Dunleavy: Big initiative will market Alaska tourism (and he may sue the CDC) - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, May 10, 2021
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Dunleavy: Big initiative will market Alaska tourism (and he may sue the CDC)

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Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced an initiative to aid the state’s tourism, hospitality, and ancillary businesses in the face of another devastating year without tourism.

The governor acknowledged that in mid-April, time is short. The window is closing.

The plan involves a grand marketing campaign across America to convince independent travelers to come to Alaska, grants for tourism and hospitality businesses and relief to communities.

He also said he’s ready to take legal action against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if the conditional sail order is not lifted.

“We can no longer wait for the federal government to act and support our communities and businesses that rely on tourism, namely those who come to Alaska by cruise ship. Alaska was anticipated to welcome 1.3 million tourists by cruise ship before the pandemic shut that down. The combined total economic loss from a canceled cruise ship season in 2020 and 2021 amounts to $6 billion, with 2,180 businesses at direct risk – many of which are small family owned businesses,” Dunleavy said.

“My administration is taking necessary steps to help Alaskans, starting with putting forth an aggressive aid package and seriously considering filing legal action against the CDC if the conditional sail order is not lifted. Our communities need our help now more than ever.”

Governor Dunleavy’s proposal to rescue the 2021 Alaska tourism season includes:

  • Aggressive marketing campaign to attract Americans to Alaska
    • Direct federal COVID funds to one of the largest tourism campaigns in state history.
  • Relief to tourism-dependent businesses
    • Direct federal COVID funds to provide grants to tourism businesses and create traveler incentives.
  • Gather feedback from tourism-dependent communities
    • Lt. Governor Meyer and members of the Dunleavy administration will travel through Southeast, Denali, Kenai Peninsula, and the Mat-Su Valley to listen to community groups on their needs and report findings to the legislature.
  • Defend Alaska in court against federal cruise ship restraints
    • Withhold the right to pursue litigation against the CDC’s conditional sail order and the callous disregard of Alaskans’ livelihoods and wellbeing.
  • Demand an end to the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA)
    • Signed SJR 9, urging the United States Congress to exempt cruise ships from the PVSA for the period during which Canadian ports are closed to cruise ships carrying more than 100 people.

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon said that without tourism, the city takes a $10 million hit to the city’s sales tax, and a total of $26 million hit in revenue.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • While it’s up to Canada to a great extent, it would sure be helpful if they would allow routine traffic on the Alcan. It’s been so long since I’ve seen an out of state RV in Kenai I’ve almost forgotten they exist.

  • They don’t care. Dunleavy’s an empty suit and they know it.

  • Go get them Governor

  • This is an interesting plan to divert Covid funds into a Dunleavy promotional project that will attempt to
    $ -Use Covid funds to direct money into a tourism campaign. Isn’t promoting tourism something that the AK gov. has done for years? “Soak the tourists” is kinda a meme in AK.
    $ -Try bribing the small players in the tourism industry into falling in line with his scheme to promote tourism.
    $ -Gather feedback from organizations that need to pander to him to give them some of that Covid money and extort their compliance.
    $-Use state money to try to undermine the efforts to control Covid by claiming the CDC is being mean to AK, and
    $-Abrogating the PVSA so we in AK can be exempt from laws that have been in place for a number of years that have to do with cruise ship travel.
    Let me let you in on a secret. The cruise industry is not our friend. They will be here as long as they can make money. If they can’t, they will leave, without so much as a kind farewell. To hitch our wagon to this star is going to leave us lost in space.
    And if you don’t think that can happen, look at the oil industry.

  • Governor,
    That’s more like it. Assertive action. We need it.

  • Thanks for your leadership, Governor! This is exactly what our people and economy need. Pumping up direct tourism, demanding that our own government (CDC) and the Canadian government (closing our border with Canada) treat Alaskans fairly and providing a solution to the small business cash crunch can bring our employees and the economy back now.
    Great job, Mike!

  • I support a lawsuit against the CDC.
    Our constitution was not constructed to give unlimited power to an adjunct agency within our government structure.
    Canada has gone full authoritarian and fenced off churches in B.C.
    Getting Trudeau to listen seems like a lost cause…unless you tax all Canadian mining operations in AK…that might get their attention quickly?
    Honestly, we need serious action these days as the central bankers are working hard to facilitate the “great reset”.
    Corporate power gets stronger while our nation’s backbone of small business will crumble.
    Thank you Governor for speaking up for Alaska…we are way out in front of the curve!

  • Join the Florida suit, Governor. Make the messages stronger.

  • There are multiple mines that use the Hyder road to get product through Alaska into Canada. We should tax the Canadians for using our road to enter and exit the US. There is no boarder patrol there and they shut down the boarder at will since they are the only ones who have an entry point in the friendliest ghost town in Alaska. Time to punch back and while we are at it we need to solidify the rail through Canada as a carrot to bring back cruising to Vancouver. They build the rail faster then we incentivize the cruising industry to return to Alaska.

  • There is a treaty since Alaska statehood that the border between Canada Alaska and lower -48 states would always remain open. A US Treaty. It’s been unfortunately illegally renegotiated by CDC types with zero authority. Only President Trump had authority. Another issue which is more prominent now than the bio e gi eered virus is the seepage of American currency into the Canadian banking system. It is an annoyance they are too nice to announce. This is another reason why clean, unstolen elections are so important. In the rare earth international scene it is a pleasant convenience to “isolate, sicken and impoverish dear old Alaska whilst legeelators drink and pong gaily around. No weeeeeries.

  • Fiddle de deee. Drink up doc. It’s hormone day.

  • A code word for usurpations of Constitutional rights is “partnering”. When you see that word “partner” you are sliding to perdition. We have the plain language of the US Republic creation document. That. IS IT. It was written by international lawyers exactly for times like this. The Constitution. Use it. Fall in love with it.

  • Here’s the bitter irony:
    .
    The ADN, which supports a Dunleavy recall, has the most to gain by Dunleavy’s action supporting a strong comeback for the cruiseship industry.
    .
    The ADN is owned by the Binkley family, the largest single beneficiaries of Alaska’s cruiseship businesses.
    .
    Think about it!

  • Does he not remember his role in destroying or debilitating all small businesses across the state?

  • I do not understand how, when, why, or where the CDC has been granted the power to issue “orders.”

    Does anybody know?

    How can they possibly be binding, either by state or federally?

  • Writing Biden and his handlers a letter will do absolutely nothing. Join with Florida in the lawsuit. Don’t forget about the other lawsuit…WFC of Washington state suing NOAA to shut down SE Alaskan fisheries. Don’t forget either the shutting down of our oil production. We can’t sit here and be trampled to death.

  • Spend the COVID money on commercials and print ads…….forget about just giving it to the people living here, who need it the most. This is a brilliant plan, spend a lot of money on film-flam, making it look like you’re doing something, while doing nothing of substance……

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