To establish Hoonah as a visitor destination for cruise ship passengers, Huna Totem Corporation developed a cruise ship port and a variety of shore excursions for visitors. The port is located at a former cannery, a mile-and-a-half from the village. To manage the port and its assets, the corporation formed three legal entities: Huna Totem, Icy Strait Point, and Point Sofia. Bob Wysocki serves as CEO of all three businesses. Point Sofia, a subsidiary of Huna Totem, operates the port, officially named Icy Strait Point. For the purpose of this case study, we will refer to the whole operation as Huna Totem.
Fishing, local government
40 miles southwest of Juneau on Chichagof Island
70% Native, majority Tlingit
Huna Totem is the village corporation of the village of Hoonah in Southeast Alaska. The corporation was formed under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Hoonah is a Tlingit community of 851 people located on Chichagof Island, 40 miles southwest of Juneau. The community lies at the confluence of two bodies of water, Icy Strait and Port Frederick, only miles from the marine highway of the Inside Passage and some 20 miles south of Glacier Bay National Park
In 1996, Huna Totem bought the abandoned cannery at Icy Strait Point, north of Hoonah. Built in 1912, the cannery was a relic of a bygone era when there was a strong canned fishing industry. Huna Totem was not looking back when they bought the cannery; they were
looking forward – to a new resource that passed them by every day in the summer: visitors on cruise ships destined for Glacier Bay National Park.
Over the course of several years, Huna Totem developed a business plan and established relationships with companies in the cruise industry. Under the guidance of a former cruise industry advisor, the company assembled a model of the proposed facilities and developed a booklet highlighting the features of the potential destination. This helped cruise companies and other interested parties better understand how the proposed port would be designed, what it would offer, and how it would link to the community’s Tlingit
Prepared by the Center for Economic Development, University of Alaska Anchorage, under an award from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, January 2008.