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Embrace tourism
By William Lidster


September 13, 2005

I must agree with Mr. Thomas' viewpoints in his letter of August 23, 2005 in that Ketchikan does need to embrace tourism as an essential mainstay to its development, vitality and maintenance. Just this year, a harsh summer season has caused four of the downtown stores to close. Regardless of whether you believe another jewelry or curio gift store is needed, that represented a major hit to the revenue that Ketchikan enjoys in sales taxes.

Of course, everyone is concerned about their specific interests and the impact to them of a port expansion. If it is true that the number of passengers in Ketchikan will decline due to the failed bond measure, then everyone in Ketchikan is going to lose.

The city should rapidly readdress this issue. As Rick Watson indicated in his August 29 letter, "Choices", it is prudent for all the facts and options be provided to the citizens of Ketchikan. Ketchikan's officials can provide several options with cost, bond, and impact statements to accompany them. The people of Ketchikan voted "no" on the past bond - not because they don't appreciate the value of tourism in the city - but because THAT OPTION didn't present the benefits needed to overcome the disadvantages.

Ketchikan's officials appear to understand the need for tourism and it would be terrible if they decide to proceed in lieu of the voters' wishes. Instead, they need to develop a few options that continue to support tourism and give the voters clear understanding of what they are considering. I am sure, then, that the folks in Ketchikan would select a viable plan to expand the docks and help maintain a vital source of their revenue.

William Lidster
Anchorage, AK - USA


Related Viewpoint:

letter Re: How Arrogant Are These Guys? By Russell Thomas - Ketchikan, AK - USA

letter CHOICES By Rick Watson - Ketchikan, AK - USA




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