Explore Fairbanks selects new President and CEO

Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:49 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 4:50 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Nonprofit Explore Fairbanks has selected Scott McCrea as its new President and CEO following the resignation of Deb Hickok.

“I was very honored and humbled when the Board of Directors did select me for this position. The visitor industry is such a rewarding one to be in, especially when you have such an amazing destination like you have here in Fairbanks,” McCrea said.

The new CEO began in his position on June 1st. He has called Fairbanks home for 34 years, and worked with Explore Fairbanks for the last seven.

McCrea sees his new position as, “the ultimate ambassador for the organization, the ultimate ambassador for Fairbanks.”

According to McCrea, airline travel will play a big role in bringing tourists to the Alaskan Interior. “We have 33 percent more passenger capacity than we did in 2019, so we have new services, new airlines that have entered the market, and if people pay attention, the airfares right now are pretty exceptionally low.”

However, challenges remain, with a rental car shortage and a cruise season currently shut down for Southcentral Alaska.

But McCrea sees light at the end of the tunnel, as this summer sees the return of popular local and tourist activities in Fairbanks.

“There will be a Midnight Sun Baseball Game this year, there will be the downtown street fair, the Midnight Sun Festival that people look forward to, the Rubber Ducky Race, we got the World Eskimo Indian Olympics. That’ll be in July. That’s held over at the Big Dipper,” he said.

While McCrea thinks this summer won’t match pre-COVID visitor activity, he sees the tourist numbers returning to normal over the next couple of years.

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