Well Placed Location
Skagway is located at the northern terminus of the Lynn Canal, the largest fjord in North America. This inter-modal transshipment hub provides a vital link between marine and highway transport into and out of Southeast Alaska, Yukon, and Northwest Arctic regions.
The port and highway offer year round connections and are the most cost effective shipping route north. The port provides a two day shipping advantage between the Yukon’s rich resource reserves and Pacific Rim and South Asian markets. The port also offers the opportunity to transship chilled fish, seafood products, and other value-added resources to Europe via Whitehorse International Airport.
The port also caters to a large fleet of cruise ships which visit Skagway from May to September. In 2014 there will be 30 ships making a total of 423 visits. These ships will bring to Skagway over 775,000 passengers and approximately 350,000 crew members. Annually there is over $100 million spent in Skagway.
Skilled and Qualified Workforce
The workforce in Skagway’s private sector is divided between the summer seasonal employees and the year round employees. The summer seasonal employees are very often college students working during their summer vacation and have a wide variety of skills. A growing trend is for older and retired folk coming to Skagway for the summer and working on a seasonal basis. The capabilities of this group are impressive and at the same time their training requirements are minimal.
The summer workforce is predominately based in the visitor retail and tours sectors. This seasonal workforce is approximately three times the year round population. The services that these seasonal businesses provide are vital to the cruise and independent visitors that visit Skagway.
The public sector plays a significant role in the Skagway community, especially in the winter. Local, State, and Federal employees make up almost 35% of the winter workforce. Skagway’s winter economy is considerably slower than that in the summer, although, the total number of employed has increased significantly since 2000. These numbers probably reflect the robust winter construction industry as the commercial retail center continues to expand to meet growing demand.
Cooperative Business Climate
The economic climate is robust and conducive to business. There are over 300 business licenses issued in Skagway each year generating over $100 million. The potential for economic expansion in Skagway is significant with a corresponding return on your investment.
One of Skagway’s major draws is its downtown Historic District. This is the main retail district in Skagway and generates a considerable portion of the community’s total revenue each year. The Historic District covers a 14 block area and sees over one million visitors each year.
Business Locations for Lease – Contacts
National Park Service – Commercial Rental Space, 907-983-2921
Dennis Corrington – Commercial Rental Space, 907-983-3089 or 314-308-4774 (mobile), email@example.com
Jewell Enterprises – Residential and Commercial Rental Space, 907-983-2688
Frank Deramo – Commercial Rental Space, 907-758-4366, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karl Klupar – Commercial Rental Space, 610-745-1859, email@example.com
Sunbird Properties, LLC – Commercial and Residential Space, 513-675-3936
Trish Magee, Commercial Space available for Lease for 2013 at 636 Broadway (across from the Post Office), 907-612-0083, firstname.lastname@example.org
Potential Business Opportunities
Following is a list of business opportunities and niches that at present are not provided for in Skagway. These are ideas that have been mentioned by members of the business community and residents.
Cold Storage/Ice Plant
Storage and Warehousing
Winter Based Tourism
Western Union Agent
Repairs and Servicing of Gas Engines,
Outdrives & Outboards
Small Boat Building
Arts and Crafts based Ventures
Software and Hardware Services