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Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association

February 5, 2013 - Gig Harbor, WA - Following an exciting, three-day process that included a series of six community roundtable meetings involving over eighty stakeholders, consultants presented a proposed, new identity for the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association and the district it serves. The intensive meetings involved many participants including City of Gig Harbor officials, board members and staff from organizations and events throughout Gig Harbor, business and property owners, young professionals, residents, and Gig Harbor High School students.  Local resident and GHHWA committee member, Chuck Meacham said, “It was a remarkable process that will clearly benefit Gig Harbor.  Congratulations certainly go to the Waterfront Association for soliciting the input from nearly 100 people and bringing us together so quickly.  It was an amazing accomplishment to do this in only three days!” 

 

The study was commissioned by the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association in a unique partnership with the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Uptown, and Gig Harbor North.  Arnett Muldrow & Associates, a planning firm that specializes in downtown revitalization, economic development, and working with Main Street&Copy; communities, conducted the study and community marketing process.  Based in Greenville, South Carolina, Arnett Muldrow has worked in over 200 communities in 28 states. 

 

The Arnett Muldrow team made recommendations for name changes, taglines, marketing pieces, and ads for the community.  The team is also examining the market for the community with a specific focus on what business types will be successful in Gig Harbor’s traditional business district.  Tripp Muldrow commented in the “brand reveal” to nearly fifty stakeholders last Friday at the Arabella Netshed, “Gig Harbor is a successful community that has already done excellent marketing and branding - this effort is to make what is already great even better.” 

 

If approved by the board of directors, the organization will be renamed the Downtown Waterfront Alliance and the destination will be referred to as the Downtown Waterfront.  A new tagline for the Downtown Waterfront was revealed in the following brand statement crafted during the three day process:

We are Gig Harbor’s Downtown Waterfront:

 

We are a place tied to a history that predates European settlement. Native Americans came here to live in our safe harbor.  Later Croatians launched our commercial fishing industry that remains alive to this very day.  Scandinavians brought businesses to our town and immigrants came to the area from across the nation and Europe.  This heritage is not just part of our past.  We remain a place where our connection to the water provides a living for generations of families. 

 

Today, the water is not just a place of work; it is a place of recreation.  Our Canoe and Kayak Racing Team are national champions. Locals enjoy a more leisurely pace whether by paddle, by sail, or by motor.  And visitors get a warm welcome at our docks where they can walk, dine, shop, and even drink a local beer.

 

Gig Harbor is a place with captivating beauty.  Everywhere you look there are scenes of uncommon splendor:  watercraft of all shapes and sizes, historic homes and businesses, open views across the harbor, and those amazing moments when “the mountain” towers in the distance.  

 

Gig Harbor is a place deeply connected. A stroll along our waterfront will bring you past historic net sheds, a stunning museum, the area’s largest collection of independent businesses and restaurants, and lovely parks.  Our events bring the community together throughout the year. People gather here at festivals, concerts, films, gallery strolls, or family nights out. 

 

We are a place where our past inspires our future, knowing that we can preserve what is great about this place while continuing to make our waterfront and all that it means to us even better.   

 

We are Gig Harbor, Washington…Tied to the Water.   

 

The Downtown Waterfront Alliance would have its own tagline:  “Tied Together.”  The logo for the Downtown Waterfront includes a view of Gig Harbor’s iconic Skansie Netshed.  Lines and corks also form part of the image system for the area. 

 

Local realtor and GHHWA committee member, Mary Gorman, commented, "I was honored to be part of the branding process for the Downtown Waterfront Alliance and I love the suggested name for the organization.  I was skeptical that all input could be presented, understood and processed in a relatively short time frame.  However, I was impressed with the efficiency of the focus group meeting, and wowed by the final product.  They really “got Gig Harbor” and have designed a brand that reflects our community with pride." 

 

GHHWA President Gary added he is, “more than pleased with the community's response to this review," noting, "recommendations will be presented to the Association Board at our  March Meeting.  We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnerships in the coming months.”

 

The Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association was formed in 2008 and became a designated Washington Main Street community in 2011.  For more information contact the GHHWA at 253-514-0071 or info@ghhwa.org.