June 28, 2006
IFA board chair Dennis Watson said that the discounts are being offered to introduce people to the new route. Round-trip service is provided each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Traffic to date has met the IFA's expectations and is building steadily, said Watson. Since the service was inaugurated on May 18, several Wrangell merchants have reported increases in business from Prince of Wales Island residents.
Muskeg Meadows golf course and the movie theater at Wrangell's Nolan Center are other attractions luring visitors from northern POW communities. Until Alaska visitors discover travel options that the northern route offers, we are dependent upon local traffic to generate the revenue needed to cover operating costs, stated Watson. The IFA is a non-subsidized independently operated ferry system that depends on passenger and vehicle fares to cover operating costs.
The IFA's M/V Prince of Wales has been providing daily round-trip service between Ketchikan and Hollis on Prince of Wales Island since January, 2002. Twice daily round-trips are provided during June, July and August. Last year the IFA boarded over 50,000 passengers and 15,000 vehicles on this route.
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