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Is Juneau a local town or foreign-owned?

Posted: Sunday, May 07, 2000

If Wings President Bob Jacobsen thinks Juneau's professionals have too much time on their hands, he should encourage the many foreign corporations now using Juneau as a summer camp to set up offices here and ``buy local.'' Juneau's economy cannot thrive until the businesses that operate here circulate profits here.

Given that Holland-America and Westours are the same company, if the cruise line places one of its passengers in a Westours Hotel - does the community in which the hotel is located really benefit? I suspect the dollars supposedly ``spent in Juneau'' on such transactions actually leave town as fast as electronic transfers can take them.

Era Aviation is wholly owned by a Houston-based corporation and has virtually no presence here during the winter. Where is ERA's executive staff living and spending the profits earned from Juneau-based helicopter tours? When ``Little Switzerland'' advertises in our own yellow pages as a ``Caribbean duty free store'' - does anybody really believe that company is cycling profits through the professionals of this town? These companies give us the noise, smoke and congestion while shipping profits out of town.

It's sad that we allow ourselves to imperialism by foreign corporations. It's pathetic that our own tourist-related business people fail to see that there are Juneau-based merchants, physicians, accountants, consultants, investigators, and yes, attorneys; relying upon them to bring to this community something more than a riotous summer.

Robert K. Reges Jr. Douglas



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