Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) – the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac and Des Moines – reported this week that tourists spent $693 million locally in 2016 — an increase of 4 percent over 2015.

The annual study, compiled by research firm Dean Runyan Associates, shows the economic significance of the travel industry to the Seattle Southside area, local and state tax receipts and tourism employment. This is the sixth consecutive year of strong growth in the Seattle Southside travel industry.

“We have a strong track record of demonstrating positive economic impact in Seattle Southside through a strategic investment in tourism,” said Katherine Kertzman, president and CEO of Seattle Southside. “The increased funding that is delivered through our RTA allows us to significantly develop our investments in marketing the destination, and Seattle Southside continues to thrive by every economic measure.”

With 4,940 people employed by the tourism industry in Seattle Southside and $35 million generated in local tax receipts, this report shows how the travel industry is a key contributor to the economic well-being of the 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 complete Dean Runyan Travel Impacts report is available here. Highlights from the report include:

  • Travel spending in Seattle Southside increased by 4 percent from 2015 to 2016 (preliminary).
  • Earnings and travel-generated tax receipts continue to increase.
  • The overall trend in visitor volume corresponds to the trends in travel spending.
  • Lodging sales continue to increase, and were $250 million in 2016.
  • More than 80 percent of all visitor nights in Seattle Southside are attributable to hotel/motel stays. This percentage is much greater than for hotel/motel stays in King County and Washington state, overall.
  • Tukwila has the greatest estimated visitor spending and SeaTac has almost 70 percent of all lodging sales, making the regional partnership key to the economic well-being of the region.
  • Visitor air arrivals (domestic only) to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport have also increased for the sixth year in a row.
  • An industry outlook shows more hotels coming to the region, which has the potential of lowering occupancy rates within the next few years due to the increase in supply.
  • In 2016, Seattle Southside RTA experienced $40.13 in visitor spending for each dollar spent. The 2016 ROI will be reported at the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce Hospitality and Tourism Luncheon. See below for details.

The industry will gather on Friday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Embassy Suites in Tukwila. As the chamber civic sponsor and partner, the Seattle Southside RTA will present on the progress the region has made in the tourism industry over the past year as well as a sneak peek into future projects. Registration is now open.

The Seattle Southside Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) was established in October 2014 along with the Seattle Southside RTA, a public corporation and separate legal entity, which manages increased funding and tourism promotion activities for the cities of Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila. The boundaries of the three cities make up the TPA.

About Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority
Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for South Seattle. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for leisure and business travelers who wish to explore Western Washington and an idyllic place for meeting and event planners to hold their events. The Seattle Southside RTA is funded by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by a lodging tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines. For more information, please visit or call 877-885-9452.

The City of Tukwila will be holding an Open house about the new Public Safety Plan at Tukwila Fire Station 54 this Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. – Noon.

“Residents of Tukwila recently approved a Public Safety Bond to ensure a safer Tukwila for generations to come. The bond pays for vital updated to safety facilities and equipment, organized under the Public Safety Plan. The City of Tukwila wants to share their efforts and hear from you!”

Parking is available across the street at Foster High School, and child care will be provided. Or you can visit the 24/7 online open house at

Event details:

WHAT: City of Tukwila Public Safety Plan Open House

WHEN: March 18, 2017: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a new regular column for South King Media, written by Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Andrea Reay:

By Andrea H. Reay

The old colloquialism “Nothing personal, it’s just business” has long been used to describe the often “dog eat dog” world of our capitalist economy.  However, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Did you watch the Super Bowl ads? With the average cost of a 30-second spot going for $5 million dollars, advertisers know they must go with what works to maximize their investment.

So, what works in advertising these days? Well, it’s the same thing that has always worked-get personal. As Don Draper once said in Mad Men:

“You are the product. You’re feeling something. That’s what sells.”

Advertisers have long known that business is personal. That to sell a product or service you need a story to tell that’s powerful and meaningful – you need to get personal and use emotion to manage and flex your brand and market to the ever-changing consumer.

The trends that we’re now seeing in business and brand awareness suggest a new rise in the level of consumer mindfulness. People are now making purchases and investments, not just on how a product makes them feel, the emotion or sense of nostalgia-but because it aligns with their personal, moral, political or ethical philosophy. Starbucks, Nordstrom, Uber, (just to name a few) have all experienced market fluctuations as consumers adjust or re-adjust their spending to reflect their personal beliefs.

What does this new trend mean for business?  It means that businesses – of all sizes – need to realize that if they want to be successful in this new business climate – where emotional, social and personal value is making up a larger and larger part of the pie for why a consumer makes a choice instead of simply functional or conditional value – they need to better understand their target demographic and pivot accordingly.

A large part of the work the Chamber provides for members is access to demographic data and research for our region. We also provide counseling and referral services to help our businesses and local economy gain a competitive advantage – including member to member discounts on advertising, like this exclusive coupon for Seattle Southside Chamber members:

If current marketing or advertising campaigns aren’t yielding the level of return you’ve planned.  It might be time to rethink not just how you are marketing your business but who you are marketing your business to.

