By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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The policy, which was proposed by interim Park Director Brian Hageman, was approved by the state's Parks and Recreation Commission on March 21 and is now in effect.
“Rentals were down,” Hageman said. “We thought this option would make Fort Worden a more palatable option for them to hold a family reunion or a similar event.”
Previously, every person who attended an event on the park grounds had to display a Discover Pass to park.
That discouraged attendance at events, according to several park tenants.
The policy also discouraged facilities rental and was a factor in locating the upcoming Washington City/County Management Association statewide conference at the Northwest Maritime Center instead of Fort Worden, according to City Manager David Timmons.
The city is hosting the statewide conference, which will be Aug. 13-16.
Under the new policy, the park will print a specific number of day-use parking passes geared to the event, Hageman said.
Event sponsors may rent a facility such as the USO Building, with visitors encouraged to use the adjacent lots.
The arrangement won't be exclusive. Visitors coming for the event will be allowed to park anywhere in the park, while regular visitors with Discover Passes will be allowed to park in the designated lot.
“If someone comes for a wedding and then wants to drive down to the [Point Wilson] lighthouse for a while, they have that option,” Hageman said.
Fort Worden has a schedule of 24 facilities, listing the cost of rentals with or without a group parking fee, which is based on $4 per car.
This ranges from $40 to rent the 10 stalls outside of building 204DN to the $800 required for the 200 stalls adjacent to McCurdy Pavilion.
Hageman said an agreement already has been reached for attendees to all Centrum events to park on campus without a requirement of the Discover Pass.
The Discover Pass, which went into effect in 2011, costs $30 per year or $10 per day.
It is required for vehicle entry to all state parks and other state lands.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.