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Patricia Graf-Hoke
The Business of Tourism

One of our greatest tourism assets is our connection and historic relationship to the water that surrounds the Kitsap Peninsula region. Our local waters and shoreline connect every city and community on the peninsula. It is the natural element that connects us geographically as a region and through individual and shared history and culture. Our waters are our primary tourism attraction and it fuels our economy not only through the tourism industry, but other economic sectors.

Our natural environment, interconnected land and water trails, urban amenities and services, make Kitsap Peninsula a popular destination for business travelers, leisure visitors and event planners. One of the key reasons for our growth as a tourism destination is our unique proximity to the Seattle-Tacoma region, the 13th-largest metro marketing area in the United States. read more »


Tourism generates more than $260 million a year in sales and taxes and is responsible for 3,500 jobs, making it the third-largest economic sector in Kitsap County. It’s also one of the fastest-growing industries and creating a boon of construction, public works, park and retail projects along with hundreds of new jobs. These are not small projects either, but major, long-term investments in our local tourism infrastructure, providing Kitsap with more competitive and marketable tourism assets.

Among the largest projects is the new 28,000-square-foot conference center planned by Port Madison Enterprises (PME) as part of the Suquamish Tribe’s five-year tourism expansion program. The construction plan includes 100 more hotel rooms for Clearwater Casino Resort, a 400-car parking garage, and upgrades of several restaurants. PME recently opened the new 22,000-square-foot clubhouse and restaurant at White Horse Golf Club. read more »


Congratulations to the Port of Bremerton, Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, elected officials, and business leaders for investing $45,000 in the Boeing Max project study to bring attention to Kitsap County. We agree Kitsap County… and the Kitsap Peninsula… has a lot to offer businesses and their employees. Getting them to make the move takes persistence, investment and time.

The beauty and accessibility of our natural environment — 238 miles of shoreline, snowcapped mountains beyond, and close proximity to the 13th largest metropolitan market in the United States, makes it easy to command the attention of businesses prospects. Encouraging them to actually make the move to Kitsap County is much more complex and typically long-term, on-going investment process. read more »

Destination: Kitsap Peninsula

Last year, during one of the worst economies in decades, Yakima County, population 239,000, collected $2,300,000 in lodging taxes. Kitsap County, population 247,000, collected just $975,000. Why did Yakima generate so many more lodging tax dollars than Kitsap County? It’s not just because they have more hotels or are a major tourist destination. It’s because years ago Yakima decided to make tourism a cornerstone of their economic development; an investment decision that continues to pay dividends today. read more »


Tourism can play a key role in Kitsap’s economic recovery and we can begin now, this weekend. Nothing will stimulate our local economy more quickly and with less time and effort than by promoting tourism.

Tourism is clean and green and we have the infrastructure in place; Kitsap is ‘tourism ready.’ It is a proven growth industry, even in tough economic times. read more »


Sam Askew, president of the KPVBC Board and Patricia Graf-Hoke, executive general manager, announced the formation of special KPVCB Committee called the Kitsap Peninsula Brand & Tourism Development.

“This has been one of our long term goals and at the KEDA/Port of Bremerton vitality summit yesterday, it’s clear tourism and
tournaments, conventions and developing our own brand are much on people’s minds,” Askew said. “Patty’s proven abillity to bring people together to help in this critical branding process is one of her strengths, and one reason we hired her,” said Askew. read more »


Every Saturday, you can find Ken and his sons, along with wife Elizabeth (not pictured) cooking up some of the best Bar-B-Q you will ever eat at The Grillside Mobile Bar-B-Q. The family business is a popular fixture at the Port Orchard Farmer’s Market.For a couple of hours each week, hundreds of residents and visitors from throughout Kitsap County, wander through rows of a simpler life, greet neighbors with relaxed smiles, listen to farmers share how-to-advice and take time to smell the flowers. We are reminded, again, of the healthy benefits to the planet, mind and heart of eating home grown food and buying from crafters making foods, clothing and gifts the right way…slowly and with care.

Welcome to your local Farmer’s Market. read more »


Since writing about the wonders of the web in the April issue, it appears the twitter about Twitter is already starting to quiet down and a few days ago, I read that the folks at MySpace are reinventing themselves in the “face” of growing competition.
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What about the Internet? It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue and one of the most-asked questions at our marketing workshops. Everyday we hear about some exciting new technology associated with the Internet and wonder, is this THE marketing tool that will help generate more customers for my business?
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