By Chris Parks
January 29, 2006
The city's Port Renovation project is not about whether we like tourists or not, it is about jobs, and the economic health of our community.
Our dock facilities are outdated and undersized for the modern cruise ship industry,and the Bond Vote for April 11th will enable us to update our facilities to take full advantage of the cruise ship traffic we already have, and prevent us from losing more of the visitor traffic than the 100,000 that we ve already lost for the 2006 season.
Here are some facts to ponder:
According to the McDowell Group study, in 2004 direct spending by the cruise ship visitor industry in Ketchikan was $138.2 million dollars.
In 2004 the cruise ship visitor industry accounted for approximately $45 million dollars in wages and salaries in Ketchikan. Add to that self-employment earnings, and the cruise ship industry created job earnings roughly equivalent to the total payroll of the Ketchikan Pulp Company before it closed in 1997.
Also, it is estimated that money spent in a community re-circulates numerous times, causing an indirect benefit to the economy, and creating or supporting many more jobs.
When you do the math, you'll
find that almost every job in our community is supported directly
or indirectly to some extent, by the cruise ship visitor industry.
I urge all citizens and voters to learn more before the April
11th vote, because your job, and those of your family, friends,
and neighbors just may, and probably does, depend on the cruise
About: Chris Parks operates a year-round business in downtown Ketchikan that serves the local population as well as the tourist industry.
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