Member Spotlight: Dr. Michael Moriarty, DDS

Q&A With Dr. Michael Moriarty, DDS 

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Dr. Michael P. Moriarty, D.D.S has been providing general dentistry services to Seward families for over 27 years. The success of his practice is based on a foundation of building relationships.  Taking a family-oriented stance in his practice has led to fourth-generation Seward families travelling from as far away as Wasilla for dental appointments. Keeping in contact with extended families from around Alaska and creating new relationships within Seward and Lowell Point has grown his business over decades.
 

We recently sat down with Dr. Moriarty to find out more about his journey to become Seward’s dentist.

Dr. Moriarty teams up with his wife, Maya, to run a succesful dentist practice in Seward. Photo Courtesy of Dr. Moriarty, DDS.

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

I moved here in 1991 and worked as an associate under Dr. Warren Huss, until I purchased the practice in 2004. I’m an outdoorsman; I loves to fish and hunt and I like the cold! The Alaska climate and culture were a good match for a guy from South Dakota.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

Seward is a great place to raise a family and to be a part of the community. Our children have been raised by a village; the community is warm and welcoming. We were part of a babysitting co-op that also went on hikes and other adventures together. As for work, I get great pleasure in seeing someone smile!

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

We’re known for exceptional quality work, a conservative approach that focuses on our patients’ needs and a friendly, professional environment. I tell people all the time that I wouldn’t recommend any treatment that I wouldn’t perform on my own mother. We’re also known for being a happy place – we try to stay upbeat and make people smile and laugh.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

We provide custom-made mouthguards to local athletes at an extreme discount regardless of whether the athlete is a patient. Our focus is on saving teeth.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

Due to HIPPA regulations, I can’t give specifics, but several times I’ve been educating a patient about a particular topic specific to their situation and they’ve told me no dentist had ever told them that. The fact that I can give people insight into their dental care and make a difference in their lives is a huge compliment. It’s also heartwarming when patients move away from the area and they tell me that their new dentist has complimented them on the work I’ve done in their mouths. Gordon Christenson, a well-known dentist and advocate in the industry, has also complimented my work which means a lot to me.

Dr. Moriarty was inducted as a fellow of the International College of Dentists in 2016 for outstanding service and work in the profession and community. Photo Courtesy of Seward City News.

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

We invest 5%-10% of our profits back in to the community that has been so good to us over the years.

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

Hiring assistants with no experience! I believe it’s easier to teach people the technical side of dentistry than to teach them how to treat people. So I’ve always hired employees for their work ethic and customer service skills, regardless of their knowledge in the field.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

It’s cliche, but I built my business on giving my best and doing what’s right for the patient.

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

It’s hard to pick one person, so I’ll pick an organization. We are so impressed with the Seward Community Foundation and its support of so many projects and organizations in Seward.

How do you spend your free time?

I spend my free time with family, hunting and fishing.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

My wife and I enjoy walking along the boardwalk and down the bike path along the waterfront. We usually run into friends, meet tourists, catch a glimpse of wildlife, watch the boats enter and exit the harbor or just enjoy the peace and beauty of Seward.

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

It depends, if it’s fishing season, I like to be on the water dropping a line. If it’s hunting season, you’ll see me hiking up Mt. Alice or the Jeep Trail.

Feature Image: Dr. Moriarty’s team has helped make his business a success. Photo Courtesy of Dr. Moriarty, DDS.

***

For more information about Dr. Moriarty’s dental practice, click here or call 907.224.3071.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.

 

36 Hours in Seward: Treat Yourself or Someone Special

seward_winter

Quiet trails and special deals await in Seward this winter!

Winter transforms Seward from a bustling visitor hub to an oasis for Alaskans to play and recharge. To celebrate this special season, we’ve launched our Winter Weekends event series. Enjoy quieter trails, fun activities and special discounts before the crowds return!

For Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend, we’ve developed an itinerary for couples looking for a low-key, luxurious getaway or for individuals and friends looking to melt away stress and rejuvenate their mind, body, and soul.

FRIDAY

Know Before You Go

Seward Highway is generally well maintained, but it’s always a good idea to check the travel conditions before you hit the road. Make sure your winter car emergency kit is well stocked before you leave home.

Click here for a schedule of events for the weekend of Feb. 15–18. We highly encourage booking spa services ahead of your trip for the best availability. 

Evening – Dinner on the Town

Kick-off your weekend escape with a meal that you won’t soon forget. Chef Kevin Lane sources local ingredients at The Cookery (209 5th Ave) to design creative dishes that capture the essence of Alaska. Fact: Foodies from around the state have been known to make a special trip to Seward just for dinner at the Cookery!

The Cookery, Seward Alaska, local food, Alaska produce
Whether it’s local seafood or Alaska grown produce, The Cookery’s inventive dishes never fail to impress. Photo courtesy of The Cookery.

Sip a glass of perfectly paired wine while waiting for your appetizer—the mushroom toast and brussels sprouts are local favorites—and take in local artwork. Dinner specials often highlight fresh seafood and other Alaskan delicacies. 

