April 30, 2019 Dena Jensen
Folks may remember discussion last year of the Port of Bellingham allowing some of their public parks to be shut down to non-paying members of the public for private events due to requests from event organizers. Port Commissioners decided to try a “pilot program” that resulted in, I believe, ultimately just one event in August of 2018 that shut down Zuanich Point Park.
Supposedly the potential for a couple 2018 events would have constituted the pilot program, allowing the Port Commissioners both of those event experiences on which to base a decision of whether to continue on with allowing public parks to be shut down to non-paying members of the public up to three times per year. Apparently it turned out Port Commissioners decided more than one event was not necessary in order for them to move forward with continuing the practice.
This announcement on the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce website (information linking to this webpage was also sent out in the Chamber’s newsletter) says, “In recent years, staff has received increased requests from groups who would like to hold ticketed events at these prime Bellingham locations.” So, even though, according to the Port, there is this increased demand – which led to one viable occasion in 2018 when a public park would be shut down by the Port for a ticketed event – the Port is now actively recruiting requests for proposals for events that would shut down any of three of the Port’s public parks, up to three times per year.
Here is a link to the announcement on the Chamber’s website:
I just happened upon the newsletter from the Chamber in documents from a public records request on another topic.