Skagway’s economy has seen three major boom and bust cycles: the Klondike Gold Rush 1897-99; World War II 1942-45; and the present tourism boom which began around 1989. Throughout these cycles Skagway has retained its status as a major inter-nodal transportation hub for northern Southeast Alaska and the Yukon Territory. This position has allowed Skagway to develop not only the physical infrastructure required to handle freight, bulk, and cruise ships, ferries, trains, trucks, and planes but also the workforce with the required skills to efficiently handle all that passes through the port.
While the port has dominated Skagway’s economy, the community itself is small, close- knit, well educated, and hard working. The children of Skagway are lucky to be able to move safely about the streets any time of the year and are well cared for with events and activities to keep them occupied. The quality of life is high and relationships very informal, everyone from cradle to grave is on a first name basis.
This executive summary follows closely the Total Development Paradigm “Layer Cake Model” in its description of the different facets that make up Skagway and its economy. This model uses a systems approach to show how all components of development fit together. Industrial development is a subset of economic development and both are a subset of community development. This conceptual model illustrates the need for a holistic approach to development.
Economic Inventory & Profile
This inventory and profile was updated in October 2006 to reflect new data and lists new prices that now exist in Skagway. This document is meant to be a reference point from which a picture of Skagway’s assets and liabilities can easily be determined. This document will be a natural starting point for site selectors and any one else interested in re-locating or retiring to Skagway. This is not an end product but one that will be regularly updated and expanded using the most up to date information available.
Apologies are in order upfront for any errors and omissions which may be found in the document. Please feel free to comment on this inventory and to let us know of any errors, omissions, and suggestions. Only through community comment can we hope to make this a truly worthwhile document. SDC contact details can be found by following this link. Contact SDC