June means Summer and Summer means Tourism and Tourism means Business

Bremerton is cool (even on a hot day like today!) We who live and work in Bremerton know that. And now more and more people from other places are realizing that Bremerton is a cool place to visit as well.

Downtown Bremerton, with its history and industrial edge, its art and music, its museums and unique shops and above all its cool vibe, is attracting more and more visitors. We've got the Wayzgoose and Blackberry Festivals coming up at the end of the summer but Kitsap Transit's fast ferry will be bringing visitors over from Seattle to explore Bremerton every weekend until then. This is great news for Downtown Bremerton businesses but it may surprise you to hear that it's also good for Bremerton's overall economy.

Think about it. As tourism grows, the hotels, restaurants and shops that provide services to those who visit hire additional staff. And when there's a new hotel being built, as in the case of Marina Square and its 125 hotel rooms and restaurant, that means more permanent jobs when those businesses open. More jobs = more $ to spend = stronger economy.

This is why we're opening a new Bremerton Visitor Center this summer. We believe it's time that Bremerton shows itself off to those who come to visit. We'll be providing the printed brochures we always have but will be adding a "What Locals Love" section where we'll showcase local products and places. We'll have a friendly face to ask questions of but will also have digital kiosks where visitors can find places and events by touching a screen. Those screens will feature the brand new Bremerton Chamber of Commerce website as well as a uniquely designed Visitor Center website.

The Visitor Center will be the place to go for both visitors and locals to get information on where to go and what to see. We hope that it will attract as many locals as it does visitors because we believe we should all be tourists in our own community!

We can all be ambassadors for Bremerton, its businesses and economy. By welcoming and attracting new visitors to Bremerton, we're supporting local businesses and investing in our local economy. That economy supports our quality of life and the lives of everyone here.

So the next time you come across a tourist, take the time to recommend your favorite places to visit in Bremerton. It's not only a nice thing to do, it also helps build our economy!

Denise Frey, President and CEO