Port continues improvements to facilities, campground

Revenue remains steady after year of changes

April 24, 2021 — The Port of Siuslaw Board of Commissioners met on April 21 for a meeting that suggested that the local economy has started to rebound from last summer’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The meeting was fully attended by all commissioners and the brief agenda showed emerging evidence that local economic factors, such as tourism, entertainment and recreation, are recovering.

During the meeting, Port Manager David Huntington said he was looking forward to the summer season.

“Even with Rhody Days not happening (on the third weekend of May), our campground is still full for that weekend,” he said. “I think we are going to be pretty busy this year.”

Huntington updated commissioners on the continuing improvements to the port’s facilities., including upgrading water and electric lines and repaving a major portion of the parking lot directly in front of the port office.

In addition, the ongoing renovation and upgrades to dozens of prime RV spots has proven to be a worthwhile investment as port revenue has increased as more upgraded sites become available.

“We are making quite a bit of headway on our ‘outer circle’ project,” Huntington said. “We’ve got our electrical panels in, we’ve got our wire throughout the ditch and we are starting to put in the sewer, and we should be to hook up pedestals throughout the week. It’s moving along quickly.”

The rising profile of the Port of Siuslaw in the eyes of travelers and long-term renters has been clear since the onset of the pandemic, as revenue from space rentals has risen significantly in the past 12 months.

The added focus on customer service is also considered to have improved the stay of guests at the facility.

According to the meeting, COVID-19 seems to be having less of an impact than expected on the port’s occupancy rates, as numbers have remained essentially the same although the number of available spots has increased.

Port leadership expanded rental space by removing of large storage structures that had become a hazard and which only generated a minimal revenue stream. This idea stemmed from Huntington.

That decision has proved to be a significant boost to both the fiscal stability of the port, to the public perception of the facility.

The success of the increased rental spaces has led commissioners, particularly Commission Chair Terry Duman, to consider the options for further increasing the spaces the port would have available if it were to continue upgrading underutilized areas of the port property.

On Wednesday, commissioners discussed the future needs of the port related to dredging waste and storage. After considering those, all commissioners agreed that Huntington should evaluate the idea and report back to the Port Commission with his recommendations.

At the end of the meeting, commissioner comments centered on the upcoming port election, which has sitting commissioners running unopposed as candidates for their current positions.

There was general agreement that the working relationship among commissioners and staff was excellent and all commissioners thanked Huntington and Administrative Assistant Kelly Stewart for their work.

The next Port of Siuslaw Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for May 19 at 7 p.m.

For more information, visit portofsiuslaw.com.