City, chamber get tourism guidance

April 8, 2014

How can Issaquah attract more visitors?

That questions lies at the heart of a burgeoning effort by the city’s Economic Development Department and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce. The “kickoff” for the effort was delivered March 31 by local tourism guru Roger Brooks.

“For more than 30 years, he has worked to change ordinary places to extraordinary destinations,” chamber CEO Matt Bott said, introducing the keynote speaker.

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Issaquah to host tourism expert

March 18, 2014

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — in coordination with the city of Issaquah and local hoteliers, restaurants and hometown attractions — is featuring world-renowned expert Roger Brooks in a community presentation about developing Issaquah’s tourism program.

The presentation is from 6-8 p.m. March 31 at Pickering Barn, 1730 10th Ave N.W. Registration is strongly encouraged to ensure a seat. Attendees can register online at http://bit.ly/1dRvlgg by March 28.

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Gubernatorial hopefuls support hatcheries, parks

October 23, 2012

Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna clashed in a recent series of debates, but the candidates vying to serve as Washington’s next governor share similar positions on local issues, such as support for the state parks system.

Jay Inslee

Rob McKenna

The race at the state level is focused on the candidates’ policies on education and transportation — hot topics on the docket as Inslee and McKenna met in recent weeks.

The Issaquah Press asked the candidates about funding for state parks, salmon restoration and growth management — key concerns in Issaquah and the surrounding area.

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Cruise passengers urged to explore beyond Seattle

October 25, 2011

From the Space Needle to Pike Place Market, Seattle has plenty to offer its guests, but the Washington Tourism Alliance and the Port of Seattle are encouraging cruise ship tourists to explore beyond the predictable city limits. They are hoping tourists will venture into the suburban and rural areas outside of Seattle, including Issaquah.

“It’s really about what can you offer as an attractive package as an add-on to the cruise purchase,” said Dan Trimble, then-economic development manager for the city of Issaquah. “We’re pretty fortunate here to have several things that can be easily compartmentalized to those packages.”

Bill Bryant

From the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and Cougar Mountain Zoo, to outdoor opportunities and shopping districts, Issaquah has plenty to offer its tourists, Trimble said.

This is part of a plan carried out by the newly established Washington Tourism Alliance, which is working along with the Port of Seattle and other tourism agencies to let people know about the tourist opportunities that exist outside of Seattle.

“The cruise ship (industry) brings about $400 million to King County and the region, and that’s because the passengers are staying one to two nights in the area. But most of them are spending that time in downtown Seattle,” Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant said.

He said he hopes the cruise ship tourists extend their stay and explore the surrounding areas, “whether that is wineries in Woodinville or going out to Snoqualmie Falls.”

The state Legislature recently cut funding for the state tourism office.

In its place, various stakeholders including the port, some of the hotel associations and some of the restaurant associations have established the WTA to serve as a vehicle for communities to reach out to tourists, Bryant said.

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Press Editorial

July 12, 2011

State tourism budget cut hurts economy

The state’s elimination of tourism dollars, also known as economic development, flies in the face of wisdom. Each city is left to its own devices, and surely won’t have the impact that comes from sharing an umbrella with the state’s push for tourism.

Tourism is our state’s fourth largest industry. Visitors spent about $15.2 billion here last year, according to state figures. Yet Washington is now the only state in the nation with no money to spend on self-promotion.

A few states that made similar cuts are upping their marketing budgets again, but have expressed concerns they have already lost market share.

About half of the states are reportedly stepping up their marketing budgets to lure tourists and their vacation-happy wallets, knowing that state and local sales tax revenues get pumped up by all that spending. Isn’t that Washington’s aim, too?

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Issaquah Chamber of Commerce unveils city-focused agenda

July 5, 2011

Leaders focus on changes to signage, tourism

Issaquah business leaders plan to focus on City Hall in the months ahead to foster economic development, bolster tourism-promotion efforts and shape regulations to benefit businesses.

Matthew Bott, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO, said the local agenda formed after chamber leaders consulted Issaquah entrepreneurs. The effort marks the inaugural legislative agenda from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce focused on city issues.

“We really went out and asked our members, ‘What are you seeing? What are your priorities? What would you like to see?’” he said. “We made a specific focus on city government.”

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‘Share Your Washington’ and earn travel prizes

May 24, 2011

Washington State Tourism is asking Washingtonians to invite friends and family members to visit the Evergreen Green as part of the Share Your Washington promotion.

Running through June 15, Share Your Washington encourages people to send invitations. In the process, participants also automatically enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win trips from Alaska Airlines.

Entering is simple. Washingtonians can visit the Share Your Washington website, www.shareyourwashington.com, to send electronic postcards to friends. No limit exists for the number of times residents can enter. The more friends and family they invite, the more chances they have to win the grand prize.

The grand-prize package includes unlimited air travel within Washington on Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air numbered flights for the winner and companion for a whole year, from July 2011 to June 2012, and a pair of round-trip coach tickets for two people anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.

Share Your Washington is also on Facebook. Washington State Tourism is encouraging people to use the hashtag #ShareYourWA to discuss the promotion on Twitter.

Downtown trolleys will be delayed until at least next spring, backers say

July 20, 2010

Historic trolleys might not clang through downtown Issaquah until next spring, despite plans to relaunch the tourist attraction much earlier.

Trolley backers had hoped to run the historic cars from the Issaquah Train Depot downtown to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce office by late summer.

Engineers had hoped to advertise the project to potential contractors by May, but August seems more realistic under the updated timeline.

The city oversees about $500,000 in grant money awarded to the project. Barb Justice and other Issaquah Valley Trolley Project volunteers manage the long-running effort to run trolleys in downtown Issaquah.

The group has become accustomed to the delays inherent in restoring 75-year-old trolleys and readying unused railroad tracks for the vehicles.

“Things seem to take 10 times longer than one would hope,” Justice, grants coordinator for the trolley project, said in early July.

City Senior Engineer Rory Cameron said the city last week submitted the application for authority to administer the grant. The city submitted the proposal to the state Department of Transportation, the agency responsible for managing federal transportation dollars in Washington.

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Find a free Evergreen State tourism planner online

April 6, 2010

State tourism officials showcased Issaquah Alps trails and the Salmon Days Festival in the official state travel planner released in early March.

Washington State Tourism and the state Department of Commerce released a 152-page, full color print travel planner, and also made the guide available online at www.experiencewa.com.

Organizers said the online offering represented a way to decrease the environmental impact of the guide. Besides English, find versions of the online guide in Spanish, French, German and Japanese translations.

Order a printed copy of the planner for free through the state tourism Web site or by calling 800-544-1800 toll free.

The guide includes information about attractions and events across the Evergreen State.

“As the economy continues to recover, Pacific Northwest residents are looking for affordable vacation ideas in their own backyards, and we hope this travel planner will be a valuable tool, as well as a source of travel inspiration,” Marsha Massey, executive director for Washington State Tourism, said in a news release. “Our great state has so many experiences to offer visitors, from its breathtaking beaches and national parks to refreshingly vibrant urban centers and cut

Find a free Evergreen State tourism planner online

March 14, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. March 14, 2010

State tourism officials showcased Issaquah Alps trails and the Salmon Days Festival in the new official state travel planner.

Washington State Tourism and the state Department of Commerce recently released a 152-page, full-color print travel planner, and also made the guide available online here.

Organizers said the online offering represented a way to decrease the environmental impact of the guide. Besides English, find versions of the online guide in Spanish, French, German and Japanese translations.

Order a printed copy of the planner for free through the state tourism Web site or by calling 800-544-1800 toll free.

Read more

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