On Wednesday, Feb. 26, Seattle Southside Visitor Services (SSVS), the official tourism organization for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines, opened a new Visitor Center in Westfield Southcenter, which will be able to assist and influence more travelers in the Seattle Southside region.
Complimentary Visitor Center services include restaurant recommendations; hotel reservation assistance and referrals; directions; brochures; maps and sightseeing guides; transportation guidance; advice on museums and entertainment – and details on how to get tickets; tour bookings; tips, suggestions and advice on area attractions and ticket information; and expert knowledge on local events, sports, festivals and activities.
Photo Credit: ELITECollective
Seattle Soutside also reports that 2013 travel impact numbers are increasingly positive, with tourist spending hitting a record $659.2 million in 2013:
The annual study compiled by research firm Dean Runyan Associates shows the best year on record for visitor spending, local and state tax receipts and tourism employment. Travel spending increased 5 percent from 2012 to 2013, marking the third consecutive year of strong growth in the Seattle Southside travel industry.
“It’s extremely encouraging to see solid growth in the travel industry in Seattle Southside, despite the Washington State Tourism Office closing in 2011,” said Katherine Kertzman, executive director of Seattle Southside Visitor Services. “We’re now at pre-recessionary levels and expect to see continued growth thanks to the incredible partnerships that have been established in the Southside.”
With 5,320 people employed by the tourism industry in Seattle Southside and $31.3 million generated in local tax receipts, this report shows how the travel industry is a key contributor to the economic well-being of the Seattle Southside region. As the fourth-largest industry in Washington State, tourism supports small businesses, strengthens local economies, creates jobs and brings in additional tax revenues.
The full Dean Runyan Travel Impacts report is available here (PDF file).
Highlights from the report include:
- Travel spending in Seattle Southside increased by 5 percent from 2012 to 2013 (preliminary).
- Earnings, employment and travel-generated tax receipts have also continued to increase.
- The overall trend in visitor volume corresponds to the trends in travel spending.
- Lodging sales have recovered to pre-recessionary levels.
- Almost three-quarters of all visitor nights in Seattle Southside are attributable to hotel/motel stays. This percentage is much greater than for King County and Washington state.
- Visitor air arrivals (domestic only) to SeaTac airport have also increased for the fourth year in a row.
- Day travel represents less than five percent of all visitor spending in the Seattle Southside.
About Seattle Southside Visitor Services
Seattle Southside Visitor Services (SSVS) is the leading tourism and marketing organization in South King County. The program offered jointly by the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, and Des Moines, is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for tourists who wish to explore Western Washington. For more information, please visit www.seattlesouthside.com.
REMINDER: Get $5 off dog bathing/grooming every ‘Thrifty Thursday’ at Advertiser Pretty Paws, Burien’s Oldest Grooming Shop!
Can’t make it on Thursday? No problem – Owner Kathy Graf is open 7 days a week and is offering $3.00 savings with a South King Media coupon (this coupon cannot be combined with any other offer):
Give Kathy a call today at 206-444-4656 to book your pet’s ticket to pretty!
123 SW 158th Street
Burien, WA 98166
Rainier Chapter, Order of DeMolay is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m in Tukwila.
DeMolay is the premier youth organization dedicated to teaching young men between 12 to 21 years of age to be better persons and better leaders. DeMolay members learn leadership skills, public speaking, time management and financial management. In addition to these skills, DeMolay also offers an expansive social and athletic program with the opportunity for civic awareness, responsibility and character development through a variety of self-directed, real-world applications and activities.
If you are interested in learning more, please join us at the Delta Masonic Center in Tukwila at 13034 41st Ave S, Tukwila, WA 98168.
Please contact Corey Kent at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The Boeing Employees Choir will be featured at a special holiday concert this Friday evening, Dec. 6 in Burien. The free public event is a benefit for the Highline Music4Life™ program and is sponsored in-part by 4Culture.
“The Boeing ambassadors of goodwill are a wonderful way to start the holiday season,” said event coordinator Julie Nelson of Windermere Real Estate and the Burien-White Center Rotary Club. “They have made five concert tours in Europe, one to Australia and New Zealand and will tour Scotland and Ireland in 2015. We can enjoy them right here in Burien.”
