At the December 2018 CEOtoCEO Breakfast, Steve Metruck, Executive Director of the Port of Seattle and a former Coast Guard Rear Admiral, joined CEOtoCEO to talk about the Port and the often overlooked but massive role it plays in the local economy.
Steve detailed the ways in which the Port is working with local governments to build a strong regional commerce conduit. From the Seaport Alliance, a pact between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, to grants made to city governments across King County, the Port is a major resource for local businesses.
Steve also covered topics such as trade, that accounts for 40% of Washington’s economy. He addressed the growing competition from Prince Rupert to the north, Long Beach/Los Angeles to the south, and Savannah, Georgia. Steve explained the importance of continued investment in the Port—from the airport, to regional transportation projects, to expanding freight and maritime capabilities, to tourism—to keep up with this competition. If Seattle is to become and remain a “World Class city,” the Port must be an active player in the city and region’s growth.
Steve discussed the plans to increase the Port’s Cruise services, and how their ability to accommodate more and larger cruise ships multiplies local economic activity. He also hinted towards some major Norwegian Cruise liners making appearances in Elliott Bay in summer 2019.
And finally, Steve spoke candidly about the challenges at SeaTac airport – how the much-needed updates to the international arrivals terminal will benefit international travelers and commerce, but also the delicate balance they must strike between expanding their footprint and accommodating concerns and pushback from the residents surround the airport.