Relax on a sunset cruise with Riviera

Photo of Captain Tom steering the boat“This is a dream come true,” said Captain Tom as he took Riviera out on its first-ever sunset cruise earlier this week. A Korean family gave permission for us to take pictures while they enjoyed the boat ride. I was honored to go with the group and capture some of the moments!

Riviera now offers regular sunset cruises in the summer. It’s an affordable and comfortable way to experience  Puget Sound! See Mt. Rainier, the Narrows Bridge, Henderson Bay into Horsehead Bay and more! Return during twilight as the sun sets on Gig Harbor.

This three-hour cruise takes place from 6 – 9 p.m., departing from Maritime Pier in Gig Harbor. You’re welcome to bring food and drink on board. Tickets cost $60 for adult, $50 for seniors and $40 for kids ages 5 – 12. Kids 4 and under are free. Contact Riviera at  253-225-6306 or for information and reservations.

This video shows some of the fun during Riviera’s first sunset cruise:

Riviera also offers a four-hour Puget Sound day tour and private charters. Check out their website to see some of the types of charters, including weddings, memorials and events such as Seafair. Riviera’s sister company, Destiny Harbor Tours, offers two-hour boat tours from Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Thank you! — Liz

**Disclaimer: Engage Northwest helps Riviera with photography and social media.**

Puget Sound counties rank high in digital communications

Three Puget Sound counties were named top 10 digital counties in the U.S, according to the 2015 digital counties survey: King (5th), Snohomish (7th) and Pierce (8th). Skagit County ranked 5th among small counties. Congratulations to all!

What do the top digital counties have in common? Many embrace new technology to improve service and engage with citizens. They strive for open government and collaboration. Many top digital counties use computer programs and store information on the cloud. Employees have mobile technology. Customer-focused, they make decisions based on data.

Check out this infographic from that shows the most widely used technologies, priorities, “winning formula” and strategies for moving forward. It’s good information to improve efficiency and increase engagement.

US Open highlights Puget Sound region

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay showcased so many positives in the Puget Sound region: natural beauty, friendly and involved people, competitive businesses, delicious food, thriving arts, a championship golf course, and more.

Photo of Chambers Bay

Chambers Bay – an awesome championship golf course with fantastic views!

Pierce County owns the 8-year old Chambers Bay links-style golf course, which previously was a sand and gravel mine. In the 115th year of the US Open, a public golf course has hosted the national championship only three times.

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay experienced many firsts:

  • The June 2015 event marked the first time the Open was played in the Pacific Northwest.
  • The US Open is the largest event ever held in the South Sound. Approximately 235,000 attended in person with millions more watching on tv and online.
  • Over 5,000 people signed up to volunteer for the US Open in record time: just 36 hours. Typically, volunteer sign-ups take several months to fill up.
  • Photo of golf ball

    Golf ball “bouncy ball” — a popular item in the Merchandise Pavillion

    The Merchandise Pavillion at 41,000 square feet in Spectator Square was the largest merchandise facility. Merchandise sales broke records with over 130,000 transactions. Pre-event sales were the largest with many vendors re-ordering supplies in time for the week’s event.

  • USGA allowed mobile devices on the course for the first time, including the US Open mobile app.
  • Four golfers topped the leader board on the Open’s final day, a rare occurrence.
  • At 21, Jordan Spieth became the youngest player to win the US Open.

    Photo of Jordan Spieth with trophy

    Jordan Spieth with trophy and US Open supporters. Photo: Pierce County

  • After the championship, all leftover food (70,000 lbs) was donated to a local food bank, Emergency Food Network. This food donation makes a big difference in our community! Thank you to Ridgewells Catering, who also featured local Puget Sound food on the US Open menu. What a great example!
Photo of Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods smiles on the driving range at Chambers Bay.

And the championship featured much golf drama! Tiger Woods attracted huge crowds but failed to make the cut. The world’s #1 golfer, Rory McIllroy, stormed back on the final day to pull even for the tournament. Jason Day fainted on the 9th hole, and then came back to tie for the lead heading into championship day. The players competed to the very last stroke of the day, as Dustin Johnson hit the 18th green on his second shot, but could not put for the win or tie. In the previous group, Jordan Spieth birdied for the lead and the eventual win!

Photo of volunteer and tree

Proud volunteer

I’m proud to have volunteered at the South Sound’s largest event and hope the Open returns to Chambers Bay!