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Old 03-06-2009, 07:30 PM
 
15 posts, read 30,254 times
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Okay, I have another Skagway question...(I posted one under childcare.) My husband and I, both with Masters, have been offered seasonal jobs at a place in Skagway. They are willing to rent us basically a room with a kitchen and one bed (and we have a child) for $600 per month. We we would be making $11 apiece per hour. Considering that we would have to pay childcare,food costs, and transportation to and from our current place of residence, does this seem like a good idea to anyone else? We love the idea of being there because it sounds lovely and like a good adventure, but I know that Alaska is expensive and I'm just not sure we would come out even. Actually, when I applied for the job it was listed as being "permanent" but when interviewed was told it was seasonal.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Alaska
6,306 posts, read 4,175,363 times
Reputation: 3719
Quote:
Originally Posted by krumlovgirl View Post
Okay, I have another Skagway question...(I posted one under childcare.) My husband and I, both with Masters, have been offered seasonal jobs at a place in Skagway. They are willing to rent us basically a room with a kitchen and one bed (and we have a child) for $600 per month. We we would be making $11 apiece per hour. Considering that we would have to pay childcare,food costs, and transportation to and from our current place of residence, does this seem like a good idea to anyone else? We love the idea of being there because it sounds lovely and like a good adventure, but I know that Alaska is expensive and I'm just not sure we would come out even. Actually, when I applied for the job it was listed as being "permanent" but when interviewed was told it was seasonal.
If I had to choose between this scenario and food stamps. I would take the food stamps and I am not joking about that.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,962,198 times
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Eleven bucks an hour for seasonal work seems low to me, especially when they're not providing lodging (or any benefits, I'm assuming). Is that $11/hr plus commission or tips or something, or just straight wages?

For planning purposes, assume groceries are double what you're paying for them where you live now. Also keep in mind that there are no fast food restaurants and very few dining options, and that a family of three can't eat out for less than about $35-40 for breakfast and lunch, a bit more for dinner.

If they're leading you on with promises of a season job that might somehow end up permanent, keep in mind that Skagways wintertime population is only about 700 people, so the chances are actually pretty slim. It might be an interesting way to spend a summer if you're a college student or a single person that's running light on baggage, but it seems like a lot of trouble for a so-so job that's gonna vanish in early September.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:33 AM
 
20,419 posts, read 26,544,024 times
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Who is the employer? If you don't want to post it here, sent me a private message.

I'm assuming you're a young couple; it might be worth it for the adventure alone. I worked in Skagway for a season a couple of years ago just to "get away" from POW for a while; I considered it a working vacation. My employer paid more than that though and provided basically what you're getting for $600 a month for free.

It was okay and served the purpose at the time but Skagway itself is just Faked Alaska. If you're trying to save money, you won't be able to go exploring much in real Alaska.

The grocery store there sucks. Long lines, limited selection, and very expensive.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,905 posts, read 11,692,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
The grocery store there sucks. Long lines, limited selection, and very expensive.
Agreed, very expensive.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:23 PM
 
15 posts, read 30,254 times
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The $11 per hour is straight salary-no tips or commission. I have read other job postings for the are and found that they pay more. No promise of this turning into anything other than seasonal work. Season is May til the end of September. I applied because it was listed as a "full time permanent position." No benefits either because it's seasonal. I expected fairly low pay, but $11 for an administration job seems low to me, especially since the company advertises other jobs as paying $14 an hour or more. I'll send a private message to the poster that asked who what company it is. Oh, and we are a young couple and just wanted an adventure. But still, it would cost us nearly $800 just to drive up there and then the same amount back. They don't offer any kind of travel help in that area.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,905 posts, read 11,692,577 times
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That's pretty low pay. I know of some tour guides that make more than that per hour plus tips. If you don't need the money and your just doing it for the adventure then maybe it's okay pay. You'll be lucky though to break even.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,962,198 times
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Default migrants

Pretty much the entire summertime economy of Skagway is based on migrant labor. It's mostly English speaking migrants it's true, but you'll find that many of the shops and stores there are staffed by seasonal employees from literally all over the world. I've only been there four or five times, but I've met employees from several countries in eastern Europe, Australia, Singapore, the Phillipines, Dubai, England...it's like the UN there when the ships are in town.

The fact that pretty much ALL of the jobs in town are seasonal leads to some pretty strange mutations in their economy. They don't have a decent grocery store in town because only 700 people live there half the year. Despite the fact that there may be 12,000 tourist in town at once, they only have a half a dozen or so small restaurants because all the tourists eat on the cruise ships anyway. Despite that, it's like pulling teeth to get a seat in one of those restaurants when the ships are in town.

They've got enough jewelry stores to supply the population of NYC, but their one and only hardware store is about the size of the bathrooms at the average Home Depot. Once Sept. rolls around, the place is a ghost town and you can go blocks without seeing an open store of any kind. Some of the touron shops don't even wait for the last couple ships of the season to drop by, if there aren't four or five of the monsters in town they roll up the sidewalks. You can buy any conceivable variety of "Alaska" souveneir junk (all made in China) but just try to find a good deal on diapers or dishwashing soap. You can buy half a hundred different types of fudge, cookies, or ice cream (in the summer, anyway) but the veterenarian is only in town maybe three or four days a month.

Stuff like that is pretty common to a lot of tourist trap towns, but with most of those you can at least get in your car and drive to where people actually live, shop, and eat. In Skagway, your options are a lot more limited. If you want to hit the Wallyworld for a dozen rolls of TP, it's ninety miles away and you gotta clear Canada customs. The nearest town that's still in the US is either an hour away by ferry, or 350 miles and TWO customs checks away.

For eleven bucks an hour, you'd better be pretty game for "adventure" and have a nest egg to fall back on if your wages don't cover the cost of your summer "job".
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 4,232,205 times
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skagway is gonna get hit bad this year like juneau. so far 10 cruise ships have been re-directed for the '09 season.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,905 posts, read 11,692,577 times
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I think all the ports are gonna get hit hard. Over on Cruise Critic not as many people asking questions as usual. Maybe things will pick back up once the Stimulus checks get sent out.
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