Photo: David Newman

What’s New

Story Suggestions for Seattle
and Washington State

Spring 2018


Amazon’s The Spheres and The Understory Open Downtown

Amazon’s long-awaited new structure in downtown Seattle, The Spheres, officially opened on January 29, 2018. Drawing from research on workplace environments, the Spheres were designed and built with the intention that “spaces that embrace biophilic design can inspire creativity and even improve brain function.”  The Spheres serve as a collaborative workspace, featuring 40,000 different plants from around the world, meeting spaces, multiple water features, paludariums, and more. While The Spheres themselves are not open to the general public on a regular basis, Amazon will provide opportunities for community members, schools, and universities to experience the structure through tours, field trips, and partnerships. To provide the public a taste of The Spheres, the structure also includes a visitor center on the bottom level called The Understory, which “provides a fully immersive, 360-degree experience where visitors can get up close and personal with the science, engineering, and plants behind The Spheres.” The Understory is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 8 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. More information is available at

Media Contact: Media Hotline; 

Pike Place Market Grows for the First Time in 40 Years

Pike Place Market’s new MarketFront, a .75-acre, 30,000-square-foot public terrace and plaza that expands to the western flank of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, marked its official grand opening June 29, 2017. MarketFront offers panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, space for 47 new day stall tables for farmers, crafters and artists, as well as 12,000-square-feet of commercial and retail space for artisan purveyors and 40 low-income housing units for seniors. The site’s location on the western edge of the market allows future access to the central waterfront development and creates a vital link from the west to the market and downtown Seattle. The site is within the Market Historic District and was part of the Friends of the Market’s original plan for Pike Place Market. The MarketFront completes the district, created in 1971, and connects to the main arcade via the Desimone Bridge.

Media Contact: Emily Crawford, (206) 774-5278;

Wings Over Washington Joins the Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57

Wings Over Washington, one of the most technologically advanced, multi-sensory flying rides, opened to the public in August 2016 at Pier 57 on the Seattle Waterfront. This state-of-the-art “flying theater” transports guests through an aerial adventure high over Washington State. The 20-minute film features views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic National Forest and San Juan Islands, the Cascade Mountains and Snoqualmie Falls, the Tieton River, and the wonders of the Walla Walla Valley Balloon Stampede. Wings Over Washington is the newest attraction at Seattle’s Pier 57, joining the Seattle Great Wheel, and popular eateries including The Crab Pot and the Fisherman’s Restaurant.

Media Contact: Andria Smith,

Museum of Flight Introduces Apollo, The Exhibit

The US vs USSR Space Race of the 1960s was a time of superlatives as the space agencies of each country used their best and their brightest to get one step closer to putting footprints on the Moon. APOLLO, the exhibit, reflects those times with artifacts both towering and diminutive, each with powerful stories of the people behind them. The exhibit is the first public display of the long-lost rocket engines that launched the Apollo astronauts to the Moon. The historic Apollo 12 and 16 F-1 engines that boosted the mighty Saturn V Moon rockets were lost at the bottom of the sea for 43 years until discovered and raised by Seattle-based Bezos Expeditions in 2013. The sunken remains were our last missing links to the first adventures to another world. The aged and sculptural artifacts still show the scars of their service and of resting in the depths. They will now punctuate the Museum’s new exhibit about the dramatic adventure of spaceflight through the post-Apollo ebb in the 1970s. For comparison, a full-scale F-1 rocket engine, on loan from the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, will also be displayed. The exhibit will feature many other unique artifacts from the Space Race, including Moon rocks, a lunar roving “moon buggy,” the only Viking Mars lander on Earth, space suits and the first Apollo command module.

