Re Too big to fail? Yukon News Feb 17:
The article where Great River Journey is asking for additional funds from federal and territorial governments makes my eyebrows curl.
It is not the bad economy that hinders this business from being successful. It is the company’s management, who misjudged the potential for this project and Ã after years of trying Ã cannot admit that this dream failed.
Success with a tourism venture in the Cayman Islands can’t just be transferred to the Yukon River, a main hurdle being the much shorter operating season in the North.
In the article, George Asquith, president of Great River Journey, says the government “should step up to support the iconic project.” Fact is, most people who are actively involved in tourism don’t believe in this business idea.
A trip down the Yukon River is a great experience in many ways, but just not iconic enough to attract a large number of guests, willing to pay US$5,500 for a five-day trip.
Over the last few years, Great River Journey already received unprecedented promotional and financial support from all levels of government. Sixty per cent of their $11-million investment, so far, is taxpayers’ money, which Asquith is asking not to have to pay back.
Additional tax dollars (the company asks for $1.2 million) would be an unjustified waste and would only extend the company’s suffering.
In the interview, Asquith says, “It’s not the time to blink.”
I agree on this one because, although I appreciate that our government is helping new businesses during startup, it is now time that Great River Journey opens its eyes and faces the realities.