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Locals and visitors have one more venue to choose from for weddings and

events thanks to the purchase of a large event tent using Transient Lodging Tax

dollars.

Having a wedding in the future?

The Port of Garibaldi hopes you’ll consider having your special day (or any event for that matter) under their new event tent.

In 2016, the Port of Garibaldi was awarded a Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) grant of more than $57,000 to purchase the tent for land on the east side of the Port.

“For years it had been considered unusable for anything,” General Manager Mike Saindon said during his TLT Grant Success Series presentation in front of the Board of County Commissioners. “Well one sunny day we went out there after we had everything leveled and looked and said, ‘We’re not going to give them [crab pot storage] another good spot. We had a vision for this spot because it has an outstanding view.”

From there, the concept became a reality with the help of the TLT dollars, and by July 2016 the tent was ready to use.

The event center is designed to have a seasonal solution to the immediate need in Tillamook County for a medium- to- large- scale event center. Ideal events for the space include the Oregon Tuna Classic, large-scale weddings with views of the bay and harbor, indoor seafood markets, and company retreats.

“We have very few venues, besides the fairgrounds, that can have events,” Saindon said. “We tried to develop it into a modern day, useable event site.”

Currently the tent and event site are available for $2,000 a day. Chairs and tables are included in that rental fee.

“We’re not looking at this to make a huge profit for the Port off this,” Saindon said. “We look at this as an asset to the County.”

The Port currently has three weddings booked for this upcoming summer.

The new revenue has also created an opportunity to hire a full-time position to coordinate set-up and tear-down, as well as maintenance of the event area.

“We believe in the TLT fund and what it can do for the County,” Saindon said. “We see a future in the county of a few more venues like this.”

The event tent was not the only TLT grant the Port of Garibaldi has received in recent years.

In 2015, the Port was awarded more than $49,000 to renovate their information booth.

“What it was intended for was to replace our 1970s-falling-down shed that was holding up our launch pass ticket machine at the boat ramp,” Saindon said. “We wanted to upgrade it and create a better area for disseminating information.”

With 11,000 boat launches each year, distributing accurate information is key to the Port’s success and boaters’ safety.

“The Port of Garibaldi has seen a huge increase in the number of recreation boating traffic,” Saindon said. “There were a few times this year that it was almost like years in the past: we had boats lined up at the boat ramp all the way around and back to the highway. It was really good to see those folks showing up…It’s really good to see because our restaurants are benefiting from it.”

 The information booth was completed in time for the 2016 fall run thanks to local contractors who were used in every instance possible including: Miami Cove Electric, Advanced Excavation; and Tillamook PUD. The information building was built by Oregon Corrections Enterprises, and is now featured in their sales catalog.

“This just shows up and explains to people where these TLT dollars are going,” Tillamook County Commissioner David Yamamoto said. “And what good they’re going to, not just for the Port of Garibaldi or the City of Garibaldi, but for the whole county.”

The TLT Grant Success Series, began on Sept. 27 after Tillamook County officials wanted to “improve our outreach to the community and raise awareness of all the great projects that have come out of the TLT facilities grants,” Chief of Staff Rachel Hagerty said.

Since fruition in 2013, the tax has brought in millions of dollars, with this year projected to be around $3 million.

Of the funds that come in from the TLT, 30 percent are allocated toward roads and 70 percent are split between tourism facilities and marketing and promotions projects.

Twenty-seven facility projects have received approval through the Transient Lodging Tax, totaling $1.9 million.  

The Port of Garibaldi was the last project to present in the series.   

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