Family owned and operated since 1994 by the Dixon family, Winterlake Lodge is known for its unique backcountry adventures including river rafting, fly-fishing for salmon and rainbow trout, heli-hiking, and mountain biking.
HOMER, ALASKA – Within the Wild Adventure Company, the award-winning, family-owned transformative travel company operating adventure lodges in Alaska, announced the sale of its Winterlake Lodge to experiential travel company Eleven. The six-cabin fly-in lodge located nearly 200 miles northwest of Anchorage at the entrance to the dramatic Alaska Range will join Eleven’s diverse portfolio of curated properties in remarkable corners of the world and will be the company’s first in Alaska.
Family owned and operated since 1994 by the Dixon family, Winterlake Lodge is known for its unique backcountry adventures including river rafting, fly-fishing for salmon and rainbow trout, heli-hiking, and mountain biking. During the winter, the lodge, which serves as a checkpoint for the world-famous Iditarod Trail, offers dog mushing, cross-country skiing, aurora borealis viewing, and heli-ski adventures.
Within the Wild owner, Carl Dixon shares, “Eleven is the perfect company for us to pass on our Winterlake Lodge. They share a similar ethos, desire to preserve and protect wild places and belief in small boutique adventure travel brands offering exceptional customer service.” He adds, “Kirsten and I have lived here for more than thirty years, raised our children here, and loved every minute of it. We will continue to focus our efforts on Tutka Bay Lodge and our other new travel initiatives.”
Eleven’s acquisition of the lodge will be in partnership with the Dixon family to ensure a smooth transition for its guests and preferred travel partners, as the lodge will maintain its 2023 summer bookings. Carl Dixon will remain an operations consultant to Eleven, while the lodge’s operations managers, Wes Johnes and Taylor Hodge, will return for their 5th season. In addition, Kirsten and Mandy Dixon, the mother and daughter duo behind Within the Wild’s award-winning culinary program, will guide Eleven as they navigate gourmet cuisine in the Alaska wilderness.
“Eleven is honored to be continuing the 30-year legacy of the Dixon Family in Alaska by taking over stewardship of Winterlake Lodge,” says Ian Wick, Managing Director, of Eleven. He adds, “We are thrilled to have a new property and exciting destination in the last frontier for our clients to explore.”
Eleven specializes in delivering remote adventure experiences around the globe. As the Eleven philosophy is based on small-scale, high-quality travel in some of the world’s most remarkable locations, Winterlake Lodge is the perfect fit for the adventure collective to extend its portfolio into Alaska. Eleven aims to continue the tradition of Winterlake Lodge and looks forward to continuing to offer the exceptional service and adventures for which Winterlake Lodge is known. In winter 2024, Eleven has plans to build upon the adventure experiences offered at Winterlake Lodge by launching the first heli-ski season at the property in the remote mountains of the surrounding Alaska wilderness.
Within the Wild is working closely with Eleven to ensure its travel trade relationships continue to have a trusted partner and unique offering in the Alaska wilderness. The two companies will continue to offer the popular two-lodge combination package between Winterlake Lodge and Tutka Bay Lodge, a lodging property that Within the Wild continues to own and operate from Kachemak Bay near Homer.
The sale of Winterlake Lodge marks a new evolution for Within the Wild, which is celebrating 30 years of operating in Southcentral Alaska. The two-generation-run company will now focus on a new vision for Tutka Bay Lodge, which includes a series of natural world-based adventure and wellness offerings, and renovation led by notable architect and lodge friend Bill Bensley. The company is adding a luxury high-end-focused destination service in Alaska to add to its already outstanding reputation for hospitality services. The new menu of hospitality management services will first extend its operational expertise and deep regional knowledge to its lodge guests in 2023.
Joining the company’s portfolio of businesses in Homer, which already includes La Baleine Café, will be the Danish Daughter Flower Farm, a peony and vegetable farm, which will offer lodge guests unique dining experiences and cooking classes while being a source of local produce for their culinary offerings. Rounding out the Dixons’ new vision for the company is a deeper commitment to protecting and safeguarding the natural world and cultures around them, with its non-profit ‘Be the Wild Stewardship Project’. These new initiatives will focus on preserving wild land, Alaskan Native culture, and marine ecosystems, which enrich the lives of the local communities and the guest experience.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.