What makes Port Angeles unique? Consultants seek community's input
The current Port Angeles Downtown Association logo was designed in the 1990s.
By Leah Leach
Peninsula Daily News
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Or those times when sea and sky are the same unbelievable shade of blue so that ships seem to sail on air.
Sunset's outrageous blaze of red, orange and gold out Neah Bay's way savored from Ediz Hook while the ocean sizzles over smooth oval stones and the sea gulls line up on the log farm to sing, as best they can, their hallelujah chorus homage to the end of day.
Perhaps it's the Olympics, nearly a million acres of wilderness at our backs, rich with trails through majestic cedars, western hemlock and Douglas fir.
Or the view from Hurricane Ridge, where the blue of glaciers seems to spill down and fill the valleys while wildflowers adorn every step.
What do you love about Port Angeles?
Is it the people?
Funk and blues in the clubs or intimate dinners at restaurants by night, commerce by day; festivals; home-grown vegetables, wild mushrooms and salmon at the farmers market; log trucks rumbling through town; stylized Native American art and bold or whimsical statements by many other artists; not just one, but two book stores supported by a population of a little more than 19,000, along with a busy library and myriad discussion groups; constant charity in the form of benefits and fundraisers.
Or perhaps it's what you can do here: hike, fish for salmon and steelhead, kayak, sail, garden, walk the Waterfront Trail, take your dogs to Hollywood Beach.
What makes Port Angeles home?
And what do we have to offer to strangers?
Figuring out Port Angeles' welcome mat is the job of two consultants from Greenville, S.C., this week.
Ben and Tripp Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow & Associates will try to sum up the community, boiling down to a logo and a few words the essence of Port Angeles.
Join focus groups
And they need your help to do it.
Five focus groups will take place in the second-floor banquet room of The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Participants will be asked such questions as “What are we?,” “Who are we?” and “What is unique about us and where we live?”
About 100 people have been invited to the sessions.
In addition, “anyone who wants to show up is more than welcome,” said Barbara Frederick, executive director of the Port Angeles Downtown Association.
And they can come to any of the focus groups that attract them.
Three are planned Tuesday.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, public officials will gather.
At 3:30 p.m., youths will give their views.
At 5:30 p.m. is the focus group for community leadership.
Wednesday morning will be devoted to downtown businesses at 8 a.m. and tourism at 9:30 a.m.
By 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Muldrow brothers — having listened to the imaging groups and wandered the streets with cameras and questions — will present a proposed new community image, or brand, for Port Angeles.
They were hired by the Port Angeles Downtown Association for $12,000, funded with money from “the Washington State Main Street Tax Credit Incentive Program from our local business partners,” according to a letter by Frederick and Jan Harbick, marketing committee chair.
PADA's logo — made up of four squares with images depicting a flower, street lights, people shopping and a ship — was developed in the 1990s and needs an overhaul, Frederick said.
“We felt it was time for a fresh look and a boost in our brand and our attitude, and the look and the feel — make it a little more up to date,” she said.
But she hopes it will go father than that.
Used by all
“We really hope that it will be something that can be used by other segments of the community to help define not just downtown but the whole community,” she said.
Thursday afternoon's presentation will take about an hour, Frederick figures, and she expects to see a logo, a branding statement and a tag line, as well as “ a whole presentation of ways that we can market ourselves with this brand and all of the different things that it can be used for.
“They will develop ideas such as street banners, a new website, possible print ads,” she said.
The company has helped brand more than 300 cities in the nation, she said.
“They come at it from a different approach,” Frederick said. “They become part of the community when they are here.”
She can't begin to anticipate what they will say.
“We've been trying to guess, and we have no idea,” Frederick said.
“They will come at it with fresh eyes and see things that we haven't seen.”
Frederick has seen these consultants in action: She attended a three-day session in Wenatchee in the spring.
“They come up with a branding statement that really describes the community,” she said.
“They did this in Gig Harbor last year, and the branding statement brought tears to the eyes of some of the residents who were there to see the presentation,” Frederick said.
Managing Editor/News Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3531 or at email@example.com.
Last modified: September 21. 2013 5:35PM