[quote mnsotakid]I wonder how this will affect the cruise lines who make port visits to Juneau?[/quote]
For the past 10 years or so, our local electric utility has been selling off their surplus hydro power to Princess, HAL, RCI, etc... It will affect ships in major ways... like they'll have to run their generators full time while in port to keep on-board services, computers, cell towers, gift shops, casinos, etc. open. The small plume of grey/white smoke seen coming from all ships (even while docked) will return, and many in Juneau will whine about all the pollution...
Add some higher electrical costs (like 5-TIMES the usual rates!) to skyrocketing fuel and oil, and I think you'll begin to see increases on excursions, prices in stores, food, etc. fairly soon. I know the cruise lines add a "fuel surcharge" when fuel prices get high. You'll see quite a bit of that on excursions too. Taxis are asking for a rate increase now, and I've talked to several boat-based vendors who are trying to rationalize set pricing against upwards of a dollar each week increase in the cost of fuel.
Just my one little boat is looking at nearly $100 per day cost difference right now... that's based on $3.25 per gallon last summer compared to $4.00 per gallon now. If we see $5.00 and even $6.00 that's more along the lines of $250 - $300 per day in increased operating costs. (For reference, that's about what I take home to my family in a day after crew, fuel, supplies, insurance, commissions, etc. are paid out of a full day's charter!)
Enough with the "poor me, my boat is expensive" speech... I'm one of the most economical boats in town... think about the large whale watching boats that use 5 to 10 times the amount of fuel I do. Also, think about the businesses in ports that have maintained $5000 per month or more for an electric bill... Think what will happen at the Red Dog Saloon where the power bill was $5000 per month last summer... $25,000 per month in electric? Wow... all I can think of is you folks had better come and drink a LOT of $5 and $6 beer to cover the expense!
Don't want to put a damper on anyone's travel plans though... Alaska is still beautiful, unspoiled by pollution and development, and one of the last unsettled frontiers left on our planet. It's always been expensive to do anything up here... just a bit more so now!
Oh, and the headline is a bit mis-leading... the avalanche was 65 miles south of town - can't even drive there... boat or helicopter access only. No damage to anything man-made except the power transmission lines and towers.
I am about to get in the shower, with water heated by my new Rennai tankless hot water heater (propane, not electric!) and I'll be going to the boat to fire up my small generator to make coffee instead of using the electric pot here at home!
Seriously though... anyone who's really complaining this month hasn't lived in Alaska for very long. I remember not having TV service, no phones, mail arriving once a week if the weather was good for the float plane to land, and over $1.00 per kWh of electric. I've lived on boats and in homes heated by wood only, cooked on a kerosine stove, and burned oil lamps for light.... makes me sound like I lived through the great depression, right? I'm talking about the 80's here in Alaska! ;-)
With all of our snowfall and cold winters (and now expensive, diesel generated power that goes off regularly for an hour or two) I'm feeling like things are finally getting back to the way I remember them as a kid.... hard living in rural parts of the world is nothing new. What's new is having to give up some of the modern conveniences that a few have taken for granted over the years.
[quote BSeabob]... Might look you up in August if you are not working [/quote]
With 8 hours in a day for rest, 8 hours for work pursuits and 8 hours for family and fun, I decided to do something for "work" that was also fun for me and my family... that way, I get 16 hours each day for fun stuff and it never seems like "work".... drop me a note any time... I always love playing host or guide when visitors come to town!