Welcome

Welcome to your Downtown Olympia business resource pages. Here you will find information for employees working downtown and local business support services that are available to help strengthen and grow your business. 

For Employees
Information on employee parking, customer parking, programs like the Downtown Ambassadors, Clean Team, and ODA Guides, and additional safety information.

Business Support Services
The Olympia and Thurston County community has an impressive array of business support organizations. These include the Thurston Economic Development Council, Experience Olympia, Olympia Downtown Alliance, Thurston Chamber of Commerce, and many other public and non-profit organizations. 

Community Information
Here you’ll find information about Olympia city services, big seasonal downtown events, and where to get information about theater productions that bring people downtown.

Employee Parking and Transit

Downtown Employee Parking and Transit options include city owned parking lots, private parking lots, and Intercity Transit’s free bus services.  

City Parking
City owned parking lots are available via monthly or pro-rated annual passes. Visit the city’s downtown parking web site (http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parking.aspx) for more information.

Private Lots
There are a number of private parking lots in and around downtown. Most have posted signs for getting more information about monthly passes.

Bus Service
Intercity Transit (https://www.intercitytransit.com/bus/system-map) buses serve downtown at the Downtown Transit Center and other stops. There’s a customer service center at the Transit Center

Escorts to parked cars
Should you wish, both the Downtown Ambassadors and the Downtown Guides will escort you to your car or bus stop if they’re on duty. Call ahead.
Link: Link needed!



 

Customer Parking

Whether you’re a ground floor retail or an upper floor business, you probably will have customers and visitors. Here is some help to guide them to different parking options.

Street parking at meters
Downtown Olympia has different parking meter durations: 15 minute, 2 hours, 3 hours, and 9 hours. 

The 2 hour meters are closest to the downtown core. If you coach customers to walk a couple of blocks to the 3 hour or 9 hour meters they save money and won’t run out of time downtown as their meter runs out.
 

15 Minutes

Free Parking for pickup
 
15 Minutes

$ 0.25

Coin Only
Coins Only
2 Hours

$1.25 / hour

First 15 minutes are free but you must push button before putting in coins. 
Coins

Credit Cards

Pay-By-Phone app
3 Hours

$ 0.85 / hour

First 15 minutes are free but you must push button before putting in coins.
Coins

Credit Cards

Pay-By-Phone app
9 Hours

$ 0.75 / hour

First 15 minutes are free but you must push button before putting in coins
Coins

9 Hour Meter permit (http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parking/permits.aspx)


        
Check this link to confirm latest information and rates (http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parking/downtown#rates).

Disabled Parking
Disabled parking is free at any meter for four hours.

Pay-By-Phone Phone App
The Pay-By-Phone app is available for both iPhones and Android devices. The user links a credit card to their account and can use the app to pay for parking. 
The app has two user advantages you can remind customers of
1) Customers don’t have to have coins to use a meter
2) The app will remind them when their meter is running out of time and gives them the option to add money to extend their time

The city has worked with private lot owners to have them use the same Pay-By-Phone app so it’s easier for customers to have a consistent experience whether they’re parking at meters or in lots.
City Link: http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parking/parking-pay-by-phone.aspx
Application Website: https://www.paybyphone.com 



 

Unwanted visitors in your business or building

You have a number of options for unwanted visitor support. Availability and service hours differ.

Olympia Downtown Ambassadors 360-338-2853 
The ambassadors have training and experience with trespasser engagement. They’re a great option during their service hours (Tue-Sat).
Link: Olympia Downtown Ambassadors: https://olympiawa.gov/community/downtown-olympia.aspx#ambassadors 

ODA Downtown Guides 
This service’s hours complement the Downtown Ambassadors. The Downtown Guides mission is to help visitors, residents, and employees feel comfortable, welcome, and safe in our community’s amazing Downtown.
Link: ODA Guides: https://downtownolympia.org/guides

Olympia Crisis Response Unit - CRU 360-704-2740 or 911)
The Crisis Response Unit (CRU) provides free, confidential, voluntary crisis response assistance. The CRU provides outreach services to those in crisis, identify each individual's circumstances and needs, and help identify individuals with chronic mental health disorders, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
CRU’s service hours are 7am to 9pm, 7 days a week. 
You can call 911 and suggest that you need a CRU response. They will dispatch based on their assessment of the situation and CRU availability.
CRU serves all of the city of Olympia.
Link: Olympia Crisis Response Unit: https://olympiawa.gov/city-services/police-department/Crisis-Response-Peer-Navigator.aspx 

