When visitors ask if they should buy derby ticket, tell them this sad story

Greetings from the Homer Chamber of Commerce. In May, we kicked off the 28th annual Jackpot Halibut Derby and want to remind you that when visiting friends and relatives ask if it’s “worth it” to spend $10 on a derby ticket, make sure you give a resounding “YES”!

Last year Monique Peters from Willow caught the Stanley Ford F-150 tagged fish and went home with $30,000. An angler (who asked to remain unnamed) brought us a tag toward the end of the season and when we checked it we discovered he’d caught the GCI $50,000 fish —  but didn’t have a derby ticket.

I can only guess what he was calling himself after he learned what he’d lost.

Once again, GCI, our major sponsor in this year’s derby, is underwriting a huge TV ad budget for the derby. You’ll see the ads on KTVA-11 and GCI’s Cable networks.  You may have seen the halibut tagging cruise sports story KTVA did last month when they came down to report on our derby. You can see it again online at: www.ktva.com/chamber-preps-for-homer-halibut-derby-587.

Have you noticed the very macho Dodge Ram pickup truck parked outside the chamber recently? We’re selling raffle tickets for this truck as a fundraiser for the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council. KPTMC is, in effect, the visitors’ bureau for the peninsula, and is the organization that keeps us competitive with the Mat-Su Valley and Fairbanks for tourists coming to Southcentral Alaska. Those tickets are $50 each. 

Because we’re selling the KPTMC raffle tickets, we won’t have a truck raffle of our own this year. But we expect to announce an exciting new chamber raffle in the very near future. And we’ll continue to have the $35 Honda Shopping Spree Raffle (formerly the ATV Raffle). That raffle helps support our building fund.

Our last piece of news is that we have a new harbor web-cam on our website. This is provided free to the chamber by SPITwSPOTS, our generous sponsor who also provides the free high-speed WiFi at the Visitor Information Center. We love Aaron and the crew over there.

You can see the webcam from our homepage at www.HomerAlaska.org, where you click a photo of the harbor with “Homer Harbor Webcam” on the right sidebar area. 

We’re getting a lot of calls at the chamber asking about how the Soldotna area fires are affecting our weather. We tell people to have a look at the webcam for a live reality check. It’s come in very handy to date.

You also can get to the webcam by simply going to www.HomerWebcam.org. For our member businesses, we have six large spaces under the webcam image for advertising. Call Debbie at the chamber to see about buying a yearly ad.

What a great start to the summer. Thank you for your support of our chamber.

Jim Lavrakas is the executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce.

June Business After Hours

Hosted by Kachemak Heritage Land Trust

When: 5-7 p.m. June 19

Where: Kachemak Heritage Land Trust

At “Poopdeck” Platt, 315 Klondike Ave.

Business After Hours are free and open to the public.

Kachemak Heritage Land Trust was established in 1989 to preserve for public benefit land with significant natural, recreational or cultural values by working with willing landowners on the Kenai Peninsula.