A note from Colleen:
Riley Starks, of the Willows Inn, is looking for support for a Spring drydock, rather than continuing to pull the ferry in September for maintenance. When I moved here 20 years ago, drydock was in always in May, and it seemed to work much better for all the folks that wanted to enjoy the last glorious month of Summer here on the island, as well as island businesses.
From: Riley Starks <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 3:26 PM
I am hearing comments against moving drydock from September to April (or May), and would like to see if anyone out there would be interested and have the energy to create a petition showing support for such a move. It seems likely that, given the present feelings expressed by task force members, unless some serious support for the move is expressed, it will not happen. Chandler crunched the numbers for last September and found that there was not a significant increase in revenue. I think that one month of data did not fairly represent the likely increase in September traffic if it were known that there wouln never be a drydock that month.
All of us in the tourist industry know that September is one of the 3 busiest travel months of the year, especially here in the San Juans. The state ferry system keeps its summer surcharge through September, and my friends on other islands tell me that September is equivalent to july in terms of sales. I think there are a lot of islanders who agree with me that commerce is important to this island. We employ 34 islanders at the Willows, and our payroll is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars being circulated right here in our community. There is no logical reason that drydock should be scheduled in one of the busiest times of the year for tourism, hurting all island business including the reefnet fishery. If anyone is willing to come forward, it would be much appreciated.
Riley Starks, Proprietor
The Willows Inn on Lummi Island
New York Times Top 10 Restaurants in the World Worth a Plane Ride
2579 West Shore Dr
Lummi Island, WA 98262