Ocean Shores Blog
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Welcome to the New OceanShores.com
By William May
Published: 04/01/15 Topics: Ocean Shores WA, Vacation, Vacation Rentals Comments: -
Since 1996, OceanShores.com has been the center of everything about the city of Ocean Shores and the North Beaches of Washington State. Now it is getting bigger better, and faster.
Operated by Plumbob Publishing this new revamped website pledges to find and publish everything that every visitor and resident wants to know about the area. Lodging, restaurants, activities, shopping and more.
From the tip of Damon point in south Ocean shores to the cute Quinault tribal village of Taholah, every corner is covered including Ocean City, Copalis Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips. Even relevant news from Hoquiam, Aberdeen, Montesano and even Westport,Grayland and Tokeland will make its way here.
Businesses can publish full descriptions, photos, videos, special offers and news.
Visitors can search for places to stay, where to eat and shop and how to have a splendid time at one of the countries most scenic and enjoyable getaway locations..
For extra help, guests can call our toll free number open 9am to 8pm everyday of the year. They can get help about most any subject about ocean shores.
Residents too can find what they need for services, government information and more. There are even free classifieds for non-commercial use. Sell household items, give away a pet, or post your news.
The staff are quickly available to consult with advertisers, businesses and visitors to help them get the maximum benefit out of having OceanShores.com as as the perfect place to find what they need.
If you have suggestions, comments or even complaints feel free to complete the inquiry form. Getting better is what OceanShores.com is all about.
Author: William May, OceanShores.com
Blog #: 0391 – 04/01/15
Razor Clams Season Announced Early.
By Emmalee David
Published: 10/17/14 Topics: Fishing, Ocean Shores WA, Westport WA Comments: -
There are many activities to be experienced along the Washington coast. The landscape offers a different ecological landscape than what many of us see in Seattle and east. What excited me after a long warm summer spent hiking high in the mountains was receiving the tentative dates for Razor Clam digs!
Razor Clams are a meaty shellfish that can be found along the pacific coast from California up to Alaska. Harvesting Razor Clams and preparing them is an intrinsic characteristic of Washing coast culture. What makes this activity a great candidate for your fall explorations is that you only need 3 things; a clam shovel, a bucket to place them in, and your fishing license.
One thing to be noted is during the fall digging season low tides happen during the night meaning you must dig for your treasure under darkness. While the rising popularity and resurgence of Razor Clam populations has brought many newcomers to the sport, you might find the majority of people harvesting during spring when low tide appears during daylight. Feel like braving the night? Possibly braving the weather? It's likely you'll be rewarded with many opportunities and a less crowded beach! Check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for updates.
Hope you see you out there.
Author: Emmalee David – , Istay Reservations
Blog #: 0375 – 10/17/14
Fast efficient mobile websites for Vacation rentals
By William May
Published: 05/23/14 Topics: Comments: -
We are just going to go out and say it, "Our new mobile website, for smart phones, is by far the most comprehensive, beautiful and functional mobile website ever."
Yes, other lodging managers have built mobile websites, but no one has built anything like this" Said, Salman Arshad of Redstone Systems.
Redstone Systems, creator of HelpBook.me software for the Inn, Resort & Vacation Rental industries just added this new mobile website capability. While that may not sound earth-shaking it is actually evolutionary - the first efficient, effect and persuasive mobile websites for smart phones.
Redstone started by studying hundreds of mobile websites for Inns, Resorts & Vacation Rental management.
Joseph Romain, Creative Director said "The variety was astounding, as was the lack of features. None of the websites had all the design and foresight necessary to book unique properties on a smart phone."
Some websites had nice graphics, some had adequate photos, showed property amenities or maybe a map. But none of them made properties shine. And none made it easy to envision what the guest was getting if they rented that particular property.
"Let's face it, smart phones are a 'very small piece of paper' on which to write a graphic novel so to speak, "Said William May, project manager. "The other websites look like someone just jumbled things together from scratch without enough fore thought."
"So we started from scratch. To figure out how mobiles should work and then do it, rather than copy what others had done"
The Redstone Advisor Board includes many experts in graphics, video and other commercial creative arts. Their input commanded the staff to start with a clear goal, and have every aspect of the website support the mission.
HelpBook.me mobile websites are, first and foremost, places to advertise and promote properties. To show their beauty and benefits. So HelpBook mobiles use full size photos, logos and graphics.
But they must also streamline the ability to select and book properties online. Other websites often taken the viewer back to a properties primary website - but those are impossible to se or use on a smart phone.
So HelpBook mobiles are fully featured and allow guests to book homes online, with full security using the payment system from Istay.net.
