New launch ramp ticket machine available to boaters

New addition will offer convenience

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A new automated launch ramp ticket machine is now available to boaters who use the Port of Camas-Washougal marina. The kiosk, installed last week, accepts debit or credit cards. Tickets can be purchased with cash inside the Port office, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

A recent purchase by the Port of Camas Washougal is expected to make buying launch ramp tickets easier and more convenient for boaters.

The solar-powered machine was installed at the marina in Washougal in part in response to requests from launch ramp users. Benefits will include reducing the potential for attempts at tampering or vandalizing to steal cash accepted at the former ticket machine, and decreasing the staff time required for sorting, accounting and depositing cash.

“Boaters have asked for a more convenient method to purchase launch ramp tickets and we delivered,” said David Ripp, port executive director. “During a busy summer weekend, it’s not uncommon for us to see 400 to 500 boat launches and this new machine makes it quick and easy to purchase launch ramp tickets using debit or credit cards.”

Located at the Marina pay station kiosk, the machine dispenses $7, one-day launch ramp and parking tickets that are placed on the dashboard of each vehicle. They are valid until midnight of the day of purchase.

In the last three years, permit sale numbers have been 5,890 in 2008, 5,900 in 2009, and 4,250 in 2010. According to Port Communications Manager Jack Hardy, the drop in sales last year can likely be attributed to poor weather conditions and limited fishing season.

The new launch ramp ticket machine, purchased for $10,531 from Parkeon Services in Seattle, was installed last week. It is similar in design and color to the paid parking permit machines used in downtown Vancouver and downtown Portland.

For those who prefer to use cash purchase boat launch tickets, the port office will be open during regular operating hours — from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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