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Old 11-07-2010, 11:48 AM
 
Location: ID
2,398 posts, read 1,268,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueflames50 View Post
seems if the town governing committees (not just in Juneau) wanted they could put in place regulations as to how many "tourist" (by tourist I mean "ship" owned) owned business and "local/native" owned business ratio standards so that the local/native population could benefit more.
As someone else said, when the tourists are in everyone benefits, and that includes the local business owners downtown. They depend on the tourist trade for survival just as much as the cruise ship stores do.

I know that a lot of locals try to avoid downtown as much as possible when the ships are in. I've been downtown for work when the place was swamped with tourists, and it's a PIA - restaurants are crowded, sidewalks are crowded, and finding parking is a nightmare. But it can be done with patience.

And I think that's the key - I've also been downtown when I was NOT in a hurry, and if you slow down and get into the same mood and rhythm of the tourists it can actually be fun. The over-the-top tackiness of the souvenir shops - the pop-up restaurants - the great places to visit all around the city - the flowers/flags that spring up all over town - yes, even the noisy float planes.

They're part of our town for a few months, dump a lot of money into the town coffers and then they're gone. Everyone in town breathes a sign of relief (including me) but for a few months during the summer, having happy people on vacation spending tons of money is not the worst fate that could befall this town.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 3,168,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juneaubound View Post
dump a lot of money into the town coffers and then they're gone.
Not totally correct, except for the "then they're gone" part.

That's one reason the head tax was passed, the cruise lines were taking more and more of the money back out of town with them.
The cruise lines just simply passed it on to their customers, made it public, and Alaska got mud on it's face because of it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 3,168,243 times
Reputation: 881
Wow, this is timely.

Today in the newspaper:

Assembly chooses top 10 priorities for the year - Juneau Empire

If you notice, at least 8 of the 10 are probably Fed/State grant related, none address the real concerns of the residents here.

This is the problem with JNU, the leadership. They're clueless.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
5,882 posts, read 9,579,502 times
Reputation: 3051
It might be worth looking into who actually gets the money from the tourist incursions. In Hawaii, somewhere around 90% of the tourist money goes to corporations who aren't here. The local folks get "wonderful" jobs working for low wages at a hotel or driving a tour bus, but the biggest chunks of the tourist dollars go to the corporations who own the hotels, tour buses, etc. I don't know of any local owned hotels anymore. It is also really hard for the average local person to actually get in line for any of the tourist dollars directly from any tourists. It's illegal to sell them trinkets or take them on tours unless you've got all sorts of licenses and permits which require big fees and payments.

Another danger of depending on tourist money is when they don't show up. If the cruise ships choose a different port because the ones they use are "stale" or if the economy tanks so that the tourists herds aren't migrating your way anymore, it will be trouble in Mudville. I've heard there will be less Alaska cruise ships next year because of some sort of increased fees. I went to see about booking a second Alaska cruise and there did seem to be less to choose from.

We were part of the tourist herd in Juneau earlier this year and I think a lot of those shops around the cruise ship ports are either flat out owned by the cruise lines or they pay a huge kickback to the cruise ships. On board the cruise lines they have "informational" meetings about things to do in each port and they all center around which jewelry stores to shop at. Blatant advertising but the cruise ship passengers seem to expect it - at least that's how it seemed to me.

What did we do in Juneau? We went to a yarn shop to get some knitting needles, then wandered up to the walking trail above the town which is what the proprietor of a small bookshop said the local folks like to do. Then we walked past the governor's house and saw the Governor's wife let in a group of school kids for a photo session. (Governor's don't have servants to open doors? I never really thought about it, but I kinda thought maybe they would?) Then we walked over to an Indian tourist spot with totem poles but didn't go in. Then wandered back to the boats and found a bus to the glacier, then wandered through the downtown area a bit and went back to the boat. So who actually benefited by us being in Juneau? The city of Juneau got docking fees from the cruise ship. I hope some chandler got to sell some supplies to the cruise ship but I didn't see much loading and unloading there. The knitting shop sold a bit and I think that may have been a locally owned shop. The bookshop sold a book and that was a delightful and very local shopkeeper. The tour bus service had two passengers to the glacier and back. Oh, and we swapped a knitted cap we'd bought at a Seattle thrift shop for a baseball hat with an embroidered logo on it at a tourist shop in the downtown area. It was a strange knitted ski hat and the clerk liked it the instant we came into the shop and we weren't going to keep it any longer than the cruise so now it will get a lot more use than merely going back to the thrift shop after we were done with the cruise.
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Old 11-07-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
5,353 posts, read 7,128,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
Another danger of depending on tourist money is when they don't show up. If the cruise ships choose a different port because the ones they use are "stale" or if the economy tanks so that the tourists herds aren't migrating your way anymore, it will be trouble in Mudville.
The biggest problem is their is no other industry in southeast Alaska to depend on. Resource development is all but locked up. Some fishing related jobs but not like it used to be. Tourism and government work are about the only real things going on. Everything else feeds off of them.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:23 PM
 
203 posts, read 446,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
Try removing all the tourists from Juneau and you'll see 50% unemployment lol. Why are some people so close-minded and greedy?
I repeat, I was not saying to get rid of the tourist industry. I am hearing from some of you in this thread that it is like this everywhere the tourist trade becomes the major moneymaker -- it takes over everything. There is no reason for going downtown at all, really, even when the tourists are gone. There used to be.

