A dream come true

Bremerton Marina set to open May 31.

When the newly expanded and renovated Bremerton Marina officially opens to the public on May 31, it will be more than just another destination for boaters, according to Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman.

“I believe it is probably the biggest piece of the puzzle that has been put in place in order for us to be a waterfront city,” Bozeman said.

Five years ago the project was just part of an overall vision for a revitalized downtown Bremerton that few people truly believed would ever become a reality, he said.

“It took a lot of dedication by a lot of people and credit goes to the Port of Bremerton and (city economic development director) Gary Sexton for making it happen,” Bozeman said. “It’s a big deal.”

In addition to providing a place for boaters, the new marina is essentially a waterfront park for the general public, he said.

“It’s like having a 1,500-foot, 25-foot wide waterfront park,” Bozeman said. “People will be able to fish off the breakwater and have picnics,” Bozeman said.

For port officials and staff the feeling going into next weekend’s grand opening can be summed in one word, said Port of Bremerton marine facilities director Steve Slaton.

“Ecstatic,” Slaton said. “Everyone’s been looking forward to this for a long time.”

Already the marina is beginning to fill up more quickly than anticipated, which bodes well for its future, he said, adding that a number of visiting boaters have been highly complimentary of the new facilities.

“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from them and the word’s getting out about how great things are,” Slaton said.

The marina’s grand opening was greeted warmly by the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority, which built the Harborside Condominiums on Washington Avenue.

“As Bremerton’s Community Renewal Agency, we are overjoyed that the marina is finally here,” KCCHA executive director Norm McLoughlin. “It will attract boaters and tourists to come to Bremerton and see all the town has to offer -- and that will build on the revitalization that’s already underway.”

The Port has done a magnificent job at creating a world-class facility, McLoughlin said.

“It’s exciting that, after all the anticipation, the community gets to come down and see it for themselves on May 31,” McLoughlin said.

When the grand opening finally arrives, Slaton said there will be plenty of food and fun for everyone beginning at 6 p.m. when the Navy band plays a half-hour set.

At 6:30 p.m. there will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by the opportunity to feast on 1,000 hot dogs provided by West Sound Marine and 1,000 pieces of cake provided by Costco.

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