Catching up with the Port Townsend Main Street Program | Word on the Street

Mari F. Mullen

Eighty-one businesses have now signed up for the “Love Where You Live—Port Townsend” marketing campaign which increases visibility for historic districts’ businesses, in response to COVID-19 impacts. 

These businesses and the historic buildings they call home are our community’s treasures. The plan highlights local shopping, dining, hotel stays and experiences. Regional and local marketing buys will encourage participation in the niche experiences and self-guided tours as COVID restrictions lift. The campaign is coordinated by the Port Townsend Main Street Program.

A lively mix of unique businesses with great stories call Port Townsend home. Individually owned, and with merchandise and menus that are carefully curated, these businesses are the heart of Port Townsend. We invite you to explore Uptown and Downtown and meet the folks who work in the many businesses behind the brick facades. Preview what’s in store by visiting ILovePortTownsend.com.  You’ll find snapshots of a variety of local businesses as well as videos of owners telling us why they love Port Townsend. 

The self-guided tours highlight our town’s intriguing history. Initially, the experiences and events will be designed for individuals and small groups and target Jefferson County residents. In the future, we will promote the unique charms of our city as a safe and memorable destination.

Join in the “Port Townsend Treasures” trivia hunt now; it’s a free, fun tour through downtown available now. Download the Action Bound app. Visit ILovePortTownsend.com to learn more.

We invite customers to participate in fun social media challenges and tag the businesses you mention:

• Be a tourist in your own home town!

• What are the best kept secrets locals know about? 

• Challenge locals to support one different small business each week and post photos which Port Townsend Main Street and participating merchants could share. 

• Challenge visitors to share their travel photos on our Facebook/Instagram/Twitter and use hashtags #ptlove #iloveporttownsend #porttownsendtreasures #localLOVE

FUTURE FILE

Small-scale events will unfold as health guidelines allow later this spring, including self-guided culinary tours (beer crawl, wine walk, sweets stroll, arts walk, PT Eats event) and spring buskers events. 

This campaign is funded by an economic development grant from the First Federal Community Foundation, the Port of Port Townsend, Windermere Real Estate and in-kind media support from KPTZ. 91.9 FM and The Port Townsend Leader.

Also on the horizon, work progresses on the Creative District Wayfinding Project. 

Local artist Jonah Trople is creating five large cedar sculptures or “art markers” to be placed throughout town to signal that you have arrived in the Port Townsend Creative District. 

The Downtown sculptures will be located by Tyler Street Plaza and at Monroe and Washington; the Uptown sculptures will be by the Port Townsend Public Library and the Rec Center; and one sculpture will be located near the entrance to Fort Worden. 

Trail signs will connect Uptown to Fort Worden for pedestrians and bicyclists. 

QR codes on the sculptures and signs will link to the project website. 

This project is funded by a grant from ArtsWA through the Washington State Legislature, matching donor funds and in-kind support from the city of Port Townsend.

HUD LOAN PROGRAM AND MORE

Low-interest loans for building improvements are available for commercial buildings in the Uptown and Downtown historic districts as part of the Main Street HUD loan program.

The spring application deadline is Monday, March 15. Download the application at ptmainstreet.org (click under “Resources.”)

The Main Street Design Committee has been very active. The Tourism Infrastructure Project funded by the city of Port Townsend Lodging Tax Advisory Committee will improve the street end by Adams Street Park and transform it into a parklet this summer. 

Look for new benches, tables, chairs  and planters which will enhance the amazing waterfront view downtown. 

Merchants, take note. We hope to give away 100 free hanging-flower baskets to main floor historic district merchants who sign up for the PT Main Street Watering Program.

Visit ptmainstreet.org to download the form and sign up for a beautiful basket. Thanks to the city of Port Townsend LTAC for this opportunity.

Mark your calendars: Earth Day Spring Clean Up is April 17.

Contact the Main Street Program if you would like to volunteer at a socially-distant event to spruce up the historic districts before summer.

We’re looking forward to marching towards spring with you. 

For more information, visit ptmainstreet.org.

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

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