Under the direction of Dr. David Chrysler, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Lake Burien Presbyterian Church, located at 15003 14th Av. SW in Burien. The choir sings approximately 20 concerts annually in a repertoire that spans Bach to Broadway. In case you’re a Boeing employee, retiree or family member, the choir is accepting applications from singers who might be interested in that Scotland/Ireland trip.
Highline Music4Life is the local organization that acquires “lovingly used” musical instruments, gets them repaired if needed, and provides them free of charge to Highline Public Schools for use by students of low income families. The program was created two years ago by the school board and is also sponsored by the Rotary clubs of Des Moines, Burien-White Center and SeaTac.
“You don’t have to be a Rotarian to support Music4Life,” added David Endicott, the organization’s President / CEO. “All that’s necessary is that you understand the unique value that instrumental music plays in the life and education of a child.”
More than 250 musical instruments have been acquired for Highline Schools’ kids.
Research now shows that young people who participate in instrumental music programs tend to do better in math, science, history, literature, languages (both English and foreign), even in computer science and other desirable academic disciplines, Endicott said. “And that’s in addition to what it teaches them in discipline and teamwork.”
Besides the Highline program, Music4Life also operates programs supporting Seattle, Shoreline and Edmonds Public Schools. New programs are expected soon for other school districts in the area. The initiative acquires used instruments from the garages or attics of adults who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. With adequate resources, Music4Life can also buy new musical instruments for school districts. Endicott emphasizes that resources developed in any community are tracked separately and used for the benefit of the students in that community, according to donor wishes, whether it’s Highline or any of the others.
Currently, 75 percent of all fifth and sixth grade students in Highline Public Schools who participate in instrumental music programs are from families that are income-eligible. The Highline Music4Life™ program intends to assist at least half that number.
Highline Music4Life is supported in-part by grants from 4Culture, First Choice Health, Garvey Schubert Barer, the Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence, local Rotary clubs and other local community leaders.
For more information, visit http://highlinemusic4life.org.
Story and photos by Pam Fernald
September 20th was the second annual Taste of Tukwila and I attended with some friends. What a fun community mini event! You could get a cultural ‘taste’ of music, dance and food all at once.
If you put a sticker on the world map to indicate where you were originally from, you got 3 free tickets to sample 3 different ethnic foods. My sticker went on Tukwila, my husband’s went on Maine and my friend’s stickers went on Mongolia and South Dakota.
I tasted the Hawaiian donut, a Kenyan veggie Somosa and Japanese yakisoba. Very tasty indeed. There was also tacos, tamales, chicken skewers, Thai crunch salad bites, Sudanese kunafa dessert and more.
There were information tables staffed with Council members, Police, Waste Management, Parks and Rec, Human services folks as well as tables for the children’s clothing bank and Henna artists.
If you’ve seen other events I’ve posted in the past, you know I have a fondness for colorful, twirling dancing and costumes. I was in the right place at the Taste of Tukwila!
Kids from Tukwila Elementary and Showalter Middle schools entertained with several dances including their version of the Mexican Hat Dance. While I was meandering through the information and food tables, there was break dancing and some hip hop music going on and Foster High students performed songs. Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of those performances because I was feeding my face, but I did get photos of the Mariachi Band, the kids dancing and a most amazing traditional Aztec dance group called Ce Atl Tonallia, which also included awesome drumming. https://www.facebook.com/pages/CeAtl-Tonalli/101392836689570
They danced for almost an hour and just before they finished, it started to pour down rain.
Enjoy my photos:
Three motels in Tukwila were seized and boarded-up by federal agents Tuesday (Aug. 27) following a year-long investigation of criminal activity in and around the motels, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
More than 400 law enforcement officers and agents participated in the serving of search and seizure warrants on the Great Bear Motor Inn, Boulevard Motel and Travelers Choice Motel, all located on Tukwila International Boulevard.
In addition to the civil seizure of the motels, four people were arrested in connection with ongoing criminal activity at the motels, including three owner-operators. In 2011 and 2012, police responded to the motels for reports of rape, robbery, assault, drug transactions, gun crimes, prostitution, and possession of stolen property. During that time, the three motels accounted for approximately 17 percent of the Tukwila Police Department’s calls for service.
