Out-of-town vendors help boost local economy at Juneau Public Market

Events that bring people to Juneau have a great impact on our economy, from hotel and car rentals to shopping, sales tax and visits to local restaurants.

This year, nearly half of the vendors–60 out of 125–at the Juneau Public Market will be coming from outside the Capital City, including several from the Lower 48.

That means dozens of small business owners, plus their friends or family traveling with them will be here for a long weekend.

Maritime artist Brenda Schwartz-Yeager from Wrangell will be at the market with two companions. She’s booked several nights at a hotel, will be renting a car and eating out at restaurants. Brenda also plans to do her holiday shopping in Juneau.

“With supply chain issues this year, it’s a great opportunity for all Alaskans to try to shop locally as much as possible,” Brenda said.

Brenda has been coming to the Juneau Public Market for more than 20 years. Instead of taking her car on the ferry this year, Brenda is shipping more than 1,000 pounds of artwork on Alaska Marine Lines and will be checking extra baggage on her flight.

Christina Van Den Hoogen is a book binder and paper enthusiast from Sitka. She’s bringing hand-marbled paper, journals and paper Christmas ornaments for her first in-person Juneau Public Market.

She’s got an Airbnb booked and plans to spend an extra day in Juneau to do some networking and shopping, which contributes further to our local economy. 

Christina is also eager to check out Juneau’s food scene.

“There’s so much good food. I’m a bit of a foodie so I’m excited to get really good croissants and go to the original Pel Meni and go to the Sandpiper for a good breakfast,” she said.

Peter Metcalfe started organizing the market in 1983. Its popularity has since expanded beyond Centennial Hall to include the Juneau Arts & Culture Center and the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Because of COVID issues, however, only Centennial Hall will be used this year.)

Peter said he supports the project that will combine a renovated Centennial Hall with a new arts and culture center, one that could serve as the hub for not only the Juneau Public Market, but the Aak’w Village District as well.

“There’s no end to what we could do, given the space. I like the idea of a campus, and I like the idea of getting people down to the center of Juneau for their holiday retail shopping. It does the whole community good.”

The Juneau Public Market is November 26-28.