Ex-Chemainus Theatre Marketing Director Mulder Helping Transform Border Town
BLAINE, WA – Chemainus is known as “The Little Town That Did”.
Mike Mulder, the original Marketing Director at the Chemainus Theatre, helped put the popular community landmark on the map. Mulder is at it again, aiming to raise the profile of Blaine, Washington as another success story of making a small town a big deal for tourists and investors.
Mulder and several friends have purchased commercial properties on Salashan Parkway, Blaine’s main street, a stone’s throw from the U.S. border crossing, and he envisions big things while making it a “must stop” destination and on the first Interstate 5 exit in Washington state.
“This town is so ready for an economic revival,” Mulder says of the town of 5,000, adding that his company owns several properties along Peace Portal Drive, the strip of old town Blaine that boasts westerly sunsets over the marina and Drayton Harbor.
Mulder has been busy since leaving Canada over 20 years ago, joining his father (who has since passed away) at the Grandview Industrial Park in nearby Ferndale, and building and expanding COPAC Properties into several other businesses, including COPAC Self Storage and COPAC (now Nimbus) Real Estate.
The company developed the 75-lot Pine Creek Estates subdivision in Mt. Vernon, WA, and Mulder, with Andrew Littlejohn, owns Skunky’s, a clean-up and waste removal company that started in Phoenix, Arizona.
“We thought, let’s try and capture the public’s imagination,” Mulder notes. “We have a skunk painted on the side of every truck – people laugh. Everybody loves the brand.”
Mulder is also an accomplished musician, and recently wrote and recorded his latest CD at the state-of-the-art studio of Seattle Seahawk owner Paul Allen, overlooking Lake Washington near Seattle.
In an earlier life, one of his tunes he wrote with Canadian producer Roy Salmond, was “The Turkey Song.” The song eventually found its way onto television’s landmark Tonight Show anchored by Johnny Carson.
Mulder laughs when he recalls the huge royalty cheques that would show up in his mailbox years after, when re-runs of the show would play their song.
One of Mulder’s Blaine buildings is home to Wildbird, a second-hand consignment store which has “having fun helping others” as its motto and has donated as much as $100,000 a year to numerous charitable causes in the area.
“We’re a boots on the ground charity,” Mulder states, adding Wildbird helps fund the ‘Backpack Program’, which fills backpacks with nutritious, kid-friendly and easy-to-prepare food that can be picked up anonymously by needy students at area schools for the weekend.
“We don’t want to shame kids who need help,” Mulder points out. “All of the administration costs are covered by the business, and all the profits after expenses goes directly to the kids.”
As Mulder and his business colleagues chart a possible new vision for the community, Mulder would like others to join them.
“Canadian business people can come down and join the other investors in Blaine,” he adds. “There is plenty of room here.”