Between courses, check out incredible art by local artists Bethany WaggonerJustine Pechuzal and Marissa Amor. Your visit to this popular local eatery wouldn’t be complete without trying Chef Kevin’s cream cheese ice cream. Guild the lily by adding bacon. Yes, to your ice cream. Trust us on this. 

Looking to inject a bit of medieval fun into your evening? The Yukon Bar is hosting a Red Wedding-themed party that should appeal to Game of Thrones fans. 

SATURDAY

Morning – Relax to the Max

First, make like a local and head to Resurrect Art Coffee House to enjoy a lovingly-made espresso or rejuvenating tea. Soak up the light streaming in through the historic windows—the building, formerly a church, celebrated its 100th birthday last year—and browse jewelry, ceramics, and other art made by Seward residents. 

Next, it’s time to treat yourself. The Retreat, Seward’s only full-service spa, offers indulgences from manicures to full-body massages. A relaxing Tulasara facial ($85, 60 minutes) will leave your skin hydrated and refreshed. Many of the facials and massages include complimentary use of the sauna to flush toxins and a shower to energize you before heading out into the world. 

Afternoon – Walk, Shop, Lunch

Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska
The shores of Resurrection Bay offer a relaxing retreat to rejuvenate your mind and soul. Photo: @behendrixson

Head to historic Fourth Avenue to browse the unique collection of shops in our downtown district. Brown and Hawkins Mercantile offers a selection of handcrafted goods and jewelry made in Alaska. Browse through items such as Tlingit Botanicals health and beauty products or Happy AK headbands in a setting reminiscent of the early 1900s.

Across the street is Seward’s oldest family-owned business, Urbach’s Clothier, which offers unique clothing lines and shoes for men, women, and children. Look for Winter Weekends deals inside, like 30% off select items. 

A few doors to the north, drop into Sew’n Bee Cozy to browse a variety of colorful textiles and enjoy 25% off all red, white and blue fabrics. 

Looking for a treat? Try Frontier Trading Post for practical gifts like JACARA therapeutic skin care, made right here in Seward! Chocolate lovers will appreciate the house-made delights at Sweet Darlings

Stretch your legs with a leisurely walk along the paved waterfront path. A short stroll downtown offers stunning views of the fjords and peek-a-boo vistas of Godwin Glacier across Resurrection Bay. Here, sea lions and seals spy on visitors near the shore and you’ll often find an otter munching on shellfish from the rocky bottom of the bay.

Wanting something more active? Adventure 60 North is offering a half-day sea kayaking trip to lovely Bridal Veil Falls for $138 per person. 

Whether you’re looking for a lighter lunch or something warm and comforting, you’ll find it at Woody’s Thai Restaurant. Named after the iconic SeaLife Center’s playful sea lion, Woody’s offers fresh, nourishing dishes of Southeast Asia. Start with some crisp summer rolls and share some local favorites like the Tom Yum Soup or Penang curry.

Evening – Get Artsy

Paint your heart out at Resurrect Art this weekend!

Dog Song Designs will be hosting Beluga Love Paint Night at Resurrect Art Coffee House & Art Gallery from 6-8:30 pm. 

After fishing your masterpiece, grab a bite to eat at one of Seward’s legendary family restaurants: Thorn’s Showcase Lounge (try the fried halibut) or Apollo Restaurant (known for hand-tossed pizzas and generous salads). 

Not quite ready to call it a night? Just down the block, Shawn LaRose will be playing live tunes at the Yukon Bar. The live show starts at 9 pm. No cover. 

SUNDAY

Morning – Breakfast with Ms. Gene

Start off your day in Hotel Seward’s intimate Victorian lounge by ordering a signature Eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce at Ms. Gene’s Place (221 5th Ave). With mimosa in hand, you’ll be transported back to Seward’s early beginnings while dining on Chef Aaron’s newly updated menu.

Before leaving town, take a scenic drive down Lowell Point Road. Walk the beach at the Lowell Point State Recreation Site and lose yourself in reflection before heading back to hustle and bustle of the city.

LODGING

Enjoy views of the small boat harbor while soaking in the hot tub or swimming pool at Harbor 360 Hotel. Winter rates start at $119/night, including free breakfast. Inquire about Valentine’s/President’s Day weekend specials.

Kids of all ages will enjoy taking in the wildlife and history display at Hotel Seward. Located in the historic downtown district, you’ll be steps from many shops, the Alaska SeaLife Center, and the Seward Community Library & Museum

Watch eagles nesting in the lagoon from your room in the north addition of the Breeze Inn. Classic rooms are a good fit for budget-conscious travelers starting at $69/night. 

Looking for peace and quiet this weekend?  Serenity by the Sea and Miller’s Landing on scenic Lowell Point offer charming private cabins perfect for couples on a romantic getaway.

Rates listed are based on double occupancy and are subject to change. Contact the hotel directly to make your reservation.

***

Have a question about winter activities? Contact the Seward Chamber of Commerce at 907.224.8051. 

Visiting Seward with your family? Check out our 36 Hours in Seward: Winter Fun For Families.

***

Feature Image: Resurrection Bay painted with pastels soothes even the busiest of minds. Photo: @toneloke79