A popular Lincoln County tourist destination will get an important upgrade following action by the Port of Newport Port Commission. Well known for its location near the Yaquina Bay bridge, the South Beach RV Park and Marina receive heavy use for a considerable portion of the year but lack one amenity that is considered a must by today’s traveler: reliable Wi-Fi connectivity. Although the park has offered the service, the signal has been spotty throughout the property, creating a challenge for modern-day campers who may be working remotely or are otherwise accustomed to streaming services and other internet-dependent activities.
Mark Brown, Director of Finance and Business Services, explained that the need for an upgrade was long overdue. Brown, himself, stayed in the park for a period while looking for housing in Newport and recalled his experience was “some days we got Wi-Fi, some days we didn’t.” General Manager Paula Miranda said she has heard complaints from visitors in the past. “That was always one of the issues people had. The Wi-Fi is not very good and, with so many people telecommuting nowadays and the park fuller on a regular basis, this is quite important,” she said.
The upgrade would reach beyond the RV park and include connectivity at the marina as well. “Our users would all have a good experience,” Brown remarked. Port commissioners reviewed a proposal from Hyak, a Florence-based company, that included adding underground fiber in the RV park, fiber from the RV Park offices to the operations center in South Beach, and adding Wi-Fi to the marina docks. By unanimous vote, the commission approved the expenditure of nearly $86,000 plus a 15 percent contingency. The project will likely be complete by early summer.