Since I posted the blog on the connections between the City of Juneau, the cruise ships, and the jewelry stores, I've gotten lots of interesting comments on this page, by email, and on Facebook.
I've also been talking about this with folks and wondering if there is a will to use some kind of zoning to keep Southeast Alaska core downtowns vibrant and alive twelve months of the year. Can you zone an area for stores that must be open at least 10 months a year?
Is there a will on the part of the decision-makers to make any changes? Is there a will on the part of Juneau's voters? I don't think the jewelry stores will go away, but do there have to be so many of them? (I think I read that there are 21 in Juneau and 25 in Ketchikan.)
Is it true (as one person said) that our schools are supported in great part by taxes from the jewelry stores on South Franklin that are open 4 months a year? What percentage of Juneau's, Ketchikan's, and Skagway's taxes (sales and property) come from the jewelry stores?
We've had lots of studies on the impact of the cruise ship industry, and I, for one, am happy that the experiences of our visitors are so much more varied now than they were even five years ago.
Every time we travel, we meet somebody who came to Juneau on a cruise and absolutely loved it. I've never met anybody who said, "Want to see the big diamond ring I got there?"
What do you think?