The number of visitors docking at the Ladysmith Maritime Society Community Marina hit new heights this summer.
LMS executive director Tom Irwin said traffic at the marina peaked in August at approximately 500 “visitor nights” — one night’s moorage for a single boat — boosting this year’s total to 1,310 as of Sept. 13.
Marine visitor numbers are up significantly in recent years, and the LMS boasts “a 56 per-cent increase in 2012-13 visitor nights compared to 2011.”
Visitors mooring at the LMS marina originated largely from the United States (33 per cent), elsewhere on Vancouver Island (27 per cent) and from “off-Island” Canada (23 per cent), Irwin said, representing a substantial infusion to the local economy.
Boats are crewed on average by two to four people, Irwin added, translating to a per-boat spending rate of $225 per night.
All told, maritime visitors docking at the LMS marina have spent close to $300,000 so far this year, Irwin explained, prompting the society to consider a 150-foot extension to its existing visitor’s dock.
Irwin credited the rising tide of visitors to the completion of the LMS Welcome Centre and “the remarkable hospitality that Ladysmith is becoming known for.”