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Although we are new to this business and do not have concrete numbers to give, our business is "tourism" which I feel means people visiting an area for work or play.......I am sick of being treated like a second class citizen of Nova Scotia.....the south west end of Nova Scotia is only assessable by "road" and I might ad not even a completed 100 series highway...... we have no train, no planes and no ferry........we pay our taxes like every one else in the province but yet we are treated unfairly and being isolated .........I see the polital agenda to have Halifax as the "Hub" easy access, most promotion.......etc. do you see double lane highways plans for South Western Nova Scotia, I understand the train service was subsidized was that because it comes to Halifax, and yet this government can not see the value of a ferry bring "visitors" from the US to Nova Scotia in South Western Nova Scotia. Maybe the agenda is to have the ferry come to "Halifax". Our numbers will be down considerably this year especially with the price of " gas" who will be able to afford driving ....... Charlene Harris, Shelburne, The South Shore of Nova Scotia
Charlene Harris http://www.rosewayrivercottages.com April 10, 2012
As an owner of two small businesses on the South Shore of Nova Scotia I can readily attest to the fact that the loss of the ferry has contributed to a steady decline in my businesses, as well as others in the area. I live in the UNESCO town of Lunenburg and have witnessed the steady decline in the last number of years, since moving to Lunenburg in the year 2000. The loss of the ferry service in Yarmouth seems to be the final straw that "broke the camel's back". As a B&B operator I had guests who stopped here coming from the Ferry in Yarmouth and going on to the rest of the province. I also had guests who had visited Cape Breton and other parts of Nova Scotia who were returning to the US via the ferry. As the owner of a retail business in Mahone Bay the lack of tourists from the US has contributed to a loss of revenue as well. True there are other factor such as gas prices, 15%HST, and the US economy contibuting to this, but I feel that there are a number of US residents along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. who are discouraged from coming to Canada by the lack of Ferry Service to Yarmouth. Small businesses in Nova Scotia need all the help they can get to stay viable, not to mention the fishing industries, truckers etc. I wonder how many HST dollars were lost over the past two years from the lack of tourist revenue. It would be interesting to compare what the goverment has lost in HST and what they may have saved by closing the ferry down. Oddly enough they seem to come up with the funds needed to salvage industries in the rest of the province. Don't we count on the South Shore!
Murdell M. Hall April 10, 2012
After 27 years of business in Nova Scotia, business for me has suffered a great deal. Not only has this affected me but also the employees who worked with me. Since the fall of the ferry I've had to let go 3 people which no doubt has affected them a great deal. With only around 200 miles separating us from a large potential demographic, would not a ferry service make practical sense? By eliminating ferry service to south shore Nova Scotia we have lowered our accessibility greatly; when in reality we need to open as many roots as possible to make sure we are competitive in today's tourism market. A dependable and regular ferry service is needed to bring goods, people and money to Nova Scotia.
Jim Quick April 09, 2012
Returning customers from the US cannot get to their summer homes, campgrounds and travel this end of the province with the absence of the Yarmouth-US ferry not to mention the businesses that would start up in Yarmouth and surrounding areas. It has an effect on my business directly as well as my local customers who rely on the incoming US business people, travelers and visitors. It is also very difficult or impossible to export some products to the US from Nova Scotia. Local business owners have closed their doors leaving my business with even less potential customers as not only their business doesn't exist anymore but also their employees. I also have vacant rental office space because of this directly linked declining local and Nova Scotia economy and the ferry service. We all realize that the ferry service is not the only solution but it is vital to the survival of all South-western and the rest of Nova Scotia livelihood.
Marcel Saulnier - SaulTech Computers April 09, 2012
Since the cancellation of our international hwy we have seen a sudden drop in property sales from the US and no sign of turning around.Not only decreasing new sales but the properties for sale owned by US people have increased due to the fact it's too much of a problem to access their properties.This is a direct impact in sales revenue for the area and with no visits from the US less retail revenue for the local stores,gas stations,tourists attractions etc..........
