Seasonal store unpacks for cruise opener
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Sitka Fur Gallery works hard to get the store ready for the first cruise ship in Sitka.(KCAW photo/by Emily Forman)
The first cruise ship of the season arrives in Sitka tomorrow (Wed May 7) and that means many local business are scrambling to get ready. The seasonal stores — those that build their inventory from scratch every May — are feeling the pressure. On Tuesday afternoon in the Sitka Fur Gallery, the metallic mannequins are still naked with less than 24 hours to go before the first wave of visitors arrives. Store manager Andy Nichols and his employee James talked about how things are going.
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Sitka Fur Gallery employee stocks the shelves the night before the first cruise ship arrives. (KCAW photo/by Emily Forman)
Sitka can expect a total of over 93,000 cruise visitors this summer, down 10,000 from last season. Cruise industry analysts believe cruise traffic to Sitka will pick up next year, as more ships relocate to Vancouver, British Columbia, to begin their trips.
State planners still see a road across Baranof Island as an important part of transportation infrastructure -- though it may take decades to become reality. The Department of Transportation held an open house and informational meeting in Sitka this week (8-20-14) on the latest draft of the Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan. And while maintaining and refurbishing the ferry system is high on the list of priorities for the region, major road construction -- both in Juneau and in Sitka -- remains on the books. more
Sitka drivers frustrated by poor road conditions on Halibut Point Road during this summer’s paving project can take heart: It’s going to get better. Al Clough, the Southeast Regional director for the Department of Transportation says that while heavy rains have been a setback, the road will be done -- or a driveable temporary surface in place -- by the end of the paving season a month from now. more