The Black Ball Ferry Line is sailing again after 18-months of suspended service, reconnecting the shores of the Olympic Peninsula with Victoria, British Columbia. The community in Port Angeles cheered and welcomed the first passengers coming in from Canada as they disembarked.
The iconic and beloved M.V. Coho is the single vessel sailing the Port Angeles-Victoria route. In its 60 years of service the ferry has carried millions of cars and passengers. The route is important to the communities on both sides of the border, as the traffic promotes tourism and stimulates the local economy.
A Community Mainstay
According to a 2019 Economic Impact Study, the M.V. Coho ferry route infuses an average of more than $5 million a month into Clallam County. It’s a responsibility the Black Ball Ferry Line takes seriously, according to co-owner and VP of Marketing, Ryan Malane.
“It was important for us to maintain a crew to keep the M.V. Coho in top operating condition, even when we were shut down,” explained David Booth, CFO and co-owner of Black Ball Ferry Line. “We would take the boat out every six weeks and work the machinery so we would be ready to go as soon as the border reopened.”
Anchoring with First Fed
During the pandemic, First Fed helped small businesses take advantage of government assistance through Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and the Main Street Lending Program.
“It’s important to us to support local businesses that build up our communities,” noted Andrew Korchemniy, First Fed Commercial Relationship Manager. “Black Ball Ferry Line provides a significant service to the Olympic Peninsula and our neighbors in Canada. We were honored to help facilitate their loans to support them during the pandemic.”
After working with First Fed on the lending programs, Black Ball Ferry Line switched their payroll and direct deposit accounts to First Fed as well.
“We loved the commitment First Fed has to investing in community enterprises,” Malane recalled. “They were extremely welcoming and attentive, which is not something we had found with other banks.”
Ready to Set Sail
The Black Ball Ferry Line website serves as more than just a convenient place to make reservations and buy tickets for the ferry. It is also kept up to date with the latest COVID-testing requirements for crossing the border as well as providing travel packages and services for your trip once you land.
“You can get some of the best deals you’ll ever see on stays in Victoria right now through our package deals,” noted Malane. “The hotels have really embraced the US market returning to Victoria. They’re offering some phenomenal pricing to us that we pass through to the customer.”
Currently the ferry is operating at their normal schedule for winter, two round trips per day. While it is important to exercise caution when traveling, proper planning can help ensure both a safe and fun experience. From the latest border crossing information to hotel packages, the folks at Black Ball Ferry Line are happy to help you plan your trip.
First Fed is a member FDIC and equal housing lender. Our business team works with all sizes of companies, including small businesses like Black Ball Ferry. Meet our team at ourfirstfed.com/business