“Today we seek to hold the hotel owners accountable for their crimes, strip them of their criminal dens and make this area of the community safer,” Durkan said. “I commend the Tukwila Police Department and ATF for their work – which allows us to not just prosecute the defendants, but to solve a problem. Reducing crime on International Boulevard is a top priority for the residents of Tukwila and their representatives in government, and this operation is directly responsive to the community’s most pressing needs.”
According to records filed to seize the motels, the Tukwila Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) jointly-led investigation used undercover officers and people working with law enforcement to document criminal activity at the motels and the role the owners and managers played in that activity. According to the affidavit filed in the case, owners and managers would collect a $10 entry fee for those coming on the property seeking drugs or sexual services. The owners and/or managers would take the money and direct the customer to rooms to purchase drugs or sex. In some instances the person taking the “fee” would call the motel room to inform the dealer or sex worker that a customer was on the way. According to witnesses, the owner or manager would collect additional rental fees from the dealer or sex worker based on how many customers were sent to the room over the course of the day.
“These businesses have been a haven for violence and gang activity for several years. Today’s operation should have a lasting positive impact on crime in Tukwila,” said ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Jim Modzelewski. “ATF remains committed to partnering with other agencies to fulfill our mission of targeting violent crime.”
“The Mayor and Tukwila City Council have made public safety a priority for the citizens of Tukwila, and we are thankful for their support that has helped the police department create a safer place to live and conduct business,” said Tukwila Chief of Police Mike Villa. “Additionally, I would like to thank all of our officers, staff and partnering agencies that have made this operation a success. We are excited that jointly we have been able to make such a significant impact on crime in Tukwila.”
Since at least 2006, the three motels have consistently been among the top five motels in Tukwila with the highest calls for police service per room, with significantly higher ratios than other hotels in Tukwila. The Great Bear Motor Inn was identified and cited in August 2012, as a nuisance property by the City of Tukwila. The Boulevard Motel and Travelers Choice Motel had been sent warning letters in 2011 about being cited as nuisance properties.
Displaced residents from the seized motels will be offered transportation to a nearby church. At the church they will be fed and offered medical and mental health services, and assistance with housing and other needs from several City of Tukwila departments and other local, state and federal agencies. The City will be providing qualified low income residents with vouchers for groceries and transportation.
“The City of Tukwila expresses our deepest appreciation to the many federal, state, and local agencies who collaborated so well with our police department on this public safety action. This shows how we are all committed to improving public safety and creating great neighborhoods,” said Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton.
The investigation, search and seizure operation today was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Tukwila Police Department. Many additional agencies assisted the investigation and today’s operation, including the U.S. Marshals Service; Department of Homeland Security; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation; U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; Washington State Patrol; Seattle, Auburn, Kent, Renton, Federal Way, and Port of Seattle Police Departments; Valley SWAT Team; King County Sheriff’s Office; Washington State Department of Corrections; and Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Arnold, Jill Otake and Richard Cohen.
The power is on, the cutterhead is hooked up and two miles of Seattle soil await the teeth of ‘Bertha,’ the world’s largest tunneling machine, which you can “meet” in person on Saturday, July 20!
Aside from running final tests, there’s only one thing left to do before the massive machine’s launch later this month: say goodbye.
On Saturday, July 20, Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Transportation will host a public celebration at Bertha’s launch site, west of CenturyLink Field, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Following a dedication ceremony, attendees can talk with project staff, learn about the tunneling operation and view Bertha from one of the walkways that span her 80-foot-deep launch pit.
The event includes activities designed to teach kids about science and engineering and provides the opportunity for attendees to sign their names on one of the concrete segments that will form the tunnel’s walls. Food trucks will also be on-site.
Because the event will be held at an active construction site, all attendees will be required to sign a safety waiver and wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes. There is limited access for guests with strollers and wheelchairs. Attendees can check on nearby parking and transit options.
To download a PDF with a map and more info, click here.
Bertha, who has been updating her progress on Twitter since December, said she has mixed feelings about her pre-launch celebration.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m ready to celebrate,” @BerthaDigsSR99 tweeted Tuesday. “But I really hope no one breaks a bottle over my head. Talk about a painful tradition!”
Tunneling starts at the end of July after final testing is complete. The tunnel is scheduled to open to drivers in late 2015.
For more information, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/About/FollowBertha