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Being a premiere tourist destination, Ketchikan needs to put its best foot forward.
It has; it’s how it reached a season-record total of more than a million cruise ship passengers in 2017. It’s what it will have to do to maintain and grow those numbers this year and beyond.
These are no small shoes to be filled; all in the community must participate — the local governments, the stores, the tours, the citizens.
Tourists come to see Alaska and its communities. Ketchikan has its own flavor, and they want to know its history and get a taste of the lifestyle here.
It’s something special, and through no lack of trying.
A trend in recent years has been to fix up, tear down and replace the weather-and-time-worn structures, primarily in the city. Part of the reason behind this is to be visitor presentable.
Buildings have new or repainted facades. Streets and sidewalks have been made wider and more safety conscious for both drivers and pedestrians.
All of that is well and good, but it can easily be ruined if the neighborhoods tourists visit are cluttered with trash and yard debris.
Hence, the City of Ketchikan’s annual residential Spring Clean-Up Week. It’s for the residential community, but it serves as a reminder to the commercial component that cleanliness is imperative for a tourist-friendly First City.
Official Ketchikan clean-up week begins next Saturday. Deer Mountain Landfill will be open all day, and with the exception of Sunday, throughout the week, accepting yard trash, old and/or ruined furniture, household trash, and the like.
It will accept fuel tanks, scrap metal, off-rim tires, and remodeling debris.
City residents also will be allowed to pile up yard trash and similar garbage curbside. Beginning at 8 a.m., city crews — not the regularly scheduled weekly garbage-pickup crews — will collect trash left curbside as a result of yard clean-up efforts.
Hazardous waste, I.e. paint and batteries, shouldn’t be left curbside.
The city has guidelines and rules for clean-up week; they have been outlined in this publication since late March. They are scheduled to be again next week and into clean-up week.
Ketchikan’s well-being is tied to its cleanliness. If it’s clean, tourists will give it good reviews; if it isn’t, they likely will be less than flattering. The less flattering more likely than not will appear on social media without delay. It’s the way communication is these days — faster than ever and franker than previous decades.
Up to now, Ketchikan is popular with tourists. It can continue to be if the whole community participates in making it attractive.
Clean it up.