The Port Townsend Colab

June 13th, 2017 by Gage Pacifera

When my wife and I were investigating places to move to, one particular organization in one particular town caught my attention: the Colab coworking space in Port Townsend, Washington. I was surprised that this coastal town of about ten thousand residents, probably best known for its boat culture and artsy summer festivals, would be able to support such a place. Its existence seemed to signal that Port Townsend was more than just a sleepy tourist getaway and that it must be a place with enough community-minded independent professionals to warrant a dedicated space for them to work in. (As it turns out, that is true!) That notion spurred my imagination, reduced some uncertainty around moving my business and made a strange town feel more welcoming.

While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the space tipped the scales for eventually moving to Port Townsend — we already had plenty of reasons to relocate to this amazing place — I will say that the Colab and its community has been a huge boon to myself and my business and has become an essential part of my life here on the Olympic Peninsula.

Working from the Lab

The Colab is not in this photo of Port Townsend.

As I type this from my favorite Colab workstation, natural light streams in through huge windows and the smell of freshly-brewed, locally-roasted Sunrise coffee tempts me to over-caffeinate. The quiet space enhances my focus and allows for undistracted thinking. Between bouts of productivity, I catch the activity on the street below: birds and deer in the early hours, cars and people in the afternoon. The old brick walls beside me suggest a deep history I have yet to fully research (a quick internet search tells me the building was constructed in 1889 and originally served as an Elks lodge). The high-speed internet, printer/copier, meeting spaces, extra monitors and kitchen provide all the necessities to work efficiently.

A Community Space

This space is a hub for entrepeneurs, telecommuters, retired hobbyists, frequent flyers, nonprofit professionals, wellness advocates, educators, community leaders and a host of other people. Co-owners Frank DePalma and Heather Dudley-Nollette have done an amazing job of creating a lovely place for people to work and collaborate and of promoting the conference rooms as a meeting place for local organizations. On any given day a dozen or so regulars settle in with their laptops at workspaces while visitors attend teaching sessions, small group meetings and larger community get-togethers in the conference rooms.

Try it Out!

The Colab is currently running a summer special that is a heckuva deal: $200/month for full access to the space. If you’re a local, it’s a great time to give it a try so you can increase your productivity and network with some great people! For everyone else, feel free to stop by for a day of work that can be scheduled around a weekend getaway to the scenic Olympic Peninsula. It’s a great way to support the town and get to know some of the friendly, talented professionals shaping the business community here.

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Posted in $houtouts, Port Townsend

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