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North Hempstead pushes tourism in Port Washington

The Town of North Hempstead is boosting marketing efforts to lure more visitors to the Port Washington waterfront.

The town has distributed nearly 10,000 brochures to area merchants and visitors. Marinas in Connecticut have requested copies, said Kim Kaiman, executive director of the town's Business and Tourism Development Corp.

The brochures, depicting a walking map and an expanded list of restaurants and stores, cost the town's quasi-governmental agency $1,760 to print. The agency received $4,200 in advertising revenue to cover costs, town officials said.

"The Port Washington residents realize what a gem they have," Kaiman said. But, she noted, "It's one of the best-kept secrets in North Hempstead."

Dina De Giorgio, the town councilwoman who represents Port Washington, said, "The town is quiet on the weekends in the summer, and for a lot of these businesses on the waterfront, the summer is their season; they're struggling, and they need to really make their money in 90 days."

De Giorgio said the waterfront -- with a public dock and a private marina -- should draw residents traveling on the Port Washington line of the Long Island Rail Road. Marketing efforts are targeting residents of Manhattan, Queens and elsewhere in Nassau County. Officials note the availability of public moorings and private boat rental services.

"Basically in 15 minutes -- it's not exactly like going to the Hamptons, but it's the waterfront," De Giorgio said. "You can dine in a waterfront restaurant, you can engage in waterfront activities, and you can basically spend the day without having to drive further out to the Hamptons."

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