Community members attend ground breaking ceremony for yacht building venture

By Lois Krafsky-Perry
Citizen Review Online

Port Angeles, WA - 4/14/03 - The weather cooperated with a bright, sunny day for ground-breaking ceremonies as approximately 150 people gathered to witness and participate in the ground breaking ceremony for Westport Shipping Inc. on Marine Drive in Port Angeles today.

The three acres of waterfront land will be the setting for the company which specializes in superyachts. “The 164’ yacht is the biggest production in the United States and also the biggest in the world,” said Russ Veenema, Executive Director for the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce. He applauded the effort of the business community and county residents for the accomplishment.

Veenema stated that the Westport Investment was $12 million. The building activities will continue at the 1050 building at the airport, according to Veenema, and by November 1st, be ready at the waterfront location.

“I couldn’t be a happier mayor,” said City of Port Angeles mayor, Glenn Wiggins. He stated that he was delighted with the plan for 200 family wage jobs with the expansion and the joint effort with Platypus Marine.

Wiggins asked for a moment of silence for U.S. Marine Corp Sergeant Brendon Reiss, 23, of Port Angeles, who died March 23 while in active duty in Iraq.

Congressman Norm Dicks (D) from Bremerton attended the event and joined in the ground breaking effort. “With the Olympic Peninsula’s downsizing in the timber issue, “we have to diversify,” he said.

Larry Nelson, Vice President of Administration for the project said, “property, skilled labor, and community was key to us.”


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