Tourism study suggests improvements for Spokane | Business
As the economy nationwide slowly recovers, communities are looking for ways to bring dollars in. Now, armed with a year's worth of research, Spokane could be on the verge of bringing more tourism dollars to the Lilac City.
According to the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau, tourism means big bucks in Spokane. In fact, tourism brought in $856 million in 2010. More than 9,000 jobs in our region are tourism-related. But, the CVB and others want to take the next step and bring in even more of that money. So, they commissioned a project from Randall Travel Marketing, presented to business and tourism leaders last week.
The bottom line: Spokane needs to capitalize on the resources we have and continue to push forward to share the secrets of our region with the world.
Above all, the study suggests "Spokane needs to claim it's uniqueness." The study points out Spokane is a regional hub with a "surprising volume and quality of dining, shopping, lodging, etc. for its size." It also points out Spokane's uniquely scenic setting.
The study recommends we develop a city-wide plan to more clearly define urban districts, using lighting, streetscapes, signage, etc. The study also recommends Spokane continues to recruit chef-owned restaurants, arts/crafts galleries, artisan studios, local food growers and wineries.
The study also suggests Spokane expand the "Near Nature, Near Perfect" slogan. The advice: expand it with a tagline, such as: "The scenic dining, shopping and entertainment capital of the Inland Northwest."
Researchers also commented on Spokane's lack of visible signage. They recommend the Washington Department of Transportation clean up the welcome/visitor signs along I-90 through downtown. Drivers also suggest a new gateway/structure on I-90 as you head down the hill from the west. "Most of the towns in the region surrounding Spokane have acceptable city gateways," researchers point out. Spokane, at this point, does not.
Here's a list of more recommendations made in this tourism study:
- Update the convention center
- Add new sports facilities to target new events
- Add an Inland Northwest Interpretive Center
- Update Riverfront Park, specifically the indoor recreation amenities