Best of all, HelpBook mobiles are fully deployable from a back-end database driven system. Once necessary data - such as photos, descriptions and amenity lists are secured - regular websites can be created in hours.
Then, that same data is used to create HelpBook mobiles sites in very little extra time. The fundamentals of good graphic and website design are followed, making the websites easy to use - but also impressive and persuasive.
Booking hotels and other lodging is said to be growing at a fast pace, and now all Redstone HelpBook.me properties have the ability to persuade, facilities and complete bookings for Inns, Resorts & Vacation Rentals online.
"No other company can do it as fully, as impressively and as fast as our software," notes Arshad.
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Redstone Systems is an affiliate of the Vortex Organization that provides services, training and support for unique Inns, Resorts & Vacation Rental management firms, and administration for lodging networks such as Goldener Resorts, Sunspot Vacation Rentals, Varoom Cooperative and more.
HelpBook.me is the best lodging management software that you can not buy. The system is only available for use by members of the Vortex Organization.
Author: William May – Volunteer, Vacation Rental Association
Blog #: 0365 – 05/23/14
Glorious Days on Washington State Beaches
By William May
Published: 05/15/12 Topics: Comments: -
With winter still ebbing, the arrival of spring and even summer like conditions reminds us that the long days of sun and fun are upon us. A quick trip to the Coast of Washington State reveals that 80 degree temperatures are not here yet but the bright beating sun surely is.
So it is time to plan your summer at the beach. Vacation Rental managers are not yet sold out but will be soon. To get your choice place get off the couch and make that call today. Or checkout the wide range of properties on any of the websites offered by the Vacation Rental association such as WashingtonCoastVacationRentals.com.
The need for sun protection wasn't on the packing list and what a mistake. Thursday at Ocean Shores dawn brought calm, little wind and a great many visitors out on the streets, in the shops and restaurants and driving, walking and riding bikes on the beach.
"This is the earliest crowds we've seen and it’s a happy site for shopkeepers, "Said Jennifer Sturm who along with her husband Michael operate a unique Gift shop "Flying Cats" located on the Point Brown Boulevard, one of the main drags leading into town.
"The town is lucky to receive visitors year round and business is always good, but summer is when the crowds swell and our shop is often so packed the customers jostle each other around the merchandise," said Michael.
Washington coastal waters often feature big frothy waves but this week the water was calm and fishing boats from Westport Harbor trolled up and down not far off the beach.
Just weeks before, razor clam digging had been in high season and that too brought a steady stream of cars down the roads leading to the South Beaches including Westport Washington as well as to the North Beaches, how to Ocean Shores, Copalis Beach, Moclips and other small enclaves.
Lu Ann Kolten, owner of Beachy Day Vacation Rentals in Westport reports, "The winter was good this year other than a week in January which brought us our first deep snow fall in many years.".
Patrick Kolten, Lu Ann's husband and a native of France said, "I get every morning and find myself beaming along with the bright sunshine. We have many cabins, homes and condos ready for visitors if they call early."
To make reservations for late spring, memorial day, summer and later you can see beach rentals from the WashingtonCoastVacationRentals.com.
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The Vacation Rental Association (www.VRIA.org) is a not-for-profit association of vacation rental owners, managers,suppliers and others who support the industry. VRIA sponsors numerous local websites. In Washington State those include WashingtonCoastVacationRentals.com, OceanShoresVacationRentals.com and WestportVacationRentals.com.
Author: William May – Manager, Goldener Resorts
Blog #: 0207 – 05/15/12
Bill Gates' Favorite Burger Joint
By William May
Published: 12/01/10 Topics: Comments: -
Over the decades there have been numerous stories here in the Northwest U.S. about how the favorite restaurant of Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, was an old fashioned burger stand not far from Microsoft's campus.
You might like it too.
University District Burger Master
Learning From The past
Based on its altered construction, Burger Master looks like it was once a "Happy Day's" type car hop joint from an era well before my day. You remember Happy Days, the icon of 50's cliché, with Ritchie, Potsie, Ralph, Joanie and of course the Fonze.
I'm not sure if Burger Master had roller skating carhops long ago but maybe.
About 10 miles west of Bill's Burger Master there is another Burger Master just off the University of Washington Campus. Its been there so long, that the carhop motif was stripped away decades ago, leaving it with a big handy parking lot and a menu more like a diner than a burger joint.
I found myself driving past one morning recently and, having missed breakfast, rolled in to see what they serve at that hour of the day. I entered a time warp.
The menu behind the counter was to be expected. But when I chose the eggs dish I was sent back in time. The clerk said, "How would you like your eggs?" I was immediately suspicious of the question.
They don't ask you what kind of eggs you want at McDonalds, "Scrambled?" I guessed.
