Buy one gravesite, get one half off

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on April 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 12 at 6:58 PM

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – It's a one of a kind blowout sale you won't typically see. It's not a discount on cosmetics or cars, but grave sites.

"I had to think outside the box," said Bellingham Parks and Recreation Coordinator Marcia Wazny. "Buy one grave, get the second grave half price!"

Wazny came up with idea as a way to save the city-owned Bayview Cemetery from going broke.

"I have had to cut jobs and cut the budget. We will do anything we can to keep providing our services." she says.

The recession has strained the cemetery budget which is operated by the City of Bellingham. Many families planning a final resting place have either stopped planning ahead or turned to cremation as a way to ease the cost of a pricey burial plot.

Right now the current price of a cemetery plot without a casket is $1,133. With the new discount, a buyer could get two such sites for $1,699.

If approved by City Council, the sale would last from April 15 to June 15 in order to take advantage of the Memorial Holiday weekend, when cemeteries are typically full of people.

The idea even intrigues local car dealers, a position that often is associated with creative ad campaigns.

"This is super creative!" said Byron Sprague, General Manager of Roger Jobs Motors in Bellingham. "It's the kind of thinking that we all have to do during these challenging financial times."

Cemeteries across the U.S. have had a tough time keeping the revenue flowing. Wazny says she is determined not to let the tough economy force the Bayview to close.

"We want to do anything we can to stay open," she said. "That way we can continue to provide people the service they need and deserve."

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