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Food sought to placate ferry patrons in long line

One theory goes that long summer waits at the Keystone ferry terminal may be easier if food is available.

With only a single, 50-car ferry serving the route, time may fly faster if one’s attention can be diverted by a corn dog or ice cream cone.

But before motorists can enjoy a snack while waiting in line, a business needs to be found that’s willing to open a concession stand near the terminal.

The town of Coupeville is looking for such a business, or perhaps a nonprofit organization, to start offering food at Keystone this summer. The town started advertising for the concession stand last week and interested businesses have until May 15 to submit a proposal.

With limited service operating out of Keystone Harbor, motorists can expect long waits during the busy tourist season. Offering some kind of food service at the terminal may make the wait easier for tourists anxious to see the wonders of Port Towsend and points beyond, including the Olympic Mountains and coastal beaches.

“It will make their stay more pleasant,” Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard said in an interview. There used to be a restaurant open across the street from the terminal but its doors were locked long ago.

The space for the concession stand will be limited. The town is looking for a business that would operate out of a portable trailer or perhaps a vehicle. A wiener wagon might do the trick, or a sugar shack on wheels.

Conard pointed out several challenges to setting up a concession stand in the area. Besides the small space, there is only limited water availability through the public restroom and electricity would have to come through an extension cord.

“It needs to be fairly self-contained,” Conard said.

However, the food purveyor would have a captive audience. With one small boat leaving Keystone every 90 minutes, the line of cars could be enormous and many people will be milling about the ferry terminal looking for anything edible.

In past years the route was served in the summer by two Steel Electric vessels, which can hold 64 vehicles and 600 passengers. Those 80-year-old vessels were pulled from service in November due to hull corrosion.

In their place is the Steilacoom II, which the ferry system leased from Pierce County. It holds only 50 cars and 300 passengers.

Ferry users have already had a taste of what’s to come. During this spring’s one day of warm weather Saturday, Apri 19, waits approached two hours at Keystone.

Mayor Conard hopes to have a recommendation ready to submit to the ferry system in May.

One theory goes that long summer waits at the Keystone ferry terminal may be easier if food is available.

With only a single, 50-car ferry serving the route, time may fly faster if one’s attention can be diverted by a corn dog or ice cream cone.

But before motorists can enjoy a snack while waiting in line, a business needs to be found that’s willing to open a concession stand near the terminal.

The town of Coupeville is looking for such a business, or perhaps a nonprofit organization, to start offering food at Keystone this summer. The town started advertising for the concession stand last week and interested businesses have until May 15 to submit a proposal.

With limited service operating out of Keystone Harbor, motorists can expect long waits during the busy tourist season. Offering some kind of food service at the terminal may make the wait easier for tourists anxious to see the wonders of Port Towsend and points beyond, including the Olympic Mountains and coastal beaches.

“It will make their stay more pleasant,” Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard said in an interview. There used to be a restaurant open across the street from the terminal but its doors were locked long ago.

The space for the concession stand will be limited. The town is looking for a business that would operate out of a portable trailer or perhaps a vehicle. A wiener wagon might do the trick, or a sugar shack on wheels.

Conard pointed out several challenges to setting up a concession stand in the area. Besides the small space, there is only limited water availability through the public restroom and electricity would have to come through an extension cord.

“It needs to be fairly self-contained,” Conard said.

However, the food purveyor would have a captive audience. With one small boat leaving Keystone every 90 minutes, the line of cars could be enormous and many people will be milling about the ferry terminal looking for anything edible.

In past years the route was served in the summer by two Steel Electric vessels, which can hold 64 vehicles and 600 passengers. Those 80-year-old vessels were pulled from service in November due to hull corrosion.

In their place is the Steilacoom II, which the ferry system leased from Pierce County. It holds only 50 cars and 300 passengers.

Ferry users have already had a taste of what’s to come. During this spring’s one day of warm weather Saturday, Apri 19, waits approached two hours at Keystone.

Mayor Conard hopes to have a recommendation ready to submit to the ferry system in May.

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