Opinion

I am writing to provide you with my thoughts and opinions on the new hotel to be built in lower Port Washington.

I have included a brief bio in order for you to better understand my background and the position I take on this issue:

I was born and raised in Port Washington and attended high school at Schreiber. As a teenager I worked for local businesses in Port and after high school graduation I left for the U.S. Naval Academy where I later graduated as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. From Annapolis I was assigned to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training in Coronado, CA and graduated as SEAL officer in 1999. After seven years as a SEAL operator, I was offered a job to head a security company in New York. The company operated out of Port Washington and relied a great deal on the community itself.

By January of 2006 I had relocated to Port Washington and quickly realized how difficult it was to run a business in the town, and after six months I was forced to move our company out of Port Washington. Like the fate of our company, I watched other store-fronts come and go in the short time I had returned from overseas to my roots. The volume of customers required to keep up with the high cost of business in Port Washington is extremely difficult for new businesses to maintain. The main source of your clients is only from the town and not from tourists or neighbors. Some areas of town suffer more than others. With exception of a tire store, the area on the land side of Main Street between Harbor Deli and Louie's restaurant where I remember playing PAL baseball seemed to become more of a dead zone. It lacked the spirit of a great town, which originated as a "Port" for visiting mariners and travelers.

When I learned of the hotel to be built in the "dead zone" of Main Street, I was instantly excited and wanted to find out more information about the project. I envisioned how much life the project would breathe into the lower part of Port Washington and the town as a whole. In my opinion, a hotel which offered the ability for visitors (by land or by sea) to stay the night in our great town and enjoy the food, stores, and community activities would only add new life and greater opportunity in a town in need of change.

As a native Port Washington resident and ultimately the future of our town, I hope that the project gains your support and approval.

Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge the thoughts and opinions I have on this project and my town as a whole.

Brian J. Valenza


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