RobertLong RealEstate ns (2009) Ltd robertlong.ca April 09, 2012
As a recording studio owner and the Artistic Director of the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne, I know the ferry would bring artists, musicians and audience members to the Shelburne County area. After a recent drive to a conference in New Jersey, I discovered how important the ferry connection is and how often it was used by people visiting and discovering Nova Scotia. I believe the ferry not only helps to exchange tourists and visitors but also connects and encourages arts and culture between both areas.
Alex Buchanan HarbourTone Productions April 09, 2012
We would love to be able to visit Nova Scotia but we are unable until the ferry is reinstated. The CAT made travel between Maine and Nova Scotia simple. It would help both economies if the ferry service was reinstated and tourists could sail back and forth again.
Diane & David Robinson April 08, 2012
My husband and I own Harbour's Edge B&B in the Town of Yarmouth. We bought this old house five years after if burned in a fire. It was left to sit and leak and rot for those five years. There were pigeons nesting in the house when we bought it and some of the rooms had two inches of ice on the floors. It was in terrible shape and the previous owner was about to tear it down. It was truly an eleventh hour rescue. It is situated on 2 acres on Yarmouth Harbour, we fell hard for this old girl. We were a young family with three children, so there wasn't money for a project of this scope. We had to find a way for the house to redeem herself. Even though the house was near demolition, it had lots of positive attributes. There were eight fireplaces and 5.5 bathrooms. It would make a beautiful B&B! We set to work, borrowed lots of money, and 2.5 years after we bought it, we opened our B&B in 1997. With two ferries and a Province that used to know how to lure visitors to our shores, we were busier than I had ever dared hope to be. For many years, if you wanted to stay at our B&B, you HAD to pre book, and you had to do it early to avoid disappointment. We employed 3 part time people, and we were full most nights in the high season. Our guests were touring the entire province, most of them coming and going through Yarmouth. So now today, we are not enjoying the brisk trade we once did. We seldom are full anymore. Our high season numbers are down dramatically (about 45%) from 2009. What is really interesting about this is that in 2009, we had alot more competition. The Rodd's Colony, the Capri, and others were open in 2009 but they and others are now closed. We are still open, but we are not generating the revenue, or the taxes that we once did. We have no staff, so, we are working ALOT harder to make less money. Our expenses to live in and maintian this great old house have increased. We still have to provide a top quality experience for our guests and that costs money. Well, I guess you can see where this is going. We are struggling. Our guests love staying in our home. We enjoy meeting new people and helping them to experience everything this Province has to offer them. I hope we will be able to keep our B&B open. We need our International Ferry link to the USA reopened. For the good of this entire province, we need to make it easy for our American neighbours to get to us. www.haboursedge.ns.ca
Esther Dares April 06, 2012
The real estate industry in Yarmouth, NS has declined dramatically starting the moment the ferry was cut. I have seen ups and downs in the industry over the last 18 years but nothing like this. Bank repo's have made up a large portion of our business as of late which speaks to the decline in the local economy in general. Top producing real estate agents have left the industry and the area to find employment elsewhere. YARMOUTH IS DROWNING - WE NEED A FERRY!
Wendy Cushing April 05, 2012
The regional and provincial partnership with the USA has been seriously eroded by the lack of the traditional international highway between Nova Scotia and Maine. The private sectors have been working diligently with all levels of government over the past two years to rectify and return this beneficial ferry service. The impediment to development appears to be the provincial government who lack the will to support this vital international highway. All other levels of government are receptive to the re-instating of this important service. The financial cost is being felt throughout the province in lack of tourism, lack of tax dollars on gasoline, food, accommodations, and closing businesses. We support the return of the ferry for our Province.
Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce April 05, 2012
Economic sustainability is in question for many businesses, including ourselves, due to the lack of a ferry connection. There have already been a number of casualties. The primary leisure tourism product offered in the Province is as a touring destination. This is true for visiting Americans as well as Upper Canadians. The Yarmouth point of entry is crucial to that flow through the entire region. There is no alternative route for that portion of the market which has been critical to the success of the industry for over a century. Danny Morton, General Manager White Point Beach Resort
Danny Morton White Point Beach Resort April 05, 2012
Since the cutting of the CAT ferry our room nights have decreased big time with US visitors. Our restaurant now has about 1 -1/2 hrs in the mid afternoon where we do no highway traffic. We were always steady in the mid afternoon, due to the crossover traffic going/coming from ferry. Our dining room staff has decreased from 3 to 2 per shift. Our season has been decreased by 1 month due to lack of tourism. Overall i believe we have had a decline in business of 50% due to the loss of the ferry.