Police (911)
The police are the only 24 hour a day / 7 day a week response. 
Police Non-Emergency 360-704-2740
Link: Olympia Police Department: https://olympiawa.gov/city-services/police-department.aspx 
 



 

Sidewalk Cleaning

Sidewalk Cleaning Leaves, Snow, and Ice Ground floor businesses or building owners are responsible to keep their sidewalks clear. This includes clearing snow and ice and leaves. The PBIA has distributed heavy duty brooms and dust pans in the past and may have some available. Contact Max DeJarnatt (pbia@ci.olympia.wa.us). Waste Cleanup If you encounter bio-hazard type waste outside your business, contact the Clean Team 360-522-3850 for cleanup. This includes feces and needles. It does not include standard trash - cigarette butts, food bags, coffee cups, etc.; these are your responsibility.



 

Building and Facility Maintenance & Operations

Graffiti Repainting
Through the Clean Team, the city has a program that if a building is painted with colors from their identified list of options, and you are signed up for the graffiti removal program, the Clean Team will repaint graffiti without additional contact. They take care of it before you may even be aware that your business / building was tagged.
Contact Mark Moore of the Clean Team (360-522-3850) for more information.

Fire Inspections
Olympia Fire Department conducts fire inspections annually. Typical topics to be aware of are blocked exits, fire extinguisher placement and expiration dates, and overloaded electrical circuits and extension cords.

Gas Meter Monitoring
Puget Sound Energy regularly inspects their service lines around and in buildings with gas-leak sniffers. They will work with business for access when required.

Broken Windows
When a severely broken window is discovered, the Olympia Fire Department will board it up.
Depending on funding, ODA may have funds available in their broken window fund to help with window replacement.

Alley Lighting
To encourage safe, well-lit allies, the city has at times provided partial support for alley lighting. Contact Mark Rentfrow (mrentfro@ci.olympia.wa.us) for more information and current availability.

City Infrastructure Issues
If you have issues with city infrastructure, like street lights, public trash and recycling cans, etc. you can contact Mark Rentfrow (mrentfro@ci.olympia.wa.us)

Special Requirement Parking
If you have a need for loading / unloading, maintenance crews, etc.; the city has a program to reserve a parking meter spot for a day with a $10 permit. 
Link: https://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parking/permits.aspx 



 

Business Operations Support and Education Services

The Olympia and Thurston County community of both public and private organizations are available to support you and your business to maximize success. Many of these services are available for free.

City support for EDC classes

Olympia at times will provide funding to support taking Thurston Economic Development Council classes. Annual slots are limited. Contact Mark Rentfrow (mrentfro@ci.olympia.wa.us) to see if this funding is currently available.


Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC)

The mission of the Thurston EDC is “To create a dynamic and sustainable economy that supports the values of the people who live and work in Thurston County.”To deliver this, they have many resources, classes, coaching, and networking options.

Many downtown business owners and managers have visited the EDC to take a class or get one-on-one coaching. They help with all aspects of a business including: financials, marketing, employee management, etc. and if they don’t provide the knowledge directly they can point you in a direction to someone who can help.

http://www.ThurstonEDC.com

Experience Olympia & Beyond

The Thurston County Visitor and Convention Bureau is named “Experience Olympia & Beyond”. They provide marketing and promotional services targeting out-of-county visitors and visit your own neighborhood tourism. 

http://www.ExperienceOlympia.com

Olympia Downtown Alliance (ODA)

The mission of the ODA is to “Act as a catalyst for a vibrant and thriving downtown through service to businesses and property owners.”

http://www.DowntownOlympia.org 

Parking and Business Improvement Area (PBIA) Board

The PBIA board is made up of elected representatives from downtown businesses. They are a conduit to city staff and the City Council. The public PBIA meetings provides recommendations to City Council on how to spend the annual tax on downtown businesses.

https://olympiawa.gov/city-government/advisory-committees/parking-and-business-improvement-area-board.aspx


Enterprise for Equity

Enterprise for Equity’s mission is to ensure that people with limited incomes in the South Sound region have access to training, support, and funds to develop their own small businesses. These services are provided with the belief that people can and do transform their lives as they bring their strengths, initiative and dreams to their entrepreneurial efforts.

http://www.enterprise-for-equity.org  


Thurston County Chamber of Commerce

The mission of the Thurston County Chamber is “Growing a prosperous economy and vibrant community by connecting people, ideas, and resources.” They provide a variety of classes, presentations, and networking opportunities.