Media Contact: Ted Huetter, (206) 455-5360;

Space Needle’s “Spacelift” To Be Revealed in May

Seattle’s Space Needle, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, is undergoing a 360-degree “spacelift.” The first reveal of the renovations will be on Memorial Day weekend, showcasing a breathtaking, multi-level, floor-to-ceiling glass viewing experience. Safety “cages” are being removed and replaced with eleven-foot-tall, open-air glass panels. With nothing between guests and the view but seamless glass panels and innovative inclined glass benches, visitors will experience the intense feeling of floating on air above the beautiful Seattle landscape. The renovation will include the world’s first and only glass rotating floor, lounge and unique dining experience featuring a never-before-seen downward view of Seattle’s iconic tower from 500 feet in the air. Two observation levels, the highest at 520 feet, will be joined by a dramatic, new, open circular stairway revealing views of the Space Needle’s core structure and elevator operations.

Media Contact: Dave Mandapat, (206) 905-2164;

Center for Wooden Boats to Open New Education Center

Seattle’s Center for Wooden Boats is constructing the Dick and Colleen Wagner Education Center, a 9,200-square-foot building that will consist of a large boat shop, classroom space, gallery space, a visitor center and offices adjacent to the center’s existing South Lake Union site. Completion is expected by spring of 2018.The Center for Wooden Boats, founded in 1976, promotes the Northwest’s small-craft heritage through the preservation of historic craft used in boating lessons, outings and education.

Media Contact: Rebecca Wittman, (206) 382-2628;


Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare Spring – Fall 2018

Seattle Celebrates is an exciting new arts & culture festival, with an estimated 40 theatre, dance, music and film companies expected to participate in 2018.  Organizations across a variety of mediums, ranging from symphony and ballet to jazz, film and musical theater, unite to present works on a single theme. This remarkable collaboration showcases Seattle’s incredibly rich cultural landscape and defines it as one of the premiere arts destinations in the country. The great William Shakespeare is universally considered to be one of the greatest storytellers in history. His works remain timeless, with fully-fledged productions of his original plays being performed in their entirety in cities and communities around the world to this day. His work has also inspired and continues to inspire countless artists to retell his stories in fresh and exciting ways, whether through music, dance, film or theater. With the enduring work of the Bard as the central theme for this year’s Seattle Celebrates festival, a huge variety of Seattle’s incredible arts and culture organizations are able to participate.

Beyond the Frame from February – December 2018 

This regional project uses the world-renowned photos of Seattleite Edward S. Curtis as a launch pad for conversations about Native American perspectives and identity. Between February and December 2018, more than 20 museums, Native cultural centers, libraries and other organizations — centered in Seattle but reaching from Tulalip to Tacoma — will be staging exhibits and events connected to the images Curtis made of Native people in the early 20th century. At you can plan a day of art, regional history and more that includes Beyond the Frame exhibits, as well as historic Native landmarks and contemporary Native events.

MoPOP Welcomes the Return of Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses

Following a hugely successful 6+ month run in Brazil, one of MoPOP’s most popular exhibitions of all time reopened in March 2018 in Seattle, with new enhancements. Explore the world’s most extensive exhibition of memorabilia celebrating the music and history of Seattle rock luminaries Nirvana through more than 200 rare artifacts, photographs, and oral histories. The exhibition features instruments like Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, Krist Novoselić’s Hiwatt DR103 bass amplifier head, and Dave Grohl’s Tama Rockstar-Pro drum kit. In addition, a diverse set of objects like the casting call flier for the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video will be on display. Steve Fisk’s ambient soundtrack can be heard as fans move through the exhibition.


Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture will welcome the largest exhibit ever staged at MoPOP in 2018. Organized by the Museum of Pop Culture, SC Exhibitions and Marvel Entertainment, Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will feature more than 300 original artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props, many of which have never-before been seen by the public. The exhibition will tell the Marvel story through comics, film and other media, taking place as it celebrates 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ahead of the 80th anniversary in 2019.  The exhibition will trace the story of the company and its influence on visual culture – including how it’s responded to historical events and addressed wider issues such as gender, race and mental illness – as well as uncovering the narratives of individual characters such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange. Immersive set pieces will bring the comic book world to life, and the exhibition will be accompanied by an immersive soundscape created by acclaimed composers Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer. April 21, 2018-January 6, 2019.

