Sharlene Berg has been named CIRI Alaska Tourism Corp.’s (CATC) interim chief operating officer. Berg previously served as CATC’s director of lodging, overseeing the company’s lodges in Talkeetna and Seward, Alaska. Berg now manages all of CATC’s day-to-day operations.
Berg joined CATC in 1999 as general manager of the newly opened Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. She was promoted in 2003 to director of lodging, where she managed the Talkeetna lodge and the Seward Windsong Lodge, CATC’s other premier Alaska hotel.
“For many people, Alaska is their dream vacation,” said Berg. “They have scrimped and saved to visit and experience Alaska. There are many people who have never seen our state’s natural beauty. My job is to help them realize their dreams.”
CATC’s businesses include the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and Seward Windsong Lodge, the marine day cruise companies Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises and Kenai Fjords Tours, the Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island, and the Alaska Heritage Tours tour booking company.
“CIRI Alaska Tourism operates Alaska’s best lodges and tours,” said Berg. “Our lodges feature some of the state’s finest restaurants, and our marine tours let people see, feel and experience the real Alaska.”
Berg said CATC’s workers are the company’s biggest strength.
“They treat our customers like honored guests,” Berg said. “Our customer service is outstanding.”
Berg said she is cautiously optimistic about the 2009 visitor season. Early bookings indicate it will be a good year, but the economic recession is expected to reduce cruise traffic. CATC won’t know how much cruise passenger business to expect before March.
“Our plan is to pay close attention to our expenses and scale our costs to match demand,” Berg said. “We only plan to open as many rooms as our lodges can fill, and we’ll tailor our boat schedules to make sure the boats only go out when they’re full.”
Berg moved to Alaska in June 1973. She is originally from Silverton, Ore. She has been married to husband Daniel Berg for 33 years and has two children, Tara and Robert Berg.
CATC is a wholly owned CIRI subsidiary. For more information about the company or its tours, visit www.ciritourism.com.