Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Arg - Improvements!

Percival Landing
Wonderful place to visit
(Just not as long as before)
This year Kristi and I are heading to the South Sound, anyplace below the Tacoma Narrows.  We visited this area once before and enjoyed it.  One of our 'anchor stops' was in Olympia at Percival Landing.  Smack center in Downtown, we had easy access to groceries, the capital, coffee shops, repair facilities, restaurants, open air markets -- all that a small city provided.  During our last time there we would come in and stay 3-4 days at a stretch enjoying the local shops.

Well - while googling up to see if perhaps there was a major boating event at Percival Landing this holiday weekend (We are planning on picking up a boat load of Grand Kids and parents for the weekend) I noted that the city of Olympia has made some improvements to Percival Landing - adding power and water to the docks.  Perhaps nice, but not needed for us.  And of course, with that came a price increase.  A 3x price increase.   There is one section of docks without the power/water access, it too has an 80% price increase.

OK, here it is:   I am not sure why cities with local access docks feel it is necessary to compete with larger marinas for transient moorage, providing power and water and setting their rates at 'market' value, or perhaps a bit under.  Swantown is just around the corner - lots of space, power, water, great destination for clubs and such who need those resources.

And here is my point:  I am sure that in the end the folks at Olympia will look at the overall picture and find their 'Percival Landings' revenue has increased some - but perhaps what will not be noted is the community impact.  I know in our case, we likely will spend the same amount for moorage at Olympia now - but given the 2-3x price increase, stay a much shorter time.  66% less coffee shops, less visiting the Capital, less meals out.  66% less spending in the community.  We will get in, provision, and get out.

Yes, we are one boat, and no I do not know their overall usage demographics.  But for communities out there with public access docks I have a question:  "When making these types of plans, how much do you consider the access to the community?  How much do you consider the need to replicate dockage already provided by private (or semi-private) marinas?  What is the balance between optimizing revenue for the dock itself vs. encouraging access to the community?"

I had been looking forward to repeating our time in the South Sound, but to be honest:  Cutting our time wandering around Olympia by 66% will greatly impact that - too bad.


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