New Nordic Museum Opening May 5, 2018

Seattle has the distinction of having the only museum in the United States devoted to the culture and history of the five Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.  In May of 2018, the brand new Nordic Museum will open to the public with a month of Grand Opening and Nordic Seattle celebrations.  The new 60,000 square foot museum and cultural center is located in the heart of Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and will offer expanded exhibition and program spaces as a landmark destination for Nordic culture in the United States. Previously housed in a 1907 building rented from the Seattle School District, the new museum, designed by Mithun architects, will allow the museum to showcase a much broader range of the Nordic experience. 

Media Contact: (206) 789-5707;

Seattle Awarded UNESCO Creative City Designation as a City of Literature

Seattle is proud to be among 64 newly designated Creative Cities from 44 countries in seven disciplines, and to be only the second US City (along with Iowa City) to be designated a UNESCO Creative City in Literature. Seattle’s award recognizes the depth and breadth of the city’s literary community. The UNESCO World Cities program aims to build peaceful relationships between people through culture and education. While differing geographically, demographically or economically, all Creative Cities commit to develop and exchange innovative best practices to promote creative industries, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies.

New Creative City Guides Show the City from an Artist’s Perspective

This brand new free publication from Visit Seattle tells the story of a city noted for its creativity from the point of view of 21 artists who live and work here.  From beloved KEXP DJ John Richards to award-winning filmmaker Megan Griffiths, a group of poets, actors, dancers, musicians and more share their favorite places in the city they call home.

Media Contact: Tracey Wickersham, (206) 461-5812;

Upstream Music Fest + Summit Returns June 1-3, 2018

The second annual three-day music festival and summit returns to Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood June 1-3, 2018. Founded by philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen in 2017, Upstream curates a walkable mixtape showcasing artists from the Pacific Northwest (65%), the West Coast (75%) and beyond. This year, Upstream’s Summit has partnered with the Recording Academy Pacific Northwest Chapter, which will feature sessions focusing on the most pressing opportunities and challenges facing artist and music industry professionals today.


This year’s Fest offers the chance to discover more than 200 artists playing unique venues across Pioneer Square. Main stage performers include Jawbreaker, Hot Snakes, Miguel, The Flaming Lips, Cut Copy, Little Dragon, SUPERDUPERKYLE, Zola Jesus, Tacocat and a selection of other powerhouse performers. Upstream’s many club venues offer fans the opportunity to see their favorites up close and personal, including Sol, Smino, BJ The Chicago Kid, Kamaiyah, Mirah, Murder City Devils, Great Grandpa, The Helio Sequence, and Maps & Atlases. From iconic clubs to some surprising converted spaces, this diversity of performance experience and opportunity for music discovery sets Upstream apart from the typical music festival.

Seattle Art Fair to Take Place August 2-5, 2018

Seattle Art Fair has quickly become known as a one-of-a-kind destination for the best in modern and contemporary art and a showcase for the vibrant arts community of the Pacific Northwest. Based in Seattle, a city as renowned for its natural beauty as its cultural landscape, the fair brings together the region’s strong collector base; local, national, and international galleries; area museums and institutions; and an array of innovative public programming. The third edition of the fair (2017) was the largest and best attended to date, with 100 exhibitors and 22,500 guests throughout the weekend. The Seattle Art Fair was founded by Paul G. Allen and is co-produced by Allen’s Vulcan Inc. and Art Market Productions.

Pearl Jam #TheHomeShows

100,000 worldwide fans will flock to Seattle for “The Home Shows” — two headlining Pearl Jam shows at Safeco Field to take place on August 8 & 10. In addition to bringing nearly 100,000 fans from around the world together, The Home Shows will spotlight efforts across the city and King County to address the region’s homelessness issue. To that end, Pearl Jam is pledging a minimum of $1 million toward local homelessness initiatives and is challenging others in the community to join them. This will be Pearl Jam’s first concert in Seattle in 5 years, and the largest headlining shows in Seattle since the Rolling Stones played two nights in the Kingdome in 1981.

SODO Track Expands for Year 3 in 2018

Over 3 years, 2 miles along the light rail and busway that runs between the City of Seattle and SeaTac airport is being transformed into an artistic portal to the city for the more than 50,000 riders who travel this route every day.  More than 50 artists, from local to international, are changing 32 large scale walls into huge mural works of art.  2018 will be the final phase in creating this incredible art project.

