Following an intensive process with consultants and local community members, the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association is one step closer to its name and identity transformation.
The three-day workshop, which took place last week, included a series of six community roundtable meetings with more than 80 stakeholders, 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.
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.
Arnett Muldrow & Associates, a planning firm that specializes in downtown revitalization, economic development, and working with Main Street communities, 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.
“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,” said Gig Harbor resident and GHHWA committee member Chuck Meacham. “It was an amazing accomplishment to do this in only three days!”
"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,” said local realtor and GHHWA committee member Mary Gorman commented. “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 said the proposed recommendations will be presented to the Association Board at its March Meeting.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.