November 12th, 2020

Chamber hosts virtual ‘State of Port’

Chamber of Commerce and Port District leaders met COVID-19 challenges head-on Thursday morning with a virtual “State of the Port” presentation that drew 60 online participants. Port Executive Director Dan Worra received kudos from several session participants after a 45-minute presentation that included a series of slides ranging from photos and data to charts and graphs. Worra’s overall description of the Port’s mission is “to create and maintain jobs and make the community a better place.” He provided details and some glimpses of the future regarding the Port’s four major activity centers: marine terminals, marina, airport and properties. In a year when COVID-19 ravaged typical activities including Port-sponsored community shows and events, bright spots included a Cap Sante Marina guest moorage level that to date is just short of 2019 levels. It was noted that guest moorage levels mean an infusion of dollars into the local economy, including retail and food businesses. The average length of a transient guest’s stay is 3.5 days, with $550 in spending (not including costs of moorage and fuel). This area of Port business amounts to about $2.5 million annually. Despite a guest moorage hit in early months of the year, a rebound included high moorage levels through summer and into fall. Part of the reason for a resurgence, suggested Worra, was a closed U.S./Canadian border that likely resulted in an increase in international recreational boating traffic. Worra also noted that the former Whidbey Island Race Week, cancelled this year, will move to Anacortes next year as Race Week Pacific Northwest. The Monday-Friday event (June 21-25, 2021) will not include traditional upland parties that draw participants together. In regard to future development proposals, Worra said consideration of a port office/community center facility north of the marina harbormaster office (see illustration) is “on pause.” In other areas of activity, environmental cleanup efforts continue, and negotiations are under way with potential tenants at a new Port property on Highway 20 (Bartholomew Road). To view this Chamber/Port session click here. Questions and/or comments can be directed to dan.worra@portofanacortes.com.

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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