Huna Totem Icy Strait
In 2022, New York Times listed Hoonah, Alaska as one of the “Top 52 places for Travelers to Visit.” In the words of Elaine Glusac, “Once dependent on fishing and logging, Hoonah, about 20 miles south of Glacier Bay on the Inside Passage, now relies on cruise tourism, not just for its livelihood but also for its cultural continuity. The community, which is half Huna Tlingit, is counting on a robust return to sustainable tourism in 2022, having recently introduced a second ship dock at its cruise port, Icy Strait Point, a half-mile from the original to prevent overcrowding.”
The Icy Strait Point (ISP) dock was financed by AIDEA as part of our Loan Participation Program. ISP caters to cruise ship guests and offers a unique port for those traveling with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines. ISP is the fourth most visited port in Alaska.
Thanks to the investments of AIDEA, ISP has completed its second pier at Wilderness Landing and associated facilities, the Mountain Top and Transporter Gondolas, along with retail and excursion facilities. The 2022 cruise ship season ran from late April to mid October, bringing a record number of ships and guests to the destination. Peak employment in 2022 reached 250 employees.
Planning for a similarly sized 2023 season is well underway, including tours, employment, housing and other necessary elements to sustain the activities and guest experiences for continued success.
AIDEA is advancing businesses and financing the future for communities, like Hoonah, thanks to the Loan Participation and other AIDEA programs.
Loan Participation Program AIDEA’s Loan Participation Program works in partnership with eligible banks and credit unions to provide flexible financing rates (long-term fixed or variable) over a longer period of time than traditional lending alone. Competitive interest rates coupled with longer repayment periods give borrowers more time to focus on building successful companies, creating and retaining jobs, and contributing to Alaska’s economic development. Both for-profit and non-profit businesses are eligible to participate and loans can be used to finance new construction, expansions, and equipment purchases.