You see, there is no downtown in Juneau at all. Where is it you go when you leave the house? Where do people gather in public places? They don't! Except bar hoppers gather in the bars, people may go to the occasional concert who can afford to do so, the heart and soul of this town has been ripped out and thrown away.

That's what I am talking about. Where's the 'downtown' in the Valley? Where's the downtown anywhere?

Which is getting out side the point, really, because when I got here the development out the road largely hadn't even happened yet. The ghost-town atmosphere after tourist season in the evenings is eerie.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
5,353 posts, read 7,128,229 times
Reputation: 3354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice2 View Post
That's what I am talking about. Where's the 'downtown' in the Valley? Where's the downtown anywhere?
It's like this all over. Not just in Alaska. People just don't go "downtown" anymore. There really isn't any need to. Your dreaming of a lifestyle that existed many, many years ago. Now people gather in all type of different places.

When we lived in Ketchikan and our kids were in school we were always at the ballfields or the gym or at church. Downtown never played any part in our lives. It's just some place to pass through to get to the other side.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:54 PM
 
Location: ID
2,398 posts, read 1,268,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice2 View Post
I repeat, I was not saying to get rid of the tourist industry. I am hearing from some of you in this thread that it is like this everywhere the tourist trade becomes the major moneymaker -- it takes over everything. There is no reason for going downtown at all, really, even when the tourists are gone. There used to be.

You see, there is no downtown in Juneau at all. Where is it you go when you leave the house? Where do people gather in public places? They don't! Except bar hoppers gather in the bars, people may go to the occasional concert who can afford to do so, the heart and soul of this town has been ripped out and thrown away.

That's what I am talking about. Where's the 'downtown' in the Valley? Where's the downtown anywhere?

Which is getting out side the point, really, because when I got here the development out the road largely hadn't even happened yet. The ghost-town atmosphere after tourist season in the evenings is eerie.
Where do people gather? I've seen people gather at the folk festival and the maritime festival and the UAS community days festival and the community yard sale and down at Marine Park and Eaglecrest and the pool and the gyms and in smaller numbers at coffee shops and for group hikes and group bike rides and various family/church/social functions at beaches around the area to name a few off the top off my head.

You said that the heart and soul of this town has been ripped out and thrown away, and I would be interested to know what you mean by that. I don't ask that in any kind of negative way because I have only been in Juneau for 10 months, so don't know what this city looked like before tourism became such a dominant force here.

This town is extremely transient - politicians blow in and out of here, tourists blow in and out of here, seasonal workers blow in and out of here, even people who move here intending to make it their home and stay end up blowing in and out of here. What kinds of things would you like to see that would change the focus of the city from tourist to......something else? How do you get buy-in for that from other citizens and from the local government? What should the city be doing to encourage people to move and stay and build their homes and lives here in Juneau? How much money DOES the tourist season provide to the city, and what would replace that money? Are the priorities the city dedicates the taxpayers money to the same priorities the taxpayers want their money dedicated to? If not, why not?

What does Juneau want to be when it grows up? I don't think that it really knows.

Last edited by juneaubound; 11-07-2010 at 06:29 PM..
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:01 PM
 
Location: ID
2,398 posts, read 1,268,976 times
Reputation: 2492
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyL View Post
Wow, this is timely.

Today in the newspaper:

Assembly chooses top 10 priorities for the year - Juneau Empire

If you notice, at least 8 of the 10 are probably Fed/State grant related, none address the real concerns of the residents here.

This is the problem with JNU, the leadership. They're clueless.
Bogus list.

The city needs to declare a Day of Community Unity so we can all walk arm-in-arm down to the water singing songs and praying for world peace, while our rain-kissed children set paper cranes free in the channel that were made in school from recycled paper.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
5,353 posts, read 7,128,229 times
Reputation: 3354
Quote:
Originally Posted by juneaubound View Post
Bogus list.

The city needs to declare a Day of Community Unity so we can all walk arm-in-arm down to the water singing songs and praying for world peace, while our rain-kissed children set paper cranes free in the channel that were made in school from recycled paper.
After that can everyone gather on Main Street for a community wide potluck where half the people bring macaroni and jello salads???
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