Scott McCrea, director of tourism and convention sales for Explore Fairbanks, has been named president and CEO of the organization. The longtime Fairbanks resident and University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate will be taking over the role that Deb Hickok has held since 1999.
Buzzy Chiu, chair of the Explore Fairbanks board of directors, said McCrea’s “passion and enthusiasm” for tourism and bringing visitors to Interior Alaska is contagious. “We could not ask for a better person to continue to move Explore Fairbanks from the throes of the pandemic back to a brighter, more robust future,” Chiu said in a news release.
McCrea said Hickok’s shoes will be hard to fill. In her 20-plus years with Explore Fairbanks, Hickok is credited with creating Fairbanks as a year-round tourism destination, with visitors coming from all over the globe.
“That’s just helped us out in so many ways to be able to diversify our local visitor industry economy beyond those summer months that many parts of Alaska rely on,” McCrea said. “Here in Fairbanks, we have an opportunity to have months like February and March, which have been amazingly strong winter months for us for visitation from both domestic and international markets.”
McCrea had previously worked for what was then called the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau in the late 1990s. He rejoined the…