We’d like to extend a thank you to everyone who visited our “Bring Back the Light!” booth at the Walleye Festival. So many of you voiced your support for our efforts to restore the old Port Clinton Lighthouse and place this unique structure on the waterfront.
We also wish to publicly thank members of the Port Clinton City Council for voting unanimously to urge the city to work with us to find a home for the lighthouse on the waterfront and to develop on a timeline to get this done.
Finally, we want to clear up a misperception among some that the Lighthouse Conservancy is against development in the Waterworks Park. This is not true. However, we realize that major development could take years to reach completion. That’s fine, but it doesn’t help the city now. Placement of the lighthouse in the park could be accomplished in months, not years, and provide economic stimulus to the city sooner rather than later.
Lighthouse tourism is big. Aficionados crisscross the country to get their lighthouse “passports” stamped and photograph their passion. The US Lighthouse Society, the largest group of its kind, regularly hosts lighthouse tours that are wildly popular, including a tour of northern Ohio lighthouses this coming September. As Councilman-at-large Mike Snider astutely observed, the number one reason people contact the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau is to inquire about lighthouses.
How many visitors will the lighthouse bring to the city? It’s hard to know for sure. In 2010 the Marblehead Lighthouse recorded 1,200,148 visitors. It is reasonable to assume that at least a portion of those visitors would add the Port Clinton Lighthouse to their itinerary. Without question, with appropriate city and county promotional backing, the lighthouse will attract thousands of additional visitors to Port Clinton each year.
That’s why we’re urging the Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Port Clinton, and all citizens to tell city leaders to fast track the transfer of the lighthouse to the city for placement in the Waterworks Park north of the Derby Pond, well outside the 14-acre development zone. The Conservancy is willing and able to get this done.
This will not only help the city economically, it’s the right thing to do.
Rich Norgard, President
Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy
Board Members: Darrell Brand, Rev. Robert Butcher, Doug Garrett, Joan Hickman, Debbie Hymore-Tester, Kyle Johannsen, Bill Moon, Commander Jerry Nauert, John Smothers, Alex Thomas