October 14, 2014
Defining city branding and forming a destination marketing organization top the list of Issaquah tourism recommendations.
City Economic Development Department Manager Andrea Snyder and Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Bott presented Roger Brooks International’s final draft on tourism recommendations during the Committee of the Whole meeting Sept. 23.
After eight months and $20,000 of city funds, the hired tourism consultant provided a layout of how Issaquah could entice visitors to come and spend money. In order to know where to start, Snyder said they started with basic questions.
October 7, 2014
I had several qualms about Roger Brooks’ tourism presentations to the good people of Issaquah. However, I completely agree with his basic advice that the city should choose one aspect and focus on that as the main draw to get outsiders to visit and spend their money.
He left this up to residents and city leaders to decide what that main draw would be, advising it should be a year-round affair that would guarantee a unique and beneficial experience that would keep people coming back. In two remarkably similar presentations, Brooks said Issaquah tourism dollars could go to highlight the divergent trail system or maybe even the penchant for paragliding.
I would like to offer my humble opinion and say Issaquah should prop up its fantastic theater culture as the focus for tourism.
September 9, 2014
Once again, a perfectly good vacation moment was ruined by all of the dolts around me.
Nothing sets my blood a boilin’ more than tourists who can’t stop being tourists for one darn second to appreciate what’s before them.
Last month, my wife and I visited my sister outside Baltimore. The last day of the trip, we trekked into Philadelphia to take in a few sites. Top on my list was the Liberty Bell, one of the most iconic artifacts from our history that is uniquely American.
August 12, 2014
People need to learn the difference between yield and merge
One of the reasons southbound traffic backs up on Front Street during evening rush hour is that drivers on Newport Way ignore the yield sign. (Please note, it reads: yield, not merge).
During the red light cycle on Newport, the cars on Front Street have the right of way. If Newport Way was posted no turn on red, it would allow traffic on each street a fair portion of the allotted time, and a smoother flow of traffic. This “no turn” sign could be limited to the hours of 3-7 p.m., which appears to be the most congested time period.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.”