Sleepless in Seattle Turns 25

The movie that inspired innumerable trips to Seattle, and countless fantasies of living on a houseboat celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018.  Stay tuned for special Seattle celebrations ahead.

Pacific Northwest is the US Epicenter of Glass Art

A recent study conducted by the Glass Art Society of America and Chihuly Garden and Glass aspired to answer the question, “What is the current state of glass art in America?” The two organizations, in collaboration with GMA Research, partnered to conduct a comprehensive study to gauge public interest in glass art, explore the activity taking place in different regions renowned for glass art, and provide a benchmark by which to measure future growth and trends in the industry. The Pacific Northwest is both perceived to be, and is the actual leading regional hub for glass in the US. Stay tuned for plans for a new Glass Art Festival to support this important creative economy of the PNW.

Seattle Opera at the Center Coming in 2018

Seattle Opera is building a new civic home, adjacent to Marion Oliver McCaw Hall on the Seattle Center campus, where opera will be unlocked for all. This building is so much more than an administrative facility – it will house dedicated space for rehearsals, artistic production, education, and community engagement, welcoming more people than ever before to experience the joy of opera.

Borealis Festival of Light

Based at the Museum of History and Industry on Lake Union, a new world of light and color will encompass South Lake Union for five nights, showcasing an international video mapping presentation and light art installations from Northwest and international artists. A kaleidoscope of light, color and illusion will transform the South Lake Union neighborhood with a walking tour of art installations, embellished with performances and music. The Borealis Festival of Light will bring together artists and the technological. These events are free to the public and open to all ages.

Destination Moon:  Museum of Flight, Summer 2019

The Museum of Flight will host key space artifacts from The Smithsonian Institution featuring Apollo 11’s moon ship during the 50th anniversary of the historic mission.  Seattle is the last stop on the four-city, two-year tour for “Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission.”   Houston, St. Louis and Pittsburgh may get earlier looks at the 20 or so artifacts from humanity’s first moon landing, but Seattle will be the host on the actual 50th anniversary date:  July 20, 2019. “It’s going to be incredibly exciting to be in Seattle and looking back at the 50th anniversary, but also looking forward and celebrating everything that’s happening in spaceflight today,” said Kathrin Halpern, project director for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, or SITES.

The National Air and Space Museum have been working on “Destination Moon” since mid-2014. The project is possible due to a renovation and preparation for a permanent “Destination Moon” exhibit in DC. That exhibit is scheduled to open at the Air and Space Museum in 2020.  Touring the Apollo artifacts will ensure that they’re on display during a prime period for celebrating space history.

Beep Beep – Construction Zone

Seattle’s Town Hall civic and performance center is currently closed for a massive upgrade/remodel and slated to open in late 2018. A new Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture is being built and will open in 2019, and Seattle Asian Art Museum is also currently closed for renovation and expansion, to open in 2019. More info to follow as it becomes available.

Museum of History & Industry Showcases the Works of Seattle Photographer Al Smith

The Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) will put on view an exhibition of legendary Seattle photographer Al Smith. Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith is on display now through June 17, 2018 and illustrates how Smith used photography to document the African-American community in the Pacific Northwest during the mid-20th century. A retrospective of Smith’s work, the exhibition draws on the finest examples for more than 40,000 photographs donated by his family. These irreplaceable works serve as unique examples of capturing history through lens, film and flashbulb.

Media Contact: Wendy Malloy, (206) 324-1126 ext. 150;

Seattle Aquarium Plans 50,000 Square Foot Addition

LMN Architects is planning a $100 million design for a 50,000-square-foot expansion to the aquarium. There will be an additional wing, enabling the aquarium to boost capacity. The new pavilion will be able to host new exhibits that include a 350,000-gallon warm water tank, and a gathering space that will hold up to 200 people. The space will also offer a more hands-on, interactive experience. Expansion construction is to be finished by 2023.

