Tag Archives: recreation

Poll: Where will you get your Christmas tree?

Kitsap residents have a bounty of options when it comes to picking a Christmas tree.

xmas-tree-chart

There are, of course, no shortage of stores and tree lots offering pre-cut firs, pines and spruces.

For families who want to harvest their own, the county home to more than 500 acres of planted Christmas trees, with U-cut farms dotted across the peninsula.

More adventurous tree hunters can buy a $5 permit from the Forest Service and make a foray into the Olympics.

So if a tree is part of your holiday tradition, where do you plan to get yours this this year? (Or where did you already grab one?)

Where will you get your Christmas tree this year?

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If you need help finding a tree this year, the Kitsap Sun has a handy guide to u-cut farms and lots on the peninsula.

Photo by Larry Steagall. See a gallery of Larry’s Christmas tree shots here.

Travelocity names Kitsap a top 10 destination for beer tourism

brew2_21667175_ver1-0_640_480Kitsap County ranks among of the best destinations in the country for a “beercation,” according to one major travel website.

Travelocity recently released a beer tourism index to assess what areas of the nation are best suited for beer-centric travel.

The index ranks metro areas based on the number of breweries in the area, the availability of rideshare services, air accessibility and the cost of lodging.

Kitsap County (listed as Bremerton-Silverdale) landed at No. 10 on Travelocity’s list of top beer destinations in the small metro area category:

beerdestinations

It’s not a big surprise Kitsap would make this list, considering more than a dozen craft breweries are in business across the county.

Groups like Visit Kitsap Peninsula are already marketing West Sound as a “hops-lover’s heaven.”

Sierra Trading Post announces opening date in Silverdale

sierratradingpost-logoSierra Trading Post will open its first Washington store at 8 a.m. Oct. 27 in The Trails at Silverdale shopping center. 

The 17,000-square-foot store will offer a wide range of outdoor gear and apparel, according to a news release. Interactive kiosks will allow customers to search the retailer’s in-store and online inventory while shopping.

The store is handing out prizes customers in line early on Oct. 27 and will make a $5,000 donation to Seattle Adaptive Sports.

Sierra Trading Post is hiring full-time and part-time staff Silverdale store. Click here for details.

Central Kitsap is suddenly rich in sporting goods and outdoor stores. DICK’S Sporting Goods opened at Kitsap Mall last week, joining Big 5, REI and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Silverdale.

More than 500 planes confirmed for Bremerton airport fly-in

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Registration numbers are soaring for an aviation convention planned this weekend at Bremerton National Airport.

B0015742479--722623As of Wednesday morning, 523 pilots had confirmed they planned to land at the airport for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Fly-In, which kicks off Friday evening and continues through Saturday.

Nearly 160 participants planned to camp under the wings of their planes.
Total registration for the event had topped 1,700, but closer to 3,000 attendees are expected, according to airport director Fred Salisbury.

“It should be a packed house,” he said.

Weather forecasts should help boost attendance. The National Weather Service predicts sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s this weekend.

The Bremerton event will double the size of the AOPA Fly-In Spokane hosted in 2014, which attracted 1,500 attendees and 240 planes. (A torrential rainstorm the day before festivities began dampened attendance.)B0013904477--374701

Big registration numbers for Bremerton are encouraging to organizers, who believe the event will provide an economic boost to the area.

AOPA Fly-Ins typically generate about $680,000 for the local economy, according to the association. The conventions create business for hotels, transportation companies, food vendors and contractors.

Jack Edwards, manager of Bremerton’s Baymont Inn & Suites, said roughly one-third of his rooms (about 50 units) were booked for the weekend by Fly-In participants. He started receiving reservations from AOPA members as early as April.

“We’re still getting calls from them, but we’re full,” Edwards said.

A plane flies above Mt. Rainier as seen from the window of a Beechcraft Baron piloted by Avian Flight Center's Pat Heseltine on Friday, June 3, 2016. (MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN)

Visitors who waited until this week to book rooms would be hard pressed to vacancies anywhere in Bremerton, he said.

Visit Kitsap Peninsula Executive Director Patty Graf-Hoke said the Port of Bremerton deserved praise for bringing the Fly-In to Kistap.

“The AOPA very prestigious national organization and their West Coast event offers locals new opportunities to introduce hundreds tourists to the region,” Graf-Hoke said in an email. “Guests are filling up hotel rooms which is good for local businesses and the economy.”

The AOPA Fly-In is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more about the event.

You don’t have to be a pilot to enjoy the beauty of the Kitsap peninsula from the air. Click here to see Meegan Reid’s gallery of aerial photos taken earlier this year.

Boat sales are back in a big way

20080627-173841-pic-90777257_5695367_ver1.0_640_480It’s hard to beat boat sales as an indicator of luxury spending.

Boats are typically expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and expensive to use. In short, owning a boat is a great way to dispose of disposable income.

With the exception of live-aboards, maritime professionals and remote island dwellers, very few boat owners can claim to really need their boats.

Like sales of many other luxury goods, boat sales took a dive during the recession. Droves of underwater boat owners literally walked away from their vessels.

20070619-190929-pic-800119525_5727290_ver1.0_640_480Now the boating industry is rising from the depths. Boat sales seemed to turn a corner in 2013, as I noted  in a story a couple of springs ago.

Sales continued to grow during the past two years, likely buoyed by the improving economy, falling gas prices and long, hot summers.

Puget Sound Business Journal reported this week that more than a quarter of Washington households own a boat, and sales in the state jumped 24 percent in 2015.

harbor3_18647849_ver1.0_640_480We don’t have access to boat sales as a dollar amount here in Kitsap, but we do know how many vessels were sold to people who keep their boats in the county, thanks to data from Washington Sea Grant and the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

By their count, total boat sales for Kitsap increased 21 percent between 2010 (when activity bottomed out) and 2015. The rebound of new boats sales was more dramatic, jumping 102 percent over the same period.

New vessels accounted for 12 percent of Kitsap boat sales in 2015. The data include all power boats and sailboats with titles (so no kayaks or paddle boards).

Here’s a graphic showing boat sales for Kitsap since 2009:

Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

marina
Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below:  Continue reading

U.S. Open pumped $134M into regional economy

golf1_199469_ver1.The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay was expected to bring a lot of green to the Northwest. 

The weeklong event lived up to expectations, according to an economic impact analysis commissioned by the USGA. 

The study, conducted by Northwest economists, estimated the golf championship gave a $134 million boost to the economies of Pierce, King, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

Local governments spent about $7.6 million on the event, with more than $4 million coming from Pierce County.

The tournament, which ran June 15-21, attracted about 110,000 unique attendees to the Pierce County golf course. More than half came from surrounding counties, while one-third traveled from other states.

Chambers3_17063782_ver1.0_640_480“No other one week event in the history of the Pacific Northwest has had a greater economic impact,” Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy said in a new release.

The direct economic benefit to Kitsap County was relatively small, but not insignificant.

The report estimated the county’s hotel/motel sector reaped a $349,000 increase in revenue in June (hoteliers were already having a good year). Many Kitsap golf courses reported an uptick in traffic around the time of the U.S. Open.

Tourism boosters hope a more greater benefit to the county will materialize in the future, as spectators exposed to the region through the U.S. Open return to visit.