Barb Campbell Port Mouton Bay Cottages April 05, 2012
The previous govt. took on a marketing tool which they dubbed the NOVA SCOTIA COME TO LIFE CHARTER.It stated in short that the Govt of Nova Scotia together with the private sector would market the province in a manner that would develop our economy,our culture, and our way of life.The present day govt has carried on with this inituative,using the come to jobs logo etc. It was a no brainer for the Guest Lovitt House to become a charter member and help promote our beautifull province to all who visited her. As of late this has become increasingly difficult to do, due to the fact of no ferry link to the USA. I sincerely hope that Nova Scotia,as well as all of the maritimes are not being punished for the political decisions of the electoriate of Yarmouth,if so it certainly goes against all that is portrayed in the Charter. Bruce Rogers
Bruce Rogers www.guestlovitt.ca April 04, 2012
We operate a Bed & Breakfast in the Annapolis Valley. When the ferry was running we had a number of guests who would stay with us as a last stop before heading to Yarmouth to catch the ferry. We no longer have that traffic available to stop and stay with us. We are sure that a large number of other tourist related businesses in the Valley are equally affected.
Diane & Darryl Wile Blue Shutters Bed & Breakfast April 03, 2012
As a business owner I would suggest that the more access to the province the better, not only for the tourism industry as a whole but for other businesses as well. We need as many people as possible to be as successful as we all can be to showcase this province as a province of huge potential and opportunity. We can’t possibly maximize ROI if our closet market to the south (USA) can’t easily access us. We must admit to ourselves that it is not easy to get here (NS) by most every mode available. Air is very expensive; it is a very long drive; and rail from the USA doesn’t connect easily to us. Now no ferry service where there once was two! Thank goodness there are cruise ships connecting us to the New York tri state area and Greater Boston. The cruise ship industry does however have some volatility especially given the cruise line’s assets are mobile. It is a known statistic that 40% of passengers that visit a port have indicated that they would return on their own for a visit. How will any of these American visitors be able to return – by what means? An efficient, cost effective, high speed cruise ferry and cargo service from the New York or Boston area direct to the right port in NS could be VERY good for the tourism industry and all businesses in NS. The time to build this is sooner than later with smart money that doesn’t rely solely on tourism but builds a strong base with cargo as well to connect these two markets. Few of the best regularly scheduled transportation providers rely on just passengers or on just cargo, but instead carry both to be able to create true sustainability through economic cycles. Dennis Campbell President & CEO, Ambassatours Gray Line
Dennis Campbell Ambassatours.com April 03, 2012
My daughter has recently moved to Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. We plan on visiting her in May 2012. I can't tell you how disappointed we were to discover that this ferry service has been discontinued. It is going to add an additional 2 days to our trip. This is 2 days we won't be able to spend with our grand children. This is yet another hit to Canadian/US tourism and the livelihoods on both sides of the border. We really need to work together to bring this ferry service back!
