Downtown is hurting but ‘not dead,’ business association says

PORT ANGELES — To paraphrase Mark Twain, recent reports of the death of downtown Port Angeles are an exaggeration, according to the Port Angeles Downtown Association.

“Downtown’s not dead. It’s alive,” the association’s executive director, Barb Frederick, said Thursday.

Councilman Don Perry, while inquiring if government aid was available, said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the city’s downtown was “unbelievably dead” because of the effects of city construction projects.

Construction has required closures of sidewalks and portions of roads, and isolated some businesses on Front and Laurel streets by deep ditches and shaky bridges at their entrances.

Perry said Tuesday that some businesses “have not had a sale in three weeks.”

On Thursday, Perry said he had good reactions from merchants to his comments at the council meeting.

“I have had a lot of people commenting to me, basically saying, ‘Someone finally said something.’

“A lot of people are saying it’s really tough, what’s going on downtown.

Meanwhile, downtown association leaders say it’s not all that bad.

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