The Chamber is committed to regional planning, education, workforce development, community infrastructure, and environmental stewardship to help create a vibrant community.

https://www.ThurstonChamber.com 


Washington Center for Women In Business (WCWB)

The Washington Center for Women in Business supports the mission of all Women’s Business Centers: to “level the playing field” for womxn entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.

http://wcwb.org 


Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Washington Small Business Development Center Network is your resource for expert business advising, management training and market research. SBDC advisors offer one-on-one technical assistance at no charge to make sure you have the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you and your company.

http://thurstonedc.com/small-business-counseling-sbdc/  


Northwest Cooperative Development Center (NWCDC)

NWCDC is a not-for-profit organization devoted to assisting new and existing cooperative businesses in every sector. The support converting existing businesses into worker-owned or community-owned cooperatives.

https://nwcdc.coop 



 

Community Information

Olympia Downtown Strategy
Here is a link to the city’s published document. 
Work on this has been disrupted by COVID-19.
Link: http://olympiawa.gov/community/downtown-olympia/downtown-strategy.aspx 

Theaters and Shows
There are three large theaters downtown of varying sizes. They all have big productions through the year and season ticket holders. 
The Washington Center provides nearby restaurants with performance audience size numbers so they can plan staffing. Contact Chad Carpenter for more information (ccarpenter@washingtoncenter.org).

Washington Center for the Performing Arts: http://washingtoncenter.org  
Harlequin Theater: http://harlequinproductions.org 
Olympia Film Society: http://olympiafilmsociety.org 
Olympia Family Theater Link: http://olyft.org 

Downtown Big Events Calendar
This list isn’t intended to be comprehensive and post-COVID-19, some of these events will be changing. 
There are events happening in Olympia throughout the year that bring people downtown. You can participate in these events as sponsors, market to these downtown visitors, and see all of these as opportunities to grow you business.

Event     Organizer     Timeframe URL Notes
Arts Walk - Spring Olympia Parks, Art, & Rec April     http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parks.aspx Same weekend as Procession of Species
Procession of Species Procession of the Species  April     www.Procession.org  Typically Saturday before or after Earth Day (April 22nd)
Luminary Parade       April     Friday night before Procession of Species 
Capitol City Marathon   May      www.CapitolCityMarathon.org   
Olympia Wooden Boat Fair Olympia Wooden Boat Association May     www.OlyWoodenBoat.org      
Pride Parade and Festival  Captol City Pride June     www.CapitolCityPride.net   
Music In The Park ODA All Summer  www.DowntownOlympia.org  Weekly concerts through the summer
Lakefair     Capitol Lakefair   Mid-July  www.Lakefair.org Impacts on-street parking throughout downtown
Capitol Hoopfest   July/Aug  www.capitalcity3on3.com New event on Capitol Campus
Pet Parade  Hands-On Children's Museum August     www.HOCM.org   
Olympia Comics Festival Danger Room Comics August     http://olympiacomicsfestival.org  
Olympia Brew Fest Oly Brew Fest August      www.OlyBrewFest.com  
Arts Walk - Fall Olympia Parks, Art, & Rec Sept/Oct  http://olympiawa.gov/city-services/parks.aspx   
Harbor Days TBD     Labor Day weekend www.HarborDays.com   
Trick-or-Treating  KXXO Radio Station Oct 31st www.KXXO.com  Organized by KXXO
Twinklefest PBIA  Nov/Dec  http://olympiawa.gov/city-government/advisory-committees/parking-and-business-improvement-area-board.aspx Holiday lighting for shop fronts
Downtown for the Holidays ODA      Nov/Dec www.DowntownOlympia.org Includes kick-off parade with Santa

 

Olympia City Services

Olympia provides a variety of services in support of doing business in Olympia. Most are not specific to downtown, though downtown has the largest concentration of businesses in the city.
 
Parking and Business Improvement Area (PBIA) Board
The PBIA board is made up of elected representatives from downtown businesses. They are a issues-oriented conduit to city staff and the City Council. The public PBIA meetings provide recommendations to City Council on how to spend the annual PBIA tax on downtown businesses and advocate for downtown business issues with the city.
 
Olympia Economic Development and Community Planning and Development
Olympia's Community Planning and Development department protects and enhances quality of life, sustainability, and safety through our plans, regulations, and programs. We are committed to our core values of community, customer service, communication and continuous improvement.
 
Olympia Public Works
The Public Works Department services supporting downtown business include: streets, trash and recycling, street lights, water, wastewater, storm drains, and snow plowing.
 
Parking Services
Parking Services includes parking meter enforcement, parking lot permits, parking meter day-use permits, etc.