IlWACO — One business was praised for being the cornerstone of a community for decades, another was celebrated for “breathing new life” into a derelict building. The Pacific County Economic Development Council held their annual “Business of the Year” reception Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco where business owners and representatives came together to honor six of the best businesses in Washington’s furthest southwestern county.
Funland Family Fun Center, a sprawling 9000-squarefoot entertainment center featuring an array of arcade games and laser tag in the heart of downtown Long Beach was a double award winner as both the South County EDC Board nominee and the Long Beach Merchant’s Association choice.
“Funland brings something to our small town that you can’t get without traveling away from the Peninsula,” presenter Nancy Gorshe said. “Whether you’re looking for a place to have a birthday party, ride a virtual roller coaster, or just spend a couple of hours playing video games, Funland is sure to bring out the kid in everyone. Well known for its laser tag experience, the family-run business has been serving the community and visitors for more than two decades.
“The Epping family has shown how much they truly care about our family entertainment,” Gorshe said. “By providing games where you win a prize every time is one of the many ways the Eppings show that their business goes much deeper than making money. It’s called caring.” For more information, visit www.facebook.com/FunlandInc
The Salt Hotel and Pub, owned and operated by Julez Orr and Laila Brown was selected by the Ilwaco Merchants Association as the business of the year. Offering “elemental hospitality out of the elements” the business has been an improvement to the Ilwaco waterfront and community.
“The Salt breathed new life into the derelict Harbor Lights Hotel,” Gorshe said. The renovation of the property has employed local skilled laborers and artists and has brought bicycle and pedestrian traffic through the town. For more information, visit www.salt-hotel.com.
Bayshore Beach RV Resort, which boasts 400’ of bay frontage in their Tokeland location, was recognized by the Tokeland-North Cove Chamber of Commerce for continual improvements behind the new owners who have also assumed active roles within the Tokeland community.
“Jimmy Dyess and Karen Williams moved to Tokeland from Texas to take over the business in July 2014 and haven’t stopping building and improving the park since,” Gorshe said. “They are a positive asset to Tokeland and their patrons make return reservations before they leave the park.” For more information, visit www.bayshoretokeland.com.
Offering antiques, collectibles and crafts from local artisans, Forgotten Treasures & Antiques was the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce choice for business of the year.
“As founding members of the Ocean Park Art & Antiques Marketing Group, they’re dedicated to putting Ocean Park on the map as a destination spot for antiques, art and wonderful beach living,” said Gorshe referring to owners Vince and Alissa Stevens.“We’ve had a great time in Ocean Park,” Vince said upon accepting the award, “We love the people and the chamber. We look forward to keeping it going.” For more information, visit www. forgottentreasuresmall.com.
South Bend Pharmacy, a third-generation family run pharmacy in South Beand was the Economic Development North Board nominee.
“The pharmacy is well known for it’s excellent customer service as evidenced by the fact they’re open 365 days a year,” Gorshe said.
“They make a positive impact by being good neighbors and active supporters of local events, groups and youth activities.” Founded in 1958, South Bend Pharmacy is an independent family business, open 7 days a week year-round — even for an hour on holidays.
“This family-run business, in its third generation, is dedicated first and foremost to customer service,” Gorshe said. “Whether filling prescriptions, getting gifts, greeting cards or to visit with a friendly face, the pharmacy located on the main highway, is the place to be.”
A small museum in South Bend was recognized for it’s big impact on local history.
“What you’ll discover when you visit the Pacific County Historical Society & Museum is a warm, welcoming environment that offers a beautiful display of local harbor history,” Gorshe said. “You can see the photos, touch the objects, and hear the voices of the past.” The museum welcomes around 5,000 visitors each year. Last year, 1,900 of those visitors were from outside Washington and represented every state in the Union. 900 were travelers from 38 different countries.
“Pacific County’s past is in good hands. It’s being tenderly cared and attended to for all,” Gorshe said. For more information, visit www.pacificcohistory.org.