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Ketchikan welcomes the Southeast Conference to town today for its 2018 annual meeting.
The conference attracts leaders from throughout the Southeast Alaska communities to discuss the state of the region and the prospects for its future.
Ketchikan’s mayors — Dave Landis of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and Lew Williams III of the City of Ketchikan in addition to Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council President Gianna Willard Flanery — will open the event, which last occurred here in 2011.
A major highlight of the event is the 12:15 p.m. forum with gubernatorial candidates — Gov. Bill Walker, former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy. The forum is open to the public at no charge.
Ketchikan is well suited for the conference, which will be at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.
It will take the opportunity to show the community off to all of its visitors, and attendees will be allowed to experience one of Ketchikan’s leading industries through a luncheon one day onboard the cruise ship Westerdam. A visit to the Cape Fox George Inlet Cannery is planned also.
But tourism is not the only topic among a wide selection, and most topics connected with economic development will be on the agenda.
The conference itself is an economic boost for the community with all of the services and goods to be purchased by the conference and its attendees. Every community that serves as host has enjoyed that aspect of the conference.
It’s Ketchikan’s turn. Welcome to Ketchikan!