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Newspaper Archive of
Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
June 18, 2020     Shelton Mason County Journal
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June 18, 2020
 

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i ’Union is United’ weekly to challenges l3y Isabella iBreida isabe//a@masoncounty.com Thirty—five representatives from businesses in Union have formed a hy- perlocal collaboration, Union is United, to coordinate safe reopening practices as summer draws tourists. “Our main concern is making sure we do it in a safe way,” said Kathy Geist, co-owner of Captain Lee LLC, a yacht cruise operating from Alder- brook. “We’re such a small community we need to be careful (during reopen- ing) for all sorts of reasons” Union is United meets via Zoom once a week to discuss best practices, identify different businesses’ needs and coordinate exchanges of supplies. Small businesses, including Union Square Deli, Robin Hood Village Re- sort, Cameo Boutique and nonprofit Harmony Hill Retreat Center, partici- pate in the weekly meetings and have all begun slowly reopening, primarily beginning with outdoor dining and ac- tivities. “We have quite the resilient, hearty people in North Mason,” said Pam Volz, director and CEO of the North Mason Chamber of Commerce. “They just put one foot in front of the other and they were ready to open up pretty much when phase two went into place and its pretty remarkable, business is picking up.” ‘ Geist said Alderbrook Resort & Spa plays an integral role in connecting smaller businesses to resources such as Thursday, June 18, 2020 - Shelton-Mason County Journal Page A-7 An Alderbrook Resort employee returns to shore on Tuesday. Journal pho- to by Isabella Breda hand sanitizer and staff that was lost due to the initial economic impact of closures in March. Alderbrook started reopening June 3, implementing guidelines including screening staff the moment they enter the property and requiring guests to wear masks. - “The resort was mostly the driver of (Union is United) just because they’re kind of the nexus out here —— the moth— er base, the mothership,” Geist said. Alongside Alderbrook General Man- ager Shaun Tucker, Cameo Boutique and vacation rental owner Pam Han- son and Sheri Saari of Harmony Hill helped coordinate and form the ongoing collaboration. Beyond coordinating supplies, sani- Serving mu in two it. trons: Steven H. Bowers, DDS 717 W. Railroad Avenue Thomas Duffie DDS Marlin Mel/zany, DDS 1525 Olympic Hwy North (360) 426—9711 Same Day Emergency Appointments Pain Free Dentistry Experts in Helpng You Maximize Insurance Benefits Easy Financing Options Evening Appointments Avail bio ‘ New Patients Always “welcome Bowers Dental Group is excited to introduce you to the newest. member of our team, Dr. Mcharry. WWW. bowcrsdc 11 tel rou p. com tation and health practices, Union is United serves as a primary channel of communication for updates in each business’s capacity and operations. “We’re down to 50% occupancy ev- erywhere, but we know we can recom- mend (other lodging or restaurants), just go down the road and they’ll be great,” Geist said. Alderbrook announced they are canceling this years’ Fourth of July Celebration, Thunder on the Canal to ensure they can maintain proper so- cial distancing for their hotel guests, but both Harmony Hill and Cameo Boutique opened up their property for firework viewing and are taking reser- vations. In addition to Union is United’s co- keeps businesses communicating ordinated efforts to keep the commu- nity safe from the spread of the Virus, the chamber aims to begin staffing the Visitor center at Hunter Farms by the start of phase three to help inform and educate visitors, Volz said. Mason County Commissioner Randy Neatherlin said the county is aiming to move into phase three of the governor’s safe start plan by Monday. Commissioners approved the phase three application on during a Tuesday meeting. Saturday marked three weeks of Mason County in phase three, with four new COVID-19 cases since the transition. While Mason County moves to phase three, King County applied for phase two on Monday. According to a 2014 study ‘at the University of Washington, Union has some of the highest concentration of nonmotorized shore/land and water activities on the Olympic Peninsula by those residing in ZIP codes outside of the county. Union’s dependence on this tourism economy is why those participating in Union is United are taking extra care in planning and safety measures dur- ing the COVID-19 pandemic. Geist said she doesn’t believe there’s anyone in the group that is eager to do anything faster than what local, state and federal health officials recommend. Union is United plans to eventually offer one town-hall style meeting each month that is open to the public. “(Union is United) provides that sense that you’re not in it alone,” Geist said. “We all have the same goal and we’re all having the uphill battle with this but we’re here to help.” a « o—vu-w a... in... «our hum. Ind-u u’3.i.’.;.’_;.§f " r9 0 June1 -August~31 fl Join in the fun for all ages! Facebook Live performers 0 YouTube videos & activities Sign up at TRL.beanstack.org Questions? AskLib@TRL.org or Live Chat on TRL.org