenai.

Originally from New York, Sabine has lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont and Kenai.
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