Office of the Mayor
On behalf of the City Council and Administration of the City of Kenai, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our All-American City! The motto of the City of Kenai, “Village with a Past, City with a Future” captures the relationship between the time when this area was first inhabited by the Dena’ina people thousands of years ago to present.
The Dena’ina and early Russian settlement influence is evident in the Old Town area of Kenai located on the bluff overlooking the mouth of the world famous Kenai River. The modern Dena’ina Wellness Center is located at an original Dena’ina Village site and the iconic Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church was established in the mid 1800’s and is still an active parish.
The abundance of salmon was certainly a reason that the Dena’ina originally settled in this area and today these same salmon stocks support diverse user groups. Presently, from the bluff in Old Town Kenai, one can view the commercial drift fleet leaving and returning during the fishing season while personal use dip netters fish to harvest their winter’s supply of fresh salmon. Just out of view is the shore-based commercial set net fleet to the north and south of the river along with the Kenaitze educational set net site. Sport fishing also brings tens of thousands of visitors to the area each year in pursuit of sockeye and the larger Chinook salmon.
The intertidal area of the Kenai River is also a popular place to view Beluga whales, seals, Bald Eagles, and a wide variety of sea and shore birds. If you are the adventurous type, you may want to take advantage of our close proximity to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to explore thousands of acres of wilderness through the canoe and trail systems located on the Refuge.
These are just a few of the opportunities that our community has to offer. Whether you are moving to the City of Kenai, trying your luck fishing, visiting, or exploring business opportunities, I would recommend your first stop be to the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center (www.visitkenai.com) and Kenai Chamber of Commerce (www.kenaichamber.org).
Thank you for visiting the City of Kenai website and best of luck on your adventures!
Mayor Brian Gabriel