Media Contact: Tim Kuniholm, (206) 386-4345;

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes Exhibit to Premiere at MoPOP in 2018

World’s first and most extensive exhibition celebrating Marvel’s visual and cultural impact will premiere at Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture in April 2018. Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes will feature more than 300 original artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props, many of which have never-before been seen by the public. These will be displayed in a major retrospective at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle, opening on April 21, 2018. The exhibition will tell the Marvel story through comics, film and other media, taking place as it celebrates 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ahead of the 80th anniversary in 2019.

Media Contact: Tracey Wickersham, (206) 461-5812;

Will Return February 2019

Seattle Museum Month

The fifth annual iteration of this popular program will take place throughout February 2019.  All guests staying in one of dozens of participating downtown Seattle hotels from February 1-28 will receive a Seattle Museum Month pass, entitling the holder (up to 4 people staying in the hotel) to 50% admission at participating museums.  With 40 participating museums in Seattle and the region, the savings – and fun — are practically endless. Enjoy Seattle Art Museum, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Museum of Pop Culture, The Museum of Flight, Tacoma Art Museum, The Wing Luke Museum, Museum of Glass, Seattle Pinball Museum and more!

As always, there are thousands of arts and cultural programs and events in Seattle every year.  Learn more at and

For more information about any of the above:  Tracey Wickersham, Director of Cultural Tourism, Visit Seattle,, 206 461-5812.


Seattle’s Upcoming NHL Team Names Tod Leiweke CEO

Seattle eagerly awaits the start of its first National Hockey League team, expected to begin play in the 2020-21 season. While still pending final approval from the NHL, the initial season ticket drive exceeded expectations with more than 25,000 tickets sold in an hour. During a press conference at Seattle Center April 11, Tod Leiweke was introduced as the CEO and president of the franchise, partnering with David Bonderman, billionaire, and Jerry Bruckheimer, Hollywood producer. Leiweke is a Seattle native and previously served as chief operating officer of the NFL. The new team’s home will be Key Arena at Seattle Center which is currently undergoing a $660 million renovation.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Arrives in Seattle April 2018

In April 2018, Seattle will welcome all Clipper Round the World yachts, including Visit Seattle’s Yacht, as they enter the Puget Sound and the Port of Seattle’s Bell Harbor Marina from Qingdao, China before heading to Panama. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the only event of its kind for amateur sailors. Approximately 40 percent of the crewmembers are novices and have never sailed prior to completing their comprehensive training program ahead of their adventure. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which has Unicef as the official Charity Partner, is the world’s greatest ocean adventure and regarded as one of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet. The race spans 40,000 nautical miles, takes almost a year to complete and consists of 12 teams competing against each other on the world’s largest matched fleet of ocean-racing yachts. Follow along at

Media Contact: Kevin Ticen, (206) 461-5803;

Special Olympics Coming to Seattle

The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be held throughout Seattle, July 1-6, 2018. More than 4,000 athletes and coaches from all over the country will compete in 14 familiar individual and team Olympic sports at various venues across the Seattle area including the University of Washington, Celebration Park, Kenmore Lanes, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle University, Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center and Willows Run Golf Club.

Media Contact: Navreet Gill, (206) 900-9490;


Seattle Restaurants and Chefs Nominated for James Beard Award

The 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the James Beard Award were recently announced, with numerous Seattle and Washington State restaurants and chefs featured prominently among them. The nominations include: JuneBaby for Best New Restaurant; Evan Andres for Outstanding Baker at Columbia City Bakery; Canon Seattle for Outstanding Bar Program; Renee Erickson, Holly Dinning Smith, and Blaine Wetzel for Outstanding Chef; Canlis for Outstanding Restaurant; Ethan Stowell and Angela Dunleavy Stowell for Outstanding Restaurateur; Wild Ginger Seattle for Outstanding Wine Program; Shota Nakajima, Jared Blackinton and Maximillian Petty for Rising Star Chef of the Year; and for Best Chef Northwest: Eric Donnelly, Edouardo Jordan, Taichi Kitamura, Opus Co. Restaurant’s Mark Schroder, Mutsuko Soma and Rachel Yang and Seif. Award winners will be announced at this year’s James Beard Awards Gala, to be held in Chicago on May 7.

