Mayor likes re­duced rates

The Compass - - NEWS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

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