HOMER— It’s a humble name for a little town that is anything but ordinary. Named for Homer Pennock, a con man who arrived in 1896 and lured others to the Homer area with promises of gold, the community of Homer evolved from a coal mining town to a center for fishing, farming, ranching, and homesteading and finally to the vibrant regional economic center we see today.
Located near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, Homer is variously described as “where the land ends and the sea begins,” “the cosmic hamlet by the sea,” an arts community, and a fishing community. Common to almost any description is an acknowledgement that Homer is situated in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with spectacular views of Kachemak Bay, the Kenai Mountains, and several volcanic peaks across Cook Inlet including Mt. Augustine, Mt. Iliamna, and Mt. Redoubt.
Homer is also famous for the Homer Spit, a 4.5 mile natural spit of land extending into Kachemak Bay. Accommodating Homer’s port facilities and small boat harbor along with numerous shops, restaurants, the Nick Dudiak “Fishing Hole,” campgrounds, charter fishing and sight-seeing businesses, and other attractions, the Spit is a beehive of activity during the summer months. Commercial fishing remains a vital part of the local economy. Homer lands more halibut than any other port in the world, earning the title of “Halibut Capital of the World.”
Homer’s economy is based on more than just fishing and tourism. Marine trades are an industry cluster. The Alaska Department of Labor has noted that entrepreneurship is a key element in Homer’s economic equation. Education and health services are vital to the economy and contribute to Homer’s quality of life. Homer has become popular as a retirement community and locale for summer homes. New residents who can live anywhere they want choose Homer partly because of the beauty; partly for the arts, culture, and recreation opportunities; and partly because people here are friendly and welcoming. Interested in starting a business in Homer? Check out this link: [LINK]
Homer residents make the most of outdoor recreation opportunities including fishing, hiking, skiing, kayaking, snow-machining, birding, kite-surfing, and more. In addition to these attractions, Homer is widely acknowledged to have the best arts scene and the best restaurants of any small town in Alaska. Many of these businesses are located on Pioneer Avenue or in “Old Town” as well as on the Spit. Two other major attractions are the Pratt Museum and the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. The Islands and Ocean Center serves as headquarters for the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Homer Chamber of Commerce operates a visitor information center and is a quick source of information on local happenings, opportunities, and services. Homer has a plethora of non-profit organizations that enhance quality of life and provide wide-ranging volunteer opportunities.
Homer prides itself on being an ambitious, forward-thinking community that embraces responsible economic development. Major goals for the next decade include developing 30 acres in the heart of Homer as a new and vibrant “Town Center,” expanding the Deep Water Dock, adding additional boat harbor space, developing a new water source to meet the needs of a growing population, and bringing natural gas to Homer.
Homer is also gaining recognition for its emphasis on sustainability. It was the first community in Alaska to adopt a Climate Action Plan (2007) and the City of Homer has followed up with an employee sustainability guidebook and a program to improve energy efficiency and conservation in all City buildings and facilities.
We are happy you visited this website and hope you will peruse further. Other Homer organizations that may be of interest include:
Homer Chamber of Commerce
Islands and Ocean Visitor Center
University of Alaska-Kenai Peninsula College-Kachemak Bay Campus
South Peninsula Hospital
KBBI Public Radio
Kenai Peninsula Borough
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District