SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Support dock expansion
By Shauna Lee


March 19, 2006

I read with interest the letter from Don Hoff, Jr. - all the way from Tennessee - opposing a Ketchikan dock expansion.

He is correct that tourists will continue to come to Ketchikan, but I hope not just for the native culture as he implied. There are many other businesses in town that rely upon tourism to earn a living. Charter boats, restaurants, family run tour businesses, cab companies, flightseeing charters... the list goes on and on.

That money trickles down to every aspect of business in Ketchikan - groceries, gas, housing, etc. And anyone involved with tourism knows that the summer of 2006 is bringing far fewer tourists than years past. The dock expansion will provide us an opportunity to at least stabilize our visitor numbers in years to come - and when we work hard to accommodate the cruise lines, they do work hard to accommodate us by scheduling more stops. The new dock expansion would mean my home would look directly onto the facility - a cruise ship in my front yard practically - and I can't wait! Because every cruise ship that ties up here offers me - and thousands of others - the opportunity to pay my bills, put money aside for my children's college funds, buy clothes....

I agree that money needs to be spent to clean up the water here - but if we lose tourism, who is going to be here to drink that water? People will have to leave Ketchikan in droves - much like Mr. Hoff has - if tourism income is taken away.

Surprisingly, for a man so involved in city governement, Mr. Hoff seems to have forgotten that in order to raise money to improve water, docks, schools, etc., there actually have to be people in the community MAKING MONEY in order to pay taxes!

I realize that some people vehemently oppose the dock expansion because they don't want to see Ketchikan taken over completely by the tourism industry. But how are those people making their money? I challenge anyone who makes their living in Ketchikan to tell me how they are not positively affected, even in some small way, by tourism dollars. Each of those visitors that walks onto our docks is bringing financial opportunities to ALL of Ketchikan. Some from as far away as Tennessee!

Shauna Lee
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: Shauna Lee is a 30 year resident of Ketchikan and is heavily involved with the tourism industry and the arts community of Ketchikan.


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