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 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.