And, of course, if you haven’t already- it’s time to get personal.

Andrea H. Reay is the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce- “A voice for business, a leader in the community.”  Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.

For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of member benefits and resources, please visit their website at

Starbucks Barista
Sea-Tac Airport
– Union Benefits –

WHO: HMSHost at Sea-Tac Airport

WHAT: HMSHost is seeking to fill restaurant positions at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Positions available include Starbucks Baristas.

PAY: $13.81/hour


The Barista Starbucks fulfills orders and completes sales transactions within a Starbucks establishment and performs other support functions which may include cleaning the food preparation, customer seating or stock areas and maintaining inventory; performs all other responsibilities as directed by the business or as assigned by management.

The Barista:
• Greets customers and takes food order; provides information about products and looks for opportunity to “up-sell” products
• Prepares all drink orders to Starbucks and company standards
• Operates a cash register and receives payment from customers in cash or credit card, accurately counts and provides change to customers as required
• Educates and informs customers about the differences among coffee beans, coffee preparation and home brewing methods
• Cleans and stocks customer area
• Maintains a calm demeanor during periods of high volume or unusual events to keep store operating to standard and to set a positive example for the shift team

• Demonstrates the ability to interact with the public and coworkers in a friendly, enthusiastic and outgoing manner
• Requires the ability to bend, twist, and stand to perform normal job functions
• Requires the ability to speak, read and comprehend instructions, short correspondence and policy documents, as well as converse comfortably with customers
• Requires the ability to learn and maintain knowledge of Starbuck’s products and procedures
• Cash handling and customer service experience preferred

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe, including 44 of the 50 busiest airports in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $2.8 billion and employs more than 37,000 sales associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of around €4.3 billion in 2015, the Group operates in 31 countries and employs over 57,000 people. It manages approximately 4,200 stores in over 1,000 locations worldwide.

Visit for more information. We can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter at @HMSHost

EOE | Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity | DFWP | Background checks will be required prior to beginning employment.


All are invited to the Tukwila Historical Society’s “History After Hours” event on April 15, 2017, from 6 – 10 p.m. at Odin Brewery, located at 402 Baker Blvd.

Food will be served.

No Host Bar Beverages available.

Silent Auction with great gift items.

Dress Casual.

Limited seating. Please RSVP at: 206/244-4478 or email [email protected].

Special Guest Speaker will be Pulitzer prize nominee Tom Reese & Eric Wagner, presenting photos from the recently published book “Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish”

  • “Once and Future River” has been called an instant classic” West Seattle Herald
  • “It is fundamentally a book of hope” Denis Hayes, CEO, Bullitt Foundation

The Tukwila School District is sponsoring a ‘Stand Up for Students’ this Friday, Feb. 10:

Come to any of our schools 30 minutes prior to the first bell to show our students that we believe in, care for, and support them. We are one Tukwila, united for all children!

In Tukwila, we rise above the national divisiveness! We find hope in our future! We come together to support what matters most: CHILDREN!

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 10, rain or shine, 30 minutes before the start bell

WHERE: The main entrance of every school

WHY: To celebrate all our children and show that their entire community cares for, believes in, and supports them!

It’s easy: we want to wrap students in a sea of welcome and care to start the day. Pick a school/schools, show up 15 minutes before the first bell, line up around the main entrance. When students arrive, cheer, clap, high-five, wave, dance and HAVE FUN! Signs and baners (“Solidarity 4 Students!” “WE BELIEVE IN YOU!” “Unlimited Potential!” “Tukwila United!”) are highly encouraged!

This week, the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce announced that it is forming a new media and marketing partnership with South King Media, publisher of six award-winning local news websites, including The B-Town (Burien) and Tukwila Blogs.

“South King Media have been dedicated members of our Chamber since 2008, and we’re happy to announce our new partnership,” Andrea H. Reay, CEO/President of the Chamber of Commerce, said.

In addition to The B-Town Blog, South King Media publishes local blogs for Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, Tukwila and White Center. Their combined readership for 2016 exceeded 107,000 Sessions per month, delivering over 275,000 monthly Pageviews (impressions), as reported by Google Analytics.

Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce CEO Andrea Reay.

What does this mean for Chamber members and our community? It means more unfettered access to Chamber events and more extensive media coverage across more platforms. You’ll see more regular news and information shared through a consistent column written by President and Chamber CEO-Andrea H. Reay. You’ll also be able to experience Chamber Luncheons through the popular Facebook Live Video Streaming that South King Media will provide.

“Members will benefit with this partnership because we’ll be able to do more marketing and promotion of our businesses and events,” Reay said. “The community will benefit because they’ll be able to stay more informed and have convenient access to information such as our legislative priority and advocacy work as well as other partnerships we are committed to for advancing our region as a leader in economic development and collective community impact.”

