SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Dock Vendor Ammendments pro's & con's
By Sid Browne


January 18, 2008

I am writing this letter in response to the article "Rate Hikes" in the Ketchikan Daily News 01/17/08, in the end of the article after even more bad news of higher moorage fees, with fuel prices running wild, it seems boat owners are not only getting pounded by our strong southeast winds but by the forces of politics and fiscal dilemmas. Though the "rate hikes" probably will help the the city complete very much needed improvements in their facilities such as Bar Harbor 2,3,4 and Hole in the wall. After that storm passes, I go check the boats buckle down the hatches all is almost well. Then you find another storm on the agenda after "Rate Hikes" and they label this storm, "Dock Vendor Amendments". Now like every storm there will be highs and lows, this one is no different.

The second article starts by stating that these amendments were devised by City staff & some Vendors, I must have been fishing on my turn to comment on some of these issues that the city staff and a few Dock Booth Vendors have come up with, On the other end others have some problem with these restrictions that will be up for vote by the City Council [last night] . Keep in mind the bidding process in which the City uses to select the Vendors can be very competitive to say the least, since there are only six on the dock a lot of people are viewing for, some of which are also sold onboard the Cruise ships.

Amendment 1: Change amount of area you can stand outside your booth and Sell your tour(s)? from being able to touch your booth to six feet around your booth.

This Vendor's Response: That's fine gives a little more bang for my buck, don't know how much of a difference it would make, but I personally don't feel people come to Alaska to get stalked and yelled at to do a tour.

Amendment 2: Require sign age meet City's code.

Response: Didn't know that this was not in place already, seem to remember the Port Authority enforcing it several times.

Amendment 3: Restrict number of employees a vendor may employ in their booths to two.

Response: I definitely feel this is over governing, as that two thousand people try to influx our town each ship that pulls in to our berths there are two booths for each existing berth, a majority of those 2,000+ come off when the gangway is set, you can imagine where the restriction will hurt vendors, might I add jobs are good for the community.

Amendment 4: Restrict tour sold from any one booth to those that are least 51% owned by the Vendor (me).

Response: Well this is huge, and the City should really take a good look at this one, this one is probably backed by those sold onboard as well as the dock. I sell fishing charters that last 4-6 hours long, seeing as how the cruise ships average port of call is around 6 hour that give me a little window to sell my tour. This amendment ties my hands behind my back, and for the price these booths are bid out at myself and other vendors with lengthy tours will have tough times ahead of us, if we manage to stay afloat.

Amendment 5: Expand the definition of "SELLING" to include brokering, referrals, advertising and promoting.

Response: Wow who devised this combo of 4 & 5 is either trying to monopolize the dock, open it up to favoritism -- in short this opens a huge can of worms, you may as well paint information in big letters on everyone's booth so they can either help their fellow vendors or detour them to their supporters, whomever they may be. All in all very ridiculous plan.

Sid Browne
Alaskan Experience Charters
Ketchikan, AK

About: "I am the owner/mgr of Alaskan Experience Charters, for goin into its tenth year of business. I was born and raised in Ketchikan I am 29 yrs of age have been in the charter fishing industry Since I was 14 years of age."

Received January 17, 2008 - Published January 18, 2008




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