Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions



Dock extension
By Robert Fruehan


August 04, 2005

With what I have been reading on Sitnews it sounds like making room for more cruise ships is another fine example of wasted energy and money. Too many tourists are making Ketchikan a "one stop" tour and are spreading the word that what they saw when they visited Ketchikan was beautiful scenery on the way in building up their expectations and then when they get off the ship they got to see jewelry.

I think (my own opinion) the money would be better spent by an addition to the museum showing more of the local history/culture, more money towards the aquarium project, etc. The tourists are here to see Alaska not buy jewelry. If you build it they will come sounds good in a movie but getting more to come is not the answer. Getting more to spread the word that it is the place to visit is. No matter where you extend it, it will be yet another view blocker and does not promise Ketchikan increased revenues.

What is the estimated time it will take for the $70 million to be paid off in "increased" revenues from tourism as a result of this extension? I bet it will be a long time, certainly nothing a normal business would choose to invest in. As if you add equipment or invest money into your business you have a plan that shows how long it will take for that equipment or investment to pay for itself. This one sounds too long term with too many variables.

And I have to agree with everyone about the bridge, for that price you would hope that it would at least look good, I also agree that if you want to get to the airport driving through tourists downtown and out to the bridge then to the airport will take too long. How about making South Tongass wider, safer and pothole free instead? Ketchikan has some of the worst paved highways in the state not to mention poor lighting along many parts of it.

Again, this is my own opinion and Don Young would probably think I just finished a large amount of marijuanna but I think the bridge idea is good. However its location, cost, look, all suck. A better spot is a straight shot, shorter bridge near Wolfe Point. No burial ground desecration at that spot, it would be shorter and only require one bridge and would cost (or should) much less. But I would rather see a road to the mainland first.

Robert Fruehan
Sand Point, AK - USA


On the Web:

Port of Ketchikan Expansion Project

Gravina Access Project



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