What is the Ward Cove Dock Project?

The Ward Cove Dock Project is a partnership between Ward Cove Dock Group, LLC and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. to build a two-berth, floating cruise ship dock in Ward Cove at the site of the former Ketchikan Pulp Mill.

Who is Ward Cove Dock Group?

Ward Cove Dock Group, LLC is a partnership of the Spokely Family of Ketchikan through their company Power Systems & Supplies of Alaska LLC (PSSA), and the Binkley Family of Fairbanks through their company Godspeed, Inc.

Who owns the property where the dock is being built?

The property is privately owned by Power Systems & Supplies of Alaska LLC and leased to Ward Cove Dock Group, LLC, who operates the property.

What is the timeline for the project?

The Ward Cove Dock is on track to be completed and operational by June 2020.

How much will the project cost?

The Ward Cove Dock Project represents a $50 million private investment in the local Ketchikan economy for tourism infrastructure.

What is ‘The Mill at Ward Cove’?

The Mill at Ward Cove™ is the name of the overall development of tourism infrastructure in the Port of Ward Cove™ at the site of the former Ketchikan Pulp Mill, including both the Ward Cove Dock and the corresponding Uplands project.

What are the Uplands?

The Uplands project is primarily the restoration and refurbishment of some the former Ketchikan Pulp Mill’s most iconic buildings and structures, which will serve as the Welcome Center and Transit Facility for passengers visiting The Mill at Ward Cove.

The historical restoration and preservation of these buildings is of the utmost importance to not only the partners of this project, but the community of Ketchikan as a whole. At the Welcome Center there will be a museum and displays to showcase the impressive history of the Ketchikan Pulp Mill and what it meant as the former economic powerhouse of the Ketchikan area and Southern Southeast Alaska.

What will the Welcome Center look like?

The Welcome Center will consist of the historical museum, as well as the Transit Facility, tour sales, retail, food and beverage concessions, as well as other activities for those visiting The Mill at Ward Cove.

How can the public participate?

Right now, we are asking the public to help us with the historical aspects of the project. This could include sending us pictures from the Pulp Mill days, testimonials about their time working at the Pulp Mill, ideas on where we can find historical artifacts for the museum, or general suggestions about how we can best preserve and incorporate the history of the Pulp Mill into this project.

Pictures, testimonials, ideas, and suggestions can be emailed to: wcdg@wciak.com.

What does the project mean for the local economy?

The initial $50 million investment in this project is primarily for design and construction of the Dock and the Uplands. From there, this project will foster additional investment, private development, and job creation in the Ward Cove area and in the community of Ketchikan as a whole.

How will this project impact existing tourism infrastructure and related businesses?

The goal of this project is to bolster the local economy by ensuring responsible and sustainable growth in the tourism industry, which is the backbone of Ketchikan’s economy. As tourism continues to flourish, our community faces capacity and congestion issues that we hope to alleviate with this project, in a manner that creates widespread opportunities for the community now, and for Ketchikan’s future generations to come.

We look forward to partnering with the City of Ketchikan, the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Downtown Ketchikan businesses, other operators, local non-profits and residents throughout the community to make this project a long-term asset and solution for the community and economy of Ketchikan as a whole.

Will passengers disembarking in Ward Cove go to other locations on the island?

Absolutely! We will be encouraging them to do so. The rest of Ketchikan, especially the Downtown Corridor, will remain popular for all tourists no matter where they disembark from their cruise ship. We will be partnering with stakeholders throughout the community to ensure that passengers from The Mill at Ward Cove can be transported around the island in a safe and efficient manner.

Modes of transportation may include buses, independent tour operators, public transit, ride sharing, and hopefully by air and water taxi too.