Janet Justice April 02, 2012
When we moved to Nova Scotia from the US, we thought we were going to have a “grand adventure abroad,” even though we didn’t go very far “abroad.” My business partner and I had high hopes that investing in a B&B would be a wonderful way to live in Canada for our retirement and meet people from all over the world. Those two hopes have been realized; however, the cost of this dream has been devastating on our pensions. We are lucky that our business does not have to support us, but we always hoped the business would support itself. Sadly, it does not. Although our business increased every year from 2004 to 2007, for the last four years, business has declined; and 2011 saw a decrease in our business revenue of 24%. That is an unhealthy decrease for a small, seasonal business. We have friends that have seen a decrease of over 50%. We believe several factors have come together at the same time to adversely impact our business: Loss of the reimbursement of the HST paid by foreign visitors once they return home; extremely high gas prices; exorbitant airline fares; a lack of advertising and marketing strategies that actually target the appropriate markets; goods and services that are, on average, 10% to 25% higher than US prices; a tourism department that prefers to “tell you what it is going to do” rather than ask you “what it should do”; the inability of that same tourism department to listen to those of us who had begun to see (early on) the downturn in the tourism numbers and respond quickly and accordingly; the inability of a tourism department to gather accurate tourism numbers and, more importantly, the inability to figure out exactly where those tourists live in order to spot-target advertising and marketing monies; the inability of the Department of Transportation to keep our scenic highways in good repair; the inability of the DOT to provide signage that actually moves tourists through the Province; the inability of the Province to become a year-round destination rather than a seasonal one; the inability of local and Provincial government officials to see tourism as a viable economic generator; the high price of the CAT when it was running; and finally, the loss of any ferry service at all between the US and Canada. Even one of the above indicators is a serious matter. Several become a devastating nightmare for small accommodation owners. And it is even more disturbing when the Provincial Government give $1 million to White Point, $1 million to the Rodd in Yarmouth, millions to New Page and Bowater, other money to a railroad in Cape Breton that is losing money, and $304 million to Irving. Yikes! That’s a great deal of money, yet there is no money to subsidize an appropriate ferry to the US. What are they thinking? Oh right, they aren’t thinking about the hundreds of small business owners that are quickly closing their doors, losing their investments, giving up their dreams, and wondering what in the world to do now. Big business, even when it loses money, is where big money should go; and the little people be damned. How dare we start a little business and hope to make a little money, and how dare we dream of a comfortable life doing something we love? Not in Nova Scotia. The trickle-down effect doesn’t work here either. Yes, we need a ferry. Sooner rather than later. Even if it is sooner, how many people have already gone out of business? Many in Yarmouth I’m told, and I am as sad for them as I am for the rest of the Province. A ferry to Yarmouth means tourists for the entire Province. Yarmouth is the starting point and sometimes the ending point; but it’s the entire Province and that of PEI and Newfoundland that also benefit. Too many people think Nova Scotia is an island, and that’s another marketing issue that should be addressed. Please make it easier for tourists, businesspeople, Nova Scotians living away, new families, new businesses, and retirees to live, work, and play in Nova Scotia. Please get us a ferry. Please get people on board this new agency that care about our struggling tourism industry. Please help us keep working and living in Nova Scotia. Otherwise, we’ll have to leave. And we will be sad beyond measure.
Sebelle Deese and Susan Budd Atlantic Sojourn Bed and Breakfast April 01, 2012
I can not believe this is taking so long to get a ferry in place. Shame! Shame! I visit at least 6 times a year and soon I will stop coming all together. Do something before tourism is null!
Alexis Tierney March 30, 2012
I've been visiting and vacationing at our family homestead in St Ann-du-Ruisseau, outside of Yarmouth my entire life. A home built by my great grandfather. The loss of ferrry service from New England to SW Nova Scotia has been an absolute tragedy. A connection has been broken, business have been forced close up shop, the local economy has taken it on the chin. We need to restore this ferry service. I long for the days of the Scotia Prince!
Bruce Bourque Burclan Productions March 29, 2012
I write this as another independent business owner who has felt the negative impact of the loss of our New England ferry connection. Over the last 25 years in the real estate business we have sold numerous properties and parcels of land to our American neighbors. Since the loss of the ferry, not only have those sales stopped, but the people who have purchased over the years are no longer able or willing to travel here to vacation. Those who bought land are now reluctant to build, and the elderly summer home owners can't tolerate the extra day of travel time to get here and to return back home. It is so short sighted for the NDP government not to realize the rippling effect of this loss, not only to Yarmouth, but to tourism and businesses all across the province. We have lost a ship and now Yarmouthians are living in a sinking ship that needs a plug and a quick fix sooner, rather than later. Wake up NDP and lick your wounds before we all go down with the ship. Richard LeBlanc
Richard LeBlanc March 29, 2012
 
 
 
 

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