The clerk was a well dressed 55 year old man. The cooks were adults and there wasn't a teenager in sight. Nothing against kids, but the owner of Burger Master was paying these employees a real wage. Huh.
"And would you like Ham, Bacon or Sausage?"
Another trick question, you don't hear at McDonalds. "Link sausage," I said quickly in case he would remember that offering customers a choice wasn't normal.
"And to drink?" Ok here we are on normal ground. "Coffee, orange juice, tea?
"You have tea?" I mussed.
"Earl Gray, Darjeeling, English Breakfast, Chamomile... "
I cut him off, "Earl Gray please."
"Toast, Pancakes, Cinnamon Roll, or . . . "
I cut him off again, "Do you have biscuits".
"Two biscuits. How would you like your hash browns?"
"Crispy. No make it extra Crispy."
"Can do," he said. You won't hear from a teenage clerk at McDonalds. "That will be hash browns, link sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits and tea."
Burger Master Breakfast
And Service Too
I must have been looking uncomfortable, because he said, "We'll bring it to you, sir." Now it was really getting weird. Sir he called me. The price was only a bit more than McDonald's. I'm suspicious. I'll bet they'll even want a tip too. And in a burger joint.
The dining room was very large and very clean with big windows. I grabbed the free newspaper ($1.00 at McDonald's) and crawled into a booth. Before I got through the first page, the food appeared. It was on a real plate, with real utensils. A big napkins and was delicious.
The hash browns? Crispy. The sausage? Jumbo sized and tasty. The biscuits - melt in your mouth. I read the whole paper. I didn't want to leave.
There is a lesson to be learned from Burger Master, for any business. Offer a better product. Provide a few extras, give good service and set a reasonable price.
Burger Master was packed at 10AM on a Wednesday morning. It was standing room only actually and probably has been for decades.
Author: William May, MayPartners Advertising
Blog #: 0167 – 12/01/10
Everything Robert Fulgham Learned in Kindergarten
By William May
Published: 11/01/09 Topics: Comments: -
I stumbled onto an Internet posting the other day that told me it has been twenty years since Robert Fulgham wrote "Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."
That is stunning really because it does, as they say, seem like yesterday. Of course I've read some of his other books and now that I've visited his website (RobertFulgham.com). I see there are others I will have to savor. So should you.
After 22 years as a Unitarian Minister in the Pacific Northwest, Fulgham published that first book and has never looked back. His view of the world is pretty simple or so it seems. As the world accelerates and technology dominates, Fulgham would remind us of the basic, appropriate and mature.
Although his attitude might strike some as youngish or maybe even immature, the stories and ideas he illustrates so well are the basic foundation on which we as humans should strive.
So what would all of this have to do with the somewhat non-universal industry of vacation rentals? Well plenty as it seems. Or maybe I should say it has to do with every business, every career and certainly every calling.
The kindergarten book reminds us all to foster those concepts which are universal in every culture. Things like:
- Don't lie. Always tell the truth.
- Don't hit.
- Treat your parents well.
- Pick up after yourself.
- Say Please and Thank You.
To me it seems like Fulgham’s message might be summed up in the phrase "treat everyone well" or at least try.
I am not sure I have always accomplished that goal but I know I am always aware of it and have always tried. I also know that isn't easy when conflict exists in the world, as it inevitably does. Nor is it easy when others might try to bring you down to their level. An acquaintance who becomes distraught, a customer who is unreasonable or even governmental bureaucrats who steal more and more freedom from Americans.
It would be easy to despise such people but in the end, we have to remember to treat them well also. Even if that respect will not be reciprocated.
VACATION RENTALS & LODGING
So is there anything practical in this blog? Yes I assure you there is. Here are a set of rules for how we conduct our business in hopes that guests, owners and vendors will treat us likewise.
- Be Clear. In advertising, contracts, phone calls, emails.
- Be Fair. It can be difficult to understand unreasonable requests, but we gotta keep trying.
- Be Quick. Get back to people. Take care of problems as fast as possible.
- Be Happy. No job is easy and half the job is simply deciding to go about it with joy.You can buy Robert Fulgham's Book at Amazon.com.
Author: William May, MayPartners Advertising
Blog #: 0125 – 11/01/09
Ocean Shores and Westport are Beaches Like No Other
By William May
Published: 08/01/09 Topics: Comments: -
A truth in advertising disclaimer is required first.
Although I haven't lived in the area in almost 40 years, I must admit that I did grew up in several towns on the Washington Coast. Up until 4th grade the town of Raymond was where my parents lived along with my two brothers and I. After that we moved to Aberdeen the "Big" town some 25 miles up the Coast and it was here that I became aware of a place called Ocean Shores.