Canlis, 2017 James Beard Award Winner for Outstanding Wine Program

As one of Washington’s finest dining establishments, Canlis won its first James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Program. In the award for “Best Wine Program,” James Beard’s criteria are “a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine.”  Canlis boasts an 88-page wine list and has trained four Master Sommeliers and nine advanced sommeliers. This was Canlis’ tenth nomination, and first time winning.

900 Wineries and Counting

Washington is the nation’s second-largest producer of premium wines and boasts more 900 wineries across 14 American Vitacultural Areas (AVAs). Some 350 wine grape growers produce more than 70 wine grape varieties – a ratio of about 49 percent white and 51 percent red. Seattle’s urban wine scene is also taking off with numerous tasting rooms just south of downtown Seattle.  And just 30 minutes from Seattle, in Woodinville, there are more than 130 wineries and tasting rooms to experience and enjoy.

Media Contact: Averyl Dunn, (206) 295-5763;


Scheduled Openings

The Charter Hotel – Curio Collection by Hilton

Opening July 2018, The Charter Hotel will be located at Stewart St. and Second Ave. near Pike Place Market.  The 229-room hotel will feature a 2,500 square-foot fitness center, Patagon, an Argentinian restaurant, and Fog Room, an exclusive rooftop lounge.

The State Hotel to Open at Second & Pike

Set to open in June 2018, The State Hotel will open in the historic Eitel Building adjacent to Pike Place Market. The 90-room building will feature an 8th floor rooftop terrace overlooking the Market, as well as gathering spaces to connect and socialize. The hotel is owned by Lake Union Partners and will be run by Columbia Hospitality, both Seattle-based companies.

Hilton Garden Inn Seattle/Bellevue Downtown

Hilton will open a new Garden Inn located in Bellevue, just a few blocks from the central shopping district. The 254-room hotel will feature complimentary WiFi, flexible meeting space for up to 100 guests, an on-site restaurant and bar, an indoor heated pool and a 24-hour fitness center. The hotel is anticipated to open in June 2018.

EVEN Hotel & Staybridge Suites to Open Spring 2018

Both the EVEN Hotel and Staybridge Suites will open in South Lake Union, in side-by-side properties. The EVEN Hotel will feature 123 guest rooms, and Staybridge Suites will offer 112 suites. They will share Cork & Kale, a bar and lounge area, a grab-and-go breakfast bar, and an outdoor patio and seating area.

New Hyatt Regency will be Seattle’s Largest Hotel

Seattle developer R.C. Hedreen Co. entered into a management agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation for its new headquarters hotel currently being developed in downtown Seattle. The 1,260-room Hyatt Regency hotel will be Seattle’s largest hotel and one of the biggest on the West Coast when completed in fall of 2018. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle between Stewart and Howell streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues, the premium, full service hotel will be two blocks north of the existing Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) and adjacent to a planned addition of the convention center. The 45-story Hyatt Regency Seattle will include more than 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting and ballroom space and is expected to enliven the surrounding pedestrian streetscape and growing convention neighborhood.

Updates & Renovations

Sheraton Seattle Hotel Undergoes Renovations

Expected to be completed by Spring 2018, Sheraton Seattle Hotel is currently undergoing a $53MM refresh of all 1,236 guest rooms and common spaces. Sheraton Seattle Hotel is located directly across the street from Washington State Convention Center (WSCC).

Loews Hotel 1000 Completes Renovations Fall 2017

Loews Hotel 1000 completed a multi-million-dollar renovation in November 2017, focused on the overall guest experience by updating guest rooms, meeting space, lobby and restaurant. The design juxtaposes the nature surrounding the city, and the city itself. The renovation switched restaurants from Boka to All Water Seafood and Oyster Bar.

Media Contact: Sarah Moran;

Seattle Marriott Waterfront Opens All-New M Club Lounge

Following its recent opening this summer, new M Club Lounge at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront opened in October 2017, overlooking Elliott Bay. Located on the first floor with indoor and outdoor seating, it is an elevated space for Elite