The Port Townsend Main Street Program has been working hard in this ever-changing COVID scene to support our historic districts when the economic situation was stressed by uneasiness, business …
The Port Townsend Main Street Program has been working hard in this ever-changing COVID scene to support our historic districts when the economic situation was stressed by uneasiness, business restrictions, and the corresponding lack of foot traffic.
Now, the tides have changed. There’s a strong resurgence in tourism and locals are also enjoying freer movement on the street and in businesses. Events are coming back, and while there is uncertainty about the future in terms of the pandemic and variants, there is also pent-up demand. People want to experience what summer has to offer. There’s vacation time, visits from friends and family, outdoor events and adventures, dining spots to try, getting reacquainted with businesses, and a desire to be out in our community while the weather is fine.
We have used this past year to plan and kick off some new initiatives to benefit our community.
Have you noticed the new Hidden Histories signage in downtown and Uptown? This signage project was an historic effort! You can also visit pthistory.com to discover the lesser known stories of Port Townsend’s history. Thanks to the city of Port Townsend, the Jefferson County Historical Society and Olympic Peninsula Steam for partnering on this project with the Port Townsend Main Street Program.
The program is implementing the Tourism Infrastructure Project sponsored by the city of Port Townsend and local donors.
The project has improved the undeveloped street end by Adams Street Park and transformed it into a scenic new pedestrian space. It was designed by studioSTL which is located in Uptown. The city of Port Townsend Public Works crew laid fresh gravel, improved the shoreline access and installed the large cement pots in preparation for the streetscape amenities. There are three beautiful new benches made of Ipe (ironwood), a sustainable wood sourced locally from Edensaw Woods.
Made by a local firm, Jaynesco Finish Carpentry, this new seating offers spectacular views of the water, ferries and all types of watercraft passing by.
The pots are planted with succulent gardens created by and cared for by one of our Main Street gardeners. Watch for additional new Main Street tables and chairs coming soon to the downtown streetscape. Thanks to the Tri-Area Garden Grant program for supporting this project.
With the help of members of our Design Committee, Main Street workers and volunteers have been focused on beautifying our town. Thanks to the Port Townsend Main Street Tax Incentive donors, there are three new picnic tables at Adams Street Park which are getting lots of use on these sunny days.
The self-guided PT Treasures app which outlines fun facts about Port Townsend has been receiving positive feedback. The Port of Port Townsend reports that their boaters are really enjoying it.
We included “Grab Your Bags”—You’re Headed to Port Townsend” rack cards inside 1,000 Port of Port Townsend welcome bags for boaters and RV campers at Point Hudson. Visit iloveporttownsend.com to learn more about the campaign.
Nonprofits are key partners in keeping Port Townsend vibrant. In addition to extensive local marketing to promote businesses for the past six months, we are achieving our goal of supporting other nonprofits.
The First Federal Community Foundation grant is helping underwrite in-person art classes for Northwind Art (ptschoolofthearts.org) and some in-person and family-oriented summer programs at the Jefferson Museum of Art and History (jchsmuseum.org).
Come be a tourist in your own back yard! Join us for free, entertaining tours featuring a Key City Public Theatre actor highlighting the Port Townsend Hidden History Signage project.
It’s a casual, interactive walk; you might even win a small prize!
The tours take place on the first and third Saturdays of the month; meet up at 1 p.m. at the Haller Fountain.
Visitors are back in a major way this summer, and a number of hotels are at or near full occupancy.
At some restaurants, Tuesdays are as busy as Saturdays now. For these reasons, we plan to push the outbound Seattle/Tacoma marketing campaign to third and fourth quarters to strategically drive business to the historic districts and Point Hudson.
While the pandemic has been full of struggles, there have been some positives and reasons to be thankful.
We are grateful to everyone for supporting our local economy, for community leadership, hard-working entrepreneurs, dedicated volunteers, and for keeping strong during uncertain times.
(Mari F. Mullen is the executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program.)