Tourism study group continues work

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Visitor Industry Task Force was asked if the CBJ should update the long-range waterfront plan.

    Another option is a tourism management plan that could be adopted into the CBJ comprehensive plan.

    The group was also asked if the CBJ should regularly survey tourists to Juneau and ask about the visitor experience.  The CBJ is considering $100,000 for a survey of visitors.

    CBJ Assembly Member Wade Bryson said he would like to see a survey done after the Egan Drive and the Archipelago project is completed.  "Doing a survey right now will not give us any relevant information.  If we do it in a year we will know, did this really impact your life."

    He suggested a survey this fall and a second survey during the fall of 2022.

    "All the infrastructure planned will be done or ongoing at that time.  All the projects are done, all the recommendations have been implemented," he added.

    Chairman Carole Triem said she would like a wider survey of Juneau rather than rely only on the public comments received at the two public hearings.

    Task Force Member Paula Terrel said she wanted the group to suggest things that are substantive. 

    CBJ Manager Rorie Watt said it took a year to put together the waterfront plan in 2002.  He questioned whether the community had the patience to take a year to update the plan.

    Task Force Member Kirby Day said he felt the general public feels like they've been left out of this process to an extent.  He suggested a pared-down phone survey to take the temperature and doing something every two years.

    "It would be good to know this summer if some of those things worked," he added.  He suggested a survey this fall.

    He noted there is a statewide survey on tourism planned for the next couple of months.

    He said valid statistical valid of a broad spectrum of the community help policy makers make decisions.

    Watt said several projects could impact downtown for the next few years like the Sealaska Heritage Institute Arts Campus, the new JACC, the Norwegian Cruise Lines project at the subport and smaller projects.

    Juneau is one of the highest-rated ports in the world according to the tourism industry.  U.S. News and World Report ranked Juneau as the 11th best adventure vacation spot, the 12th best small towns to visit and the 13th best places to visit in the U.S.

    Triem said she wants reassurance that the 2002 waterfront plan is adequate for today.

    There was a discussion over whether the waterfront plan must be changed to allow the Norwegian project, that is still in the planning stages.

    The VITF scheduled a work session for Wednesday, March 4 at 4 pm at City Hall.



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