By Paul Schlienz


People know the Resort at Port Ludlow for its amenities and beautiful setting. What they may not know is the depth of its ties to its community.

Located in the northeastern part of the Olympic Peninsula, the resort is comprised of a 37-room boutique inn, a marina with more than 300 slips and a championship 18-hole golf course, all in a region with forest, sea and easy access to nearby Olympic National Park.

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One of the resort’s important ties to its community is through its restaurant, which extensively uses locally grown food.

“We focus on the local community and truly embrace the farm-to-table movement where we have relationships with probably a dozen local farmers,” said Dan Ratigan, the resort’s general manager who was formerly executive chef at its Fireside Restaurant. “We have some local cheese makers. Poultry, all of our eggs and some of our beef come from nearby.”

Even the amenities within the resort’s rooms have local connections. For example, the resort stocks its rooms with soaps and lotions that are hand-crafted and locally made on nearby Bainbridge Island.

Giving back

Another way the resort supports its community is through its donations to local and regional charities.

“We’ve done a real big donation to the Pike Place Market Foundation, in Seattle, for a couple of years now,” Ratigan said. “We’ve also supported local schools and local programs here in our community that educate young children on how to properly care for the land and follow sustainable practices in their lifestyles.”

The resort is also supporting Dove House Advocacy Services, which runs a Port Townsend shelter for women who have suffered domestic violence.

“What the Resort at Port Ludlow does has a huge impact on our ability to continue to do our work in our community,” said Beulah Kingsolver, executive director of Dove House. “These donations often come in household goods like detergents so our clients can do their laundry. It can also be things for office like paper, towels – things like that. Any time we get those kinds of goods, it allows us to have more working capital. It makes this a better community for all of us to live in.”

From kitchen to hotel

Ratigan has a long career in hospitality.

“I’ve been a chef since I was a kid,” Ratigan said. “I’ve been on the culinary side starting at 15 and I’m 50 now, but over the last five or six years I’ve been getting my foot out of the kitchen.”

Under the mentorship of the resort’s former general manager, Debbie Wardrop, Ratigan learned the ropes of running a hotel and finally took over the position early in 2019, when she left for employment at a different company.

Ratigan said he enjoys his work.

“I enjoy the camaraderie,” he said. “I like working with the staff. I like building a crew. I like learning myself, and I like educating. I think that’s what’s kept moving on with my career. I like to take a crew that is wherever they’re at, show them the systems they can be using, teach them the little details that they may not have learned elsewhere, then send them out there and watch it work.”