Westport or Ocean Shores? Arrow now points to O.S.

There’s a new sign in town and new life in a downtown building at South H and Wishkah Streets next to the bus depot.

The green and white Westport sign with the arrow pointing left to direct travelers toward the South Beach has been replaced by a green and white straight arrow to the side of “This way to the Beach, Ocean Shores, Casino, Horse, GoKarts, Mopeds, Food, Hotels.” The sign, which is six and a half feet by 22 feet, is being rented for $350 per month, the building’s owner, Radouane Sbai, confirmed.

The change was noted on Facebook over the weekend by Westport Mayor Michael Bruce, who said he saw the Westport sign being painted over when he was driving by Sunday.

Mike Coverdale of Windermere Real Estate in Westport serves on a committee for the city and said they were offered the chance to pay rent for the space but declined.

“We wanted more exposure,” said Patricia Wright, Executive Director of the Ocean Shores/North Beach Chamber of Commerce. The wording reflects “action” and offers a menu of “what you can do” at the beach. The rent fee is to be shared with businesses and the city, she said.

Noting Westport has billboards near the entrance to Aberdeen, Coverdale speculated with good humor that Ocean Shores might have felt neglected since Westport scored nearly all of best of the Northwest listings for the beach areas in the recent rating by KING 5’s Evening Magazine.

The building has undergone $750,000 worth of renovation recently, Sbai said, in the wake of a fire. There’s still space on the side of the building for more advertising and Sbai said commercial tenants will get a portion of it as part of their lease. There is space for five storefronts. He will also rent out eight apartments upstairs.

He will seek historic preservation status for the building, which was constructed in 1922, according to the Grays Harbor County Assessor’s online database.