Port of Newport

An Authentic Working Waterfront That Invites You To Come And Play

History of the Port of Newport

The district was formed in 1910.  Click here to read the minutes that record that first organizational meeting.

Terminal History

In 1948, a private company sank two 1940s-era, self-propelled, flat-bottom concrete barges at McLean Point to serve as wharves for cargo handling.  Prior to sinking the ships, below-water preparation was performed by excavating relatively flat benches.  The ship in Berth No. 1 settled on a sloping base and rests with a list toward the bay of about 8 to 9 degrees.  The ships were floated into place and sunk by blasting holes in their sides and bottoms.  The holes remained open to allow water to fluctuate with the tides.  The area between the hull and the shore were backfilled with hydraulically placed dredged sand from Yaquina Bay.  Fill material in some of the cargo holds washed out through the blast holes, and subsequently, the holes were closed and a series of 8-inch diameter PVC drainage pipes were installed at approximately 4.5 to 5 ft mean sea level.  Additional backfill was added to the holds.

The terminal was run by private operators from the 1950s through the late 1970s among them Yaquina Dock & Dredge and Sunset Terminals.

In 1982, the Port issued G.O. bonds to purchase the terminal from Rondys Inc. and in 1987 contracted Jones Oregon Stevedoring/Newport Terminal Co. to manage the facility.
The contract was terminated in 1995 when the Port took over management.

Up until the early to mid 1990s when log exports trickled to a halt, the Newport Terminal was a busy dock, handling shipments of  logs and lumber.  The last log ship called at the Newport Terminal dock in May of 1999.

 

Marina and RV Park History, February 24, 2009

To meet an ever-increasing demand for boat launching, parking and moorage facilities on the north shore of Yaquina Bay and to eliminate congestion and conflict between commercial and recreational boating communities, the Port of Newport began planning the development of a new recreational boat marina in South Beach.

First phase construction in 1978-1979 included a 600-berth recreational boat basin and four-lane launch ramp.  Harbor infrastructure, a federally authorized project, also included two breakwaters: 1,800 feet long (west) and 700 feet long (north), as well as an access channel, 10 feet deep, 100 feet wide and 2,035 feet long.

Phase two improvements built in 1980-1981 included a 150-berth stacked dry boat storage building (later converted to exhibit hall space and now home to Oregon Brewing Company/ Rogue’s Brewers On The Bay), launching hoist, fish cleaning facilities, restrooms, showers and laundry facilities, a store and charter office building, four picnic areas, public fishing pier, fuel dock and extensive parking. 

Agencies cooperating in the construction included the U.S. Soil and Conservation Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  Originally, construction costs were estimated at $5 million, but for a number of reasons, such as double-digit inflation and numerous long-term delays, construction costs more than doubled to $11 million.

To meet the debt requirement, the Port was successful in obtaining $5.7 million in the form of federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  A $2.5 million voter-approved general obligation bond and a $2.8 million revenue bond funded the remaining $5.3 million and were sold to the Farmer’s Home Administration (FmHA).  FmHA in turn made a 20-year, five-percent per annum interest loan to the Port with the Port pledging its income from the Marina facility to repay the loan.

In the short time of six years since construction, the Marina was managed by two private operators the first being South Beach Marina, Inc. and the second being Cecil Thompson of Magic Key Inns.  Battered by tax problems and occupancy far below expected levels, both operators defaulted on their agreements with the Port.  In 1986, the Port assumed operations and began aggressive marketing efforts only to be marginally profitable in Fiscal Year 1987-88.

As a result, the Port made a reluctant decision to place the general obligation bonds on the tax roles.  FmHA had begun pressing for repayment of the $2.8 million revenue bonds used to finance the remainder of the Marina construction and the Soil Conservation Service indicated that if changes were made to the scope of Marina operations, the $5 million grant portion would be recalled.  On June 28, 1988, voters, by nearly a 2-to-1 margin, approved the issuance of general obligation bonds to retire the bonds.

Changes through the years:

Oregon Brewing Company in 1991 first occupied just the west end of what was then known as the Exhibition Hall (dry boat storage building) for their brewing operations and tasting room.  OBC later occupied the entire building for storage and distribution and has continued to expand its operations to this day.

The Port’s marina office moved from the dry boat storage building in 1994 to make room for Oregon Brewing Company, temporarily occupying a portable office in the parking lot near the store and charter offices.  A couple years later, the marina office moved into what had been the charter office when that lease was not renewed.  The marina store next door has, up until April 2006, always housed store functions and later assumed charter boat operations as well.  The Serven Marine / Southside Marine building was built in 2000.  In 2005, the Port, with assistance from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State Marine Board and Newport Urban Renewal, opened the new public boat ramp and parking lot between F and G Docks.  2006 brings more construction: a new $3.2 million Destination RV Park that includes a 92-space RV Park, new store, operations building, and registration/activity center.

The Marina in South Beach has been the backdrop for several annual festivals and events through the years: Newport’s Annual Seafood & Wine Festival, Newport Loyalty Day & Sea Fair Festival carnival, City of Newport’s 4th of July fireworks, and the Annual Microbrew Festival, among others.