Haines Borough tourism director Tanya Carlson will be heading to Anchorage in April to take a new job as director of marketing and travel trade relations for the Alaska Travel Industry Association.
Carlson, who has served as tourism director for three years, said leaving Haines is “bittersweet.”
“I am a city girl, but I love Haines. It is really challenging to live here as a single person in the wintertime,” Carlson said.
The prospect of having easy access to a movie theater, gym and other “big-city” amenities will also make the transition easier, she said.
“I’m looking forward to those benefits, but I am going to miss the beauty of Haines and the people,” Carlson said.
The borough job hasn’t yet been advertised, but Carlson said it would be nice to have someone hired before she leaves so a handover can take place.
Mayor Stephanie Scott said Carlson’s departure was not necessarily unexpected. “I have really enjoyed (Carlson) and I think it’s sort of inevitable. She’s young, she’s ambitious, so I’m not surprised,” Scott said.
Scott said she plans to raise the issue of possibly redefining the job during Monday’s pre-budget workshop. “I would like to talk with management and the assembly about restructuring that job a little bit and making it more of a community development position: marketing the whole community and everything about us, not just tourism,” Scott said.
Restructuring the position would “probably” involve increasing the salary, which currently sits at about $46,000. “You can always get more flies with more honey,” Scott said.
Scott said she would like to talk to Carlson about how the position could be changed to make it more effective.
“I think it’s a great job,” Carlson said. “As with any job, it has its ups and downs. You certainly need to be a good people person.”