Further opinion regarding
the dock expansion project
By Rick Grams
August 13, 2005
I like how Mr. Ellis identified people in favor of a
NO vote as losers - yep, wins friends and influences people every
time. I'm referring to the comment - "The urging of those
in favor of "NO" votes arises from a number of poor
losers whose voices were heard and weighed in an exhaustive and
conscious choice by the city council to select the site now presented."
Unfortunately, I only recently gained interest in this process.
I can make a million excuses, but it doesn't change the fact
that my opinions, thoughts and questions are too late. Regardless,
I appreciate this marvelous tool in which I can still share these
views. This web site of course, is maintained by the amazing
and truly inspiring Dick and Mary Kauffman.
After reading all of the literature from 2003 which is posted
on the City's web site I can see where the process has failed.
Back in 2003, one of the goals was to meet and exceed passenger
expectations (click here slide 10). Reviewing the documentation
for 2005 this goal is rephrased (in a politically correct manner)
to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Ketchikan and
then subsequently adds To achieve this, the experience to the
passenger must be improved (click here, slide 119).
Using those key points as the basis for my own personal analysis,
I don't see how the locally owned Ketchikan tourist business
operator will benefit. We're going to have two more docks (and
only docks) available for cruise ships not to mention this is
for roughly 1/4 of a calendar year.
The end result - the cruise line industry gets to bring +2000
passenger ships to Ketchikan. These passengers multiplied by
the number of ships in port (+2000 x 4 = +8000) still get to
wander around the same 10-12 block radius while traffic continues
to flow. I just don't see how we're addressing the bigger issue
of Ketchikan s patchwork design of hosting the tourism industry.
Is the end goal for the next 20 years to slowly migrate to the
north side of the tunnel and redesign downtown as we move along?
Instead of looking at docks alone, we should instead be incorporating
a bigger picture concept of a fully redesigned downtown Ketchikan.
If the cruise line industry is so confident in a $70 million
project for a couple of docks, then why won't they believe in
our own local establishments to the extent that they would back
that as well?
In addition to everything above, our own City government should
be proactively promoting Ketchikan to tourism and other giant
business entities. A great start and gesture would be assisting
stores dependant on the tourist industry AND owned by year round
living residents with some incentives from the City government
(or maybe even the State government). Something like this or
another alternative idea needs to be implemented to help ensure
tourists do see the "real" Alaska.
I'm sorry - but you'll get a "NO" vote from me only
because enough of the bigger issue has not been addressed. I
think Ketchikan is a great spot for the tourist industry, but
I want to see more support for the locality and its local (meaning
year round) business owners. I also don't think you've fully
addressed that goal to "improve the quality of life of the
citizens of Ketchikan". I won't vote yes for a patchwork
plan. Ketchikan - We can do better and we should.
On the Web:
Ketchikan Port Berth
Expansion Bond Initiative
Port Berth Expansion Bond Initiative
Vote August 16,
The City of Ketchikan
is proposing to expand and improve facilities along the waterfront
to provide enhanced public use and additional economic benefit
to residents, business owners, and the City. A bond initiative
will be placed on the August 16, 2005 ballot to gain approval
for up to $70 million to fund the project. - More... Port
Expansion Project Information
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