SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Is Oceans Alaska going to put you and me out
of business while using our tax dollars?

By Rob Holston


June 26, 2009

John Sund indicates that Oceans Alaska will depend on revenue from the visitor industry their first year of operation by selling shore excursions i.e. tours of the aquarium facility to 122,000 tourists! This number will increase to 150,000 visitors per summer season according to the Oceans Alaska business plan.

These numbers may go unnoticed by the majority of onlookers, but when a government supported, $38,000,000.00 facility goes on line with flashy websites, brochures, uptown offices and marketing staff paid for by taxpayers dollars, the playing field is tilted to become a slippery slope of survival for all the private enterprise businesses struggling to survive in the very competitive shore excursion business.

When 150,000 tourists a year go to Oceans Alaska, they will NOT go charter sport fishing, kayaking, zip lining, jet boating, crabbing, lumberjacking, bicycling, Misty Fjording, hiking, ducking,Totem Bighting, bus touring, lighthouse touring, canoeing, jeep driving, snorkeling, go-carting, Saxman touring, motorcycling, horse-drawn-trolleying, etc. If the 30 existing shore excursions were to share in a 150,000 customers per season increase, I dare say many would experience a 20% to 50% increase! Conversely all existing shore excursion operators stand to loose that same percentage when Oceans Alaska comes on line with their taxpayer supported super-attraction. CAN THEY SURVIVE? IS THIS FAIR?

Many businesses will be put out of business, at the hands of governments handing over public lands and public funding to create Oceans Alaska. Similar to the Performing Arts Center, Oceans Alaska should not be allowed to contract with cruise ship companies for shore excursions because it creates unfair competition with existing private enterprise while using public funds.

Rob Holston
Lighthouse Excursions, Inc.
Ketchikan, AK


Received June 25, 2008 - Published June 26, 2009



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