Mayor likes reduced rates
Placentia Mayor Wayne Power believes only good things can come from Marine Atlantic’s planned 30 per cent reduction in rates for travel from North Sydney,â N.S. to Argentia.
“As a summer port of call, anything that is looking to increase the traffic coming through the port of Argentia is going to bring positive economic benefits to the area,” he told The Compass last week.
The announcement was made on Feb. 25 that customers could start reserving reduced tickets the next day. It came on the same day speculation swirled over a reported 85 per cent cut in Marine Atlantic’s annual operating budget based on budget estimates tabled in Ottawa.
Power sees an increase in tourist traffic as a boon to the town’s many attractions, which includes Castle Hill, a scenic boardwalk and other staples.
“More people coming in means more people stopping, more coffee drank, more meals eaten, more places visited, more admission fees paid and the list goes on,” said the mayor.
The announcement has not been as well received on the west coast as a similar drop in rates at Port aux Basques was not announced.
“If Marine Atlantic has any success with this by increasing traffic on the Argentia run, that success is going to come at the expense of western Newfoundland and central Newfoundland,” said Chris Noseworthy, president of the Greater Corner Brook Board of Trade, when speaking with TC Media.
Argentia has long appealed to the traveller who would sacrifice a longer ferry ride for a shorter drive from the province’s capital city, St. John’s. It is only five hours across the Gulf from North Sydney to Port aux Basques, which increases to 14 hours when heading to Argentia.
“I know (Marine Atlantic) is very positive about the Argentia run and hopefully this will help it maintain it,” said Power.