Wrangell Sentinel -

Rededication spurs economic boon across town

 


During the rededication of Chief Shakes Tribal House, Wrangell saw an uptick in retail sales and money spent by nearly 1,000 visitors on lodging, food and services, providing a much needed boost to the local economy.

Ernie Christian, who is both a member of Wrangell Cooperative Association’s Tribal government and manager of Ottesen’s True Value in downtown said that although he has not crunched the numbers, the Front Street events and the numerous visitors to Wrangell were a boon to his business and others in downtown.

“It was a good weekend, I can tell, even though I have not compared it to this weekend from last year yet,” he said. “I think overall it was weather dependent and on Friday we were pretty busy with the sun out and the parade going on. On Saturday it was normal because everybody was doing activities at the island and the gym. We did have a busier Sunday, though, along with Sentry Hardware down the street.”

Steve Cole, the owner of Stikine Drug also saw a good sales week thanks to the rededication.

“We had great sales on everything in the store,” he said. “For us, it was as good as the Fourth of July sales we see.”

Cori Robinson, the president of the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce and a manager at Alpine Mini Mart, said the weekend was good for all the businesses in town, hers included.

“It was great because all the businesses made money,” she added. “And it was not just in downtown. Businesses on the south end of town, our business included, made money.”

Every hotel room in the Stikine Inn was booked, with near capacity at the Diamond C Hotel. The Alaska Marine Highway System also reports that the Taku, which was berthed at City Dock as a hotel ship, was nearly full and provided 40 rooms for guests during the 4-day event.

 

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