“We are excited to be teaming up with the chamber,” South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer added. “We value the impact that the Chamber continues to have on our local community for both businesses and residents. Since our founding in 2007, we have operated with the mission of promoting and strengthening our communities through independent local journalism. Partnering with the chamber – which shares similar objectives – will only help further that goal.”

South King Media is the leading online media publisher for the chamber’s coverage area, and is managed by Scott and his wife Theresa (pictured, left), who serves as Sales Manager for the independent, local company.

The next Chamber event members and the community are invited to is the annual Business Awards and Recognition Luncheon, coming this Friday, Feb. 10 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton located at 22406 Pacific Highway South in Des Moines. This is an excellent opportunity to join the community celebration and to say thank you to the businesses and individuals in our region that make our Chamber and our community strong and vibrant.  To register and for more information, please visit the Chamber website at or call (206) 575-1633.

Special thanks to our host-Four Points by Sheraton and our event sponsors: BECU, Dollar Rent a Car, Highline College, Louise Strander, Crain Photography and South King Media.

About the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce
The Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization that has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1988.  The mission of the Chamber is to be a leader in Southwest King County and a regional voice and resource for building business success.  The Chamber focuses on business advancement in the region by helping to build and maintain a strong economic environment.

About South King Media
South King Media is a network of six popular Local Blogs in the Southwest King County area that include The B-Town (Burien) Blog, The Waterland Blog (for Des Moines, WA), The SeaTac Blog, White Center Blog, Normandy Park Blog and Tukwila Blog. It is a totally independent “Mom and Pop” internet publishing company that produces award-winning local journalism, email newsletters, podcasts, video production, social media marketing and affordable advertising solutions. More information available at

From new Advertiser Highline Premier Soccer Club:

Highline Premier Soccer Club (HPFC) is a premier soccer program dedicated to providing its surrounding communities a player-centric approach to competing at the highest levels of youth soccer.

HPFC is committed to enabling players from all backgrounds an opportunity to share in “the beautiful game” teaching sportsmanship, mental toughness, self-discipline, team work, and commitment. Our direct goal is to produce well-rounded and skillful players who have the character, discipline, and determination to compete at the highest levels of the sport. As one of the oldest soccer programs in the state, thousands of kids have passed through our program, many having the opportunity to continue their soccer careers at the collegiate level and beyond. With a long-standing history and top level experience, coaches and staff support our players in every part of their development as people, athletes, students, sons, daughters, and friends. Once you are a part of HPFC, you are part of a soccer family with a storied history and the support of their surrounding communities helping to make HPFC the club of choice.

HPFC is excited to kickoff their first session of tryouts for 2017 leading off with High School Boys from February 14-16 at Highline High School stadium. Check out and learn more about this upcoming opportunity as well as additional information on the club and everything it has to offer. All High School boy’s teams are now holding Open Sessions for players who’d like to learn more about HPFC. If you would like to train in an open session or have questions, please visit our tryout page for more details, visit

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce unveiled its brand new logo:

The Seattle Southside Chamber is a non-profit business organization that has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac and Tukwila since 1989.

Here’s what the chamber said in a statement:

“We are proud to unveil the Chamber’s new logo to our members and community. It was important for us to tell our story of the commitment we have with the Regional Tourism Authority, while simultaneously retaining the unique focus and mission of the Chamber.

We chose a diamond to evoke the prosperity and commitment of excellence the Chamber strives to achieve for our members. The movement and the union of the two “C’s” that form the “S” symbolize the balance synergy of serving our business community and our region; while acknowledging our founding principle that we are better and stronger together.”

Learn more about – or join – the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce here:

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the Tukwila School District issued a warning about mumps in the district.

Officials say a student at Foster High School recently recovered from the illness, and is no longer considered contagious.

However, authorities want everyone to be vigilant about mumps; here’s the letter sent out Thursday:

Dear Tukwila School District community,

Public health officials just informed our District Nurse that a student in the Tukwila School District had a recent case of the mumps (or, at the very least, mumps-like symptoms). The student—who attends Foster High and has siblings at Showalter Middle and Thorndyke Elementary—has recovered and is no longer contagious. At this time, health officials are NOT recommending that any children or staff members be kept home from school for safety reasons.

We are notifying community members so that you can be vigilant in case any family members exhibit mumps symptoms, which include fever, headache, and swelling of the cheeks and jaw. If anyone develops these symptoms, please call your healthcare provider right away and tell them your family may have been exposed to the mumps. Your child should be in the clear by early next week, when the incubation period for this particular outbreak will be over.

A letter from Seattle King County Public Health (see below) will be sent home with every student today. If you have questions, contact your health provider.

As always during this cold and flu season, please make sure your children wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs, stay home from school if they are sick, and remain up-to-date on all vaccination recommendations. School nurses just mailed home letters to students who are not in vaccination compliance.

Thank you.

—Sara Niegowski
Director of Communication
Tukwila School District
(206) 901-8036