Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Uncovering Federal Way’s best kept secret

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Dumas Bay Centre has been called Federal Way’s best kept secret. City officials, however, are not content to keep the conference and retreat center under wraps. With a new website and the facility’s first marketing plan, the city hopes to introduce Dumas Bay to a wider audience.

“The Dumas Bay Centre offers unique experiences at an economical value, whether you’re planning a wedding or booking a business retreat,” said Public Works and Parks Director Cary Roe. “There is a real need, though, to let people know about the facility and its spectacular setting just 15 minutes from I-5.”

Set on 12 acres with unobstructed views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, the Centre is available year-round for conferences, meetings, banquets, weddings and more. The Centre’s executive chef creates delicious, healthy meals for on-site catering and for overnight guests in the facility’s 67 bedrooms.

“Our guests often rave about their stays here, including the view of Puget Sound and the food, and we have a lot of repeat customers” said Rob Ettinger, Conference Coordinator. “We’re confident that when people try Dumas Bay Centre, they’ll want to keep coming back.”

In an effort to reach those new visitors, the City this week launched a website at, featuring a photo tour, some of Chef Rob’s recipes, and a wealth of facility information. The city has placed ads at and will be mailing 5,000 flyers to wedding planners, meeting planners, businesses and churches.

The marketing effort, which will cost the city $70,000, is an investment in creating a sustainable business model for the Centre. The city’s goals are to increase site rentals ten percent, add up to two anchor clients, and book an additional ten weddings or other similar events.

Those goals are reasonable, according to Roe who notes the facility had more than 5,000 guests in 2010. “We had one of our busiest years during a very down year for the economy,” he said. “We’re confident we can build on that success, using the new website and other materials to promote what is currently a hidden treasure.”

The Dumas Bay Centre served as a Catholic convent since the 1950s until it was purchased by the City Of Federal Way in 1993. The Knutzen Family Theatre is located onsite and hosts professional theater performances by Centerstage. The Centre’s grounds are a public park and include beach access to Puget Sound.


March 16, 2011     

Cary Roe 
Public Works and Parks Director 
Rob Ettinger 
Dumas Bay Centre Conference Coordinator 

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