Both Raymond and Aberdeen are located on major waterways in from the Pacific Ocean. Raymond on the pristine Willapa Bay and Aberdeen on the equally large Grays Harbor.
From Raymond the drive is an idyllic 25 miles to the villages of Tokeland, Grayland and the Westport Harbor. BeachyDay.com
Located on the ocean south of Grays Harbor and area designate the South Beach for easy categorization. Later in high school my buddies and I would drive the byways of the South Beaches looking for Seattle girls who we were told, were anxious to meet local boys.
Less developed than the North Beaches of the Ocean Shores area, these little towns boast a real sea side ambiance and miles of undisturbed beaches. In recent years Westport has become a surfing Mecca. Having grown up in the area and later come to love the warm climes of Hawaii I haven't seen any good reason to venture out in to 50 degree water but surfing has been a boom for the area
Ocean shores is another 25 miles due west of Aberdeen on a pleasant and easy road to drive. BytheseaBythesea.com
In grade school, living just east of Aberdeen my friends and I loved to go up to the highway on Friday afternoon to watch all the crazy tourists from Seattle flock to the beaches. It is through this single road that all travelers must venture to reach the Westport and Ocean Shores destinations.
This was before a four lane highway was built and traffic was stop and go, bumper to bumper all afternoon. The only bad part was even our parents couldn't drive the five miles into Aberdeen in less than about an hour. We were relegated to make the trip late other times, except Sunday of course when the problem repeated itself in reverse.
Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Moclips, Copalis and Pacific Beach compromise the North Beaches with each town differing from the next and all scattered with lodging, camping, restaurants and little shops.
So what was it that all those Seattleites loved about the North and South Beaches so much they would sit in traffic for hours to reach their destination? The answer to that has changed over the years.
Once known for its huge Salmon Charter industry, Westport has seen that business taper off due to over-fishing and governmental limitations. But adventurous visitors can still catch Salmon and Halibut. Or they can opt for whale watching trips now a mainstay of the economy.
On a recent afternoon, sitting on the deck of one of the prestigious new homes at Cohasset Beach in Westport (CohassetBeachCottages.com) I was started to see a majestic gray whale breach repeatedly only 50 yards off shore. I am used to seeing humpback whales in Hawaii but this bugger was bigger and much closer.
Later that day over at the Westport At the Sea Resort I was engaged in a lengthy conversation. As it started we noticed a huge rush of small birds flying just off the Coast headed south. It is hard to explain how many birds there were. Perhaps a thousand at a time rushed past our view of the ocean. Perhaps a thousand every 2-3 seconds.
As our conversation continued, the bird flow never stopped. When we left a half hour later it was still continuing. Deep in the heart of Grays Harbor, just north of Westport, is Bowerman Basin a stopping place for many species of birds on their migration from as far north as the Arctic to the warmer south.
Having grown up in the area I knew something of Bowerman Basin, and anyone who watched the nature channel knows that bird colonies can be enormous. But not until that meeting did I understand there could really be millions of birds passing through my child-hood neighborhood. Did we see a million that day? It is entirely possible.
The South Beaches have the usual beach visitor attractions like restaurants, go-carts and fudge shops. But the best reason to visit there is to enjoy the ocean. In summer it moderates the heat and in winter, throngs of visitors come to watch the storms and get closer to nature. And, I might add, away from the hordes of city dwellers.
The North Beaches are somewhat the same as the South with many visitor attractions but Ocean Shores, in particular is more developed. In the 1960's some ambitious developers bought the entire peninsula that runs south between the Pacific and Grays Harbor. To the existent beauty they added canals running north and South, lakes and a harbor. In the center of town they erected resort like hotels and a golf course. Check out (OceanShores.com)
Although not a golfer myself, I can tell you that my golfer friends love the place. Not too pretentious and apparently a lot of fun to play. A convention center was added in recent years and the city has plans for updating the golf course.
In the center of Ocean Shores is a kind of retail center where you can buy souvenirs and some fancy shops like Fling Cats Flyingcats.com) where you can enjoy a pleasant stroll among sophisticated goods. Plus you will find a wide variety of eats, activities and adventures.
But remember people come to Ocean Shores for the Beaches. Unlike most places in the world, visitors are allowed to drive their cars down the beach which is more firm than that fluffy white sand places you see in travel brochures. And the beach runs for miles north and south. Plenty of room for bon fires, kit-flying and lazing away the time.
On a recent trip to both Westport and Ocean Shores, allowing myself a little bit of time to look around and reflect on my youth I gained a better appreciation for the place. The air is different I think. Crisp and clean and altogether enjoyable. With more time I think I could sit on the deck and devour a lot of books without an ounce of guilt.
Author: William May – Manager, Sunspot Vacation Rentals
Blog #: 0115 – 08/01/09
DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.