AIDEA and National Bank of Alaska teamed up to participate in a loan to Chilkats' Portage Cove Development Company, a tourism subsidiary of Klukwan Inc., a Southeast Alaska Native village corporation. The loan provided long-term financing to renovate and expand a boat dock and finance a terminal building for a new boat shuttle service between Haines/Klukwan and Skagway.
Allen Marine Inc., a family-owned boat manufacturing corporation based in Sitka, joined forces with Chilkats' Portage Cove Development Company to operate the shuttle service. Twelve ground operations jobs and nine shuttle boat jobs were added to the economy when this project came on line. The new shuttle service provides Klukwan shareholders an opportunity to gain training and employment in the tourism industry, while staying in touch with their history and culture.
With the growing tourism industry in Southeast Alaska, the company is targeting the cruise ship visitors and personnel who visit this region of Alaska. Alaskans are also using the service to augment the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry service.