I am pleased to announce that 2018 turned out to be a decent year for SNAI. With the problems SNAI experienced in 2017, it looked like 2018 was not going to be a good year either. But, with some tough decisions by the board, we closed the year out much better than expected.
Our government contracting arm managed to keep losses low during the year by reducing staffing and expenses. Our one successful project in Tracy, CA provided needed income while the government’s SBA went through a six-month sale approval process. In December, with SBA’s blessing, we completed the sale of three of the four companies and those proceeds helped bring the entire division to nearly break even for the year. The last company is wrapping up the Tracy, California project, however, we won’t be looking for new projects in the future.
As the contracting arm wound down, the Dimond Center Hotel saw growth. While 2017 was one of the hotel’s top years, it was less than the previous year. In 2018, we determined to improve the services and amenities. We hired a new head of housekeeping who brought better cleaning and management methods to make our rooms shine. We hired a new sales manager to oversee the bar and restaurant service. While this service was once a drag on the bottom line, it is now pulling its own weight. We also improved the products available in the rooms. All these changes increased our guest satisfaction and added $185,324 more in revenues, increasing the bottom line by $105,123. And the Dimond Center Hotel is not done improving. This fall we will undertake the first big room renovation for the hotel. New furniture, carpets, and tile will be added, as well as brightening up the rooms with a new paint color and lighting scheme. Fresh new rooms will help us to continue to compete with the newer hotels in Anchorage and add to the desirability of the Dimond Center Hotel.
On the resource front, SNAI continues to look for possible projects. A small one with potential is on the west side of Cook Inlet, where the brown bears populate our lands. We have designated specific areas for guided hunts and other areas for guided bear viewing. We are giving permits to several small companies to operate in those areas. While it may take years for this to becomes lucrative for SNAI, it can be a valuable resource that we want to responsibly manage it. Another project started at the end of 2018 when SNAI made an agreement with a rock and gravel company to open the pit at Jakalof Bay. The surface and subsurface land there belongs entirely to SNAI, since it was transferred from the state of Alaska as part of the Kachemak Bay Park Trade. Thus, SNAI will retain 100% of the proceeds.
So, as we look back at 2018, SNAI made the right changes to not repeat 2017, and actually ended up with a modest profit and an average distribution (dividend). And with those changes we have made, 2019 should be even better still.
President / Interim CEO