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The view from my window - Ketchikan, Alaska today. Ketchikan is a town whose number one industry is tourism. In the
summer season (mid-April thru early October) the place is bustling with locals and "summer folks" showing almost 900,000 visitors what the town has to offer. They say that in Ketchikan 1 in 7 jobs is directly related to tourism.

But in the winter months the pace is much slower. And this winter we are getting more snow than in a long time. From my window I look out over three of the four cruise ship berths. In the photo above the empty space you see is berth #2. To the right the green building is the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau and just behind that is berth #3. Right now the Alaska Marine Highway ferry the Kennicott is tied up there while they do winter maintanence on her. And behind that you can see a barge where the lastest addition is in the process of being built -berth #4.

In the winter Ketchikan is a cozy little town where you can't drive down the road without seeing someone you know; you better be sure to get your milk and veggies before Sunday because the stores are empty until the barge unloads Monday night; and you finally have time to listen to your friends doing their own radio shows on KRBD, the local public radio station.

January brings the slow "ramp up" for the summer season. Already local tour operators are advertising in the local newspaper for summer jobs. Companies are starting to rent apartments all around town to use for summer housing for their employees. And people who don't have their websites updated with 2008 information are running late.

Ever wonder what it is like to live year round in a tourism town? In my blog I hope to give you some insight into what it is like to live in a such a community. And what happens "behind the scenes" during the "off-season" while the "seasonal folks" are working their other jobs away from Alaska.

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