Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian Cruise Lines speaks at the Southeast Conference Mid-Session Conference at Elizabeth Peratovich Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian Cruise Lines speaks at the Southeast Conference Mid-Session Conference at Elizabeth Peratovich Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Capitol Live: Lots of opportunity for tourism in Southeast, cruise line exec says

A vice president from Norwegian Cruise Lines speaks to Southeast Conference

Summary: Norwegian’s dock will be an investment in the community, Sherman says. It is critical to the company that local jobs are created, and local arts and culture are integrated into the project.

1:13 p.m.

Speaking about the company’s purchase of the sub-port property which was purchased for $20 million in September. Sherman says that moving Norwegian’s ships to the sub-port would alleviate downtown traffic as the tourists wanting to go to the glacier would not have to go through the more dense portions of downtown.

The company has been speaking with local groups, and there are a number of extra uses that are important to the company. Completion of the seawalk, abundant green space, and an ocean center are things that could be integrated into the site.

We will be 100% local, Sherman says. He won’t spend a dime of corporate money to build a chain t-shirt store or a “fly-by-night jewelry store,” he says. The line gets a round of applause.

1:06 p.m.

Sherman says he sees a lot of opportunity in Southeast Alaska that would benefit the local economy. Increased hotel stock could lead to a lot of return visitors, he says, and provisioning could bring more local to the local economy.

What products that cruise ships need that could be provided in Juneau is something to consider, he says.

There isn’t a lot of opportunity for new cruises in Southeast, he says, because the slots are already full. So what’s happening is bigger ships are coming to accommodate the demand.

12:52 p.m.

Sherman is touting Norwegian’s efforts in Belize, where the company worked with the local government to create a specific cruise destination. Environmentalism and sustainability were integral parts of that effort he says, and the company created the country’s largest aviary to help rehabilitate local birds.

The destination created by Norwegian in Belize led to the creation of roughly 500 jobs, Sherman says.

12:44 p.m.

Norwegian wants their facilities to serve as much purpose to the community as they do to the company, Sherman says. Cruise lines only use their facilities for a portion of the year so they want their buildings to be usable to the local community when they’re not in use for ships.

It’s important to Norwegian to work with local partners to achieve that goal, Sherman says. Local art is also important to the company as it gives visitors a distinct sense of place when they arrive.

Sherman is giving a presentation to Southeast Conference very similar to the one he gave to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in December. You can read the Empire’s coverage of that talk here.

12:29 p.m.

Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian Cruise Lines, is speaking to Southeast Conference about what Norwegian has done and plans to do in the state.

Norwegian worked closely with the Hoonah Totem Corporation to construct docks and attractions at the Icy Strait Point cruise ship destination outside Hoonah.

House Speaker Rep. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, speaks with reporters following the House floor session Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

House Speaker Rep. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, speaks with reporters following the House floor session Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Summary: The governor’s supplemental budget was introduced today, and will be heard before the House Finance Committee. The supplemental budget calls for more than $12 million than what the Legislature has already appropriated for the supplemental budget.

A detailed breakdown of what the supplemental budget is asking for can be found at OMB’s website.

11:32 a.m.

There was an objection to the VPSO bill, and that bill was delayed to the next meeting.

11:28 a.m.

Members go to vote but the vote board malfunctioned and did not display the votes.

“It’s like Iowa,” Rep. Bart Lebon, R-Fairbanks, said getting a laugh from the audience.

With the board fixed, the bill passes unanimously. 37-0, (two representatives, Vance and Drummond, are excused.)

11:26 a.m.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, says there are concerns about the bill’s limiting the period for public comment. He says the Legislature should always be wary of limiting public input.

Other members rise in support of stream-lining the process.

Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, speaks in support of a bill which she co-sponsored which would expedite lease renewals for maritime agriculture on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, speaks in support of a bill which she co-sponsored which would expedite lease renewals for maritime agriculture on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

11:19 a.m.

“House Bill 116 simplifies the Department of Natural Resources permit process,” says Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, co-sponsor of the bill. The bill would expedite the lease renewal process for farm operators, she says.

The industry has great potential for coastal Alaska Story says, but do to recent state budget cuts has led to a build up of lease renewals.

11:14 a.m.

The governor’s supplemental budget has been referred to the House Finance Committee, its contents can be found at the Office of Management and Budget website.

11:10 a.m.

Business has begun and the House Clerk is reading off the names the governor has submitted for various advisory boards and commissions. Those name are being referred to the appropriate committees for consideration.

10:55 a.m.

Lots of introductions in the House today. The session started just after 10:30 a.m. but business has yet to start. In addition to the governor’s supplemental budget, there are two bills on the House schedule today. One bill deals with aquatic farming and the other concerns the Village Public Safety Officer program.

10:10 a.m.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s supplemental budget will be released today. Supplemental budgets are meant to cover any unanticipated costs the state may run into. The Legislature has already appropriated $250 million in “headroom” for any costs the governor may propose.

The House will be meeting at 10:30 a.m. to hear the bill for the supplemental budget. Administration officials met with reporters this morning to discuss items in the budget, but asked that the bill’s contents not be made public until the bill is read across the floor during the House session this morning.

At noon, Howard Sherman, a vice president with Norwegian Cruise Lines will speak to the Southeast Conference Mid-Session Summit about the company’s plans in the state.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.

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