The Birth of Alaska House of Jade
The original owner of the bed and breakfast was an incredible woman, Dee. After beginning her career at the First Federal Bank of Alaska at the age of 18, Dee quickly moved up the ladder and by the age of 24 was the youngest Bank VP in Alaska, and by the age of 26 was the only female Executive VP and Director of a bank in Alaska. During her career she also built and bought a number of commercial and multi-family dwellings units, which she managed for over 30 years. At one point Dee owned nearly 30 buildings in Anchorage, so she was no stranger to construction or hard work. In 1985 Dee bought the house, that is now the bed and breakfast, and at the age of 41 she retired from the bank after 23 years. In the spring of 1987 Dee opened the B&B, then named the “Morovia House”.
The house at the time was a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath, and 3400 sf home on an 8000 sf lot. She started with just two bedrooms upstairs with a connecting bath. Before the end of the first month she had guests requesting a return visit and didn’t have space for them. She put a bed in the rec room on the lower level to accommodate the guests and continued to use it for the remainder of the season. In 1988 Dee removed the pool table, wet bar and some furnishings in the lower level and put in folding walls and created two more guest rooms that shared one bath. No changes were made until 1994 when she did a pretty full facelift, including painting redecorating, and put in permanent walls separating the living room from the two guest rooms downstairs. Dee’s late husband, Gordon, passed in late 1997 and not knowing what to do with herself, Dee applied for a building permit to put a “small” addition on the house.
Over the course of the next few years and five – yes that’s five - change orders to the original permit, Dee increased the size of the home to 8,605 square feet and the lot size to 11,000 sf with the purchase the vacated street adjacent to the property. The final result was the B&B as it stands today: 5 Guest rooms all with private baths, Owner’s quarters, a guest kitchen, a second family room and reading loft, two spacious decks, and two large garages. With Alaska being snowy and white for so many months out of the year Dee always liked having a lot of color (mostly green) indoors. With a green color scheme plus her grand idea of siding the front of the house with real Alaskan Jade… the new name Alaska House of Jade was born. Upon getting the quote for the “jade” siding, she quickly decided a jade colored slate was just as pretty and that’s what you see today. After six years of renovations the remodel was complete in May of 2004. The B&B was officially closed for just 6 weeks during the 1998 season and about two weeks in 1999. Dee tells folks she “built a house around a house” which is exactly what she did. In 2012 Dee started giving thought to retiring but always hated the idea of giving up the B&B. Minor knee problems and just getting older Dee set a retirement date of October 2016 – her 70th birthday.However one must never make concrete plans. Later that year Dee met Zack and Krista who had fallen in love with the house and the idea of running a B&B. Dee and Krista seem to be of kindred spirits and quickly became very close. The transition of the B&B just seemed meant to be for them both. Dee has always been so supportive of Zack and Krista and in her retirement letter to her guests wrote…
“I’m sure you’ll agree after having met Krista and Zack that it was not a difficult decision for me to move my retirement up by three years. They are full of energy and great ideas to turn the B&B into their personal dream. It’s truly been a blessing to me to see how well they have adapted to running a bed and breakfast. The great reviews they began getting from the very beginning are no surprise to me.I wish them every success and as much joy and wonderful memories as the last 27 years have afforded me”.