Port Townsend: A place so easy to love | Word on the Street

Mari F. Mullen
Posted 3/2/22

At Main Street, we are grateful for all the partners who pulled together in 2021 to support our community over yet another pandemic year. 

We love that our members, volunteers, sponsors, …

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Port Townsend: A place so easy to love | Word on the Street


At Main Street, we are grateful for all the partners who pulled together in 2021 to support our community over yet another pandemic year. 

We love that our members, volunteers, sponsors, donors, the city, partners, and customers kept the energy going strong. We made it through the year with creativity and determination. 

There were some noteworthy highlights in 2021. The summer was hopping with successful times reminiscent of 2019, so we decided to postpone the summer grant-funded Puget Sound media buys until winter when businesses would need a boost into the holiday season. Another highlight was the transformation of a muddy plot of ground into the Adams Street Parklet, now a scenic resting spot with stellar views. We also created COVID-safe mini events, such as Buskers on the Block, that were hugely popular and will remain in future lineups. 

Overall, 2021 was a productive as well as an uncertain year for us.

Last year, a number of local businesses were reporting better numbers than 2019, and some said it was the best summer ever.

Port Townsend benefited from dedicated locals and pent-up demand from near-by visitors who wanted to get the heck out of the house. The remedy was short trips filled with new experiences in a scenic setting: “Hello PT!” 

With the dramatic swing of increased business came related complications. Unpredictable supply chain issues and staffing challenges made this upsurge a mixed bag for many restaurant owners. The streateries and other outdoor seating continued to provide options for those reluctant to dine inside.

The see-saw of 2021 was stressful. For 2022, one busy restaurateur is looking forward to a sense of normalcy. She wants fewer surprises, and to be able to plan and manage her business more accurately. 

A local hotelier was proud to say his hotel received high praise for their strict COVID protocols. The management took it very seriously which made guests feel comfortable, and continues to help staff and customers be safe. 

A downtown retailer remarked: “2021 was an awesome year after the disastrous year of 2020. It shows how all our efforts together as a community really can make a difference … I know all of you at Main Street worked hard. My employees worked hard. Our Port Townsend customers were amazing. They made a real effort to come out wearing their masks, shopping local, and making sure we were OK … 2021 was our best year to date.”

The pandemic has changed patterns. Working remotely is more popular than ever. People are happy to spend more time in the outdoor open spaces of Port Townsend. They patronize the Uptown and Downtown streateries, and spend time at Tyler Street Plaza, Adams Street Park and the new Adams Street Parklet. People are enjoying meals to go, meetings outdoors, or visiting with friends, while they soak in the scenery. 


The Historic District’s marketing campaign, “ILovePortTownsend.com,” has come to a close.

PT Main Street successfully coordinated the 2021 grant it received from the First Federal Community Foundation which funded a versatile marketing campaign to support the historic districts. Special thanks to the First Federal Community Foundation, the Port of Port Townsend, the Port Townsend Leader, Windermere Real Estate, KPTZ 91.9 FM, KUOW 94.9 FM, and KNKX 88.5 FM for supporting the “Love Where You Live” campaign.

Other projects also wrapped up in 2021.

Creative District Wayfinding Art Markers project promotes the arts.

Funded in part by ArtsWA, matching fund donors, and in-kind support from the City of Port Townsend. Five new art markers by Jonah Trople signify arrival in the Port Townsend Creative District. There are also 60 wayfinding signs with QR codes connecting Uptown to Fort Worden.  Ptcreativedistrict.org

New wayfinding signs share interesting, fun facts from Port Townsend’s history. In 2021, we coordinated 12 tours with a Key City Public Theatre actor based on the signage content.

The project was a collaboration between PT Main Street, the Jefferson County Historical Society, the city of Port Townsend and Olympic Peninsula Steam. Visit pthistory.com to learn more.

It was a fruitful year for projects with partners. The city of Port Townsend invited PT Main Street to create an attractive new parklet at Adams Street end, off Water Street. 

Studio STL in Uptown, along with private donors, helped make the project a success. 

Looking for a place to put your volunteer energy and community spirit this year? Please get in touch. Keep in the know! Subscribe to our e-news at ptmainstreet.org; follow us on social media.

Come spend some time in town; the days are a little longer. Thanks for showing your local love in the historic districts this month. 

(Mari F. Mullen is the executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program, a nonprofit organization.)


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