Arts and Entertainment

Puget Sound port revival

The Poulsbo prize basket contains over $250 worth of gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants.  - Kipp Robertson/ Staff photo
The Poulsbo prize basket contains over $250 worth of gift certificates to local businesses and restaurants.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Staff photo

A sailing contest has been set up in an effort to encourage more patronage at marinas around the Puget Sound.

Passport to Puget Sound, a program that rewards boaters for visiting the 15 participating marinas around the Sound, began January 29; but only one prize package has been claimed.

The Port of Poulsbo just completed their prize package, which consists of more than $250 worth of gift certificates from local businesses. Port employee Jannese Petersen said she hopes the contest will help increase moorage at the port.

“Over the past year we have been slow,” Petersen said. “We don’t fill to capacity except during holidays.”

Passport to Puget Sound is a promotional program to encourage boaters to sail the Sound with the opportunity to win one of 14 prizes. Participants receive a “passport” with the names of the 15 ports on the inside aligned like a BINGO card. With each visit and one-night stay to a port a stamp is given. Boaters with four stamps in a row are rewarded with a t-shirt. A “passport” with all the stamps may earn from a prize package.

“Whoever chooses our package will be eating good for a while,” Petersen said.

For the Poulsbo Marina, the months of May and June were especially bad for business because of the poor weather conditions, Petersen said.

Another factor has played into a lower amount of people boating: fuel prices.

Since August 2005 gas has increased from $2.99 to $3.55 per gallon and diesel has increased from $2.53 to $2.93 per gallon.

“We have seen a substantial price increase in gas,” said Port of Poulsbo Staff Accountant Carol Tripp. “A lot of folks are staying local when they go boating, This (program) is an effort to change that.”

Marinas in other areas have been more fortunate.

The Kingston marina has filled to capacity almost every weekend this summer, marina employee Ed Blark said.

“This marina is busy all the time,” Blark said. “It’s been a good summer.”

The location of the Kingston Marina has a lot to do with its business, Blark said, and because Poulsbo is tucked away it may be losing out.

“A lot of people are staying in the general vicinity of their home port, probably because of high gas prices,” Blark said. “I don’t know how many people know about the (Passport program) but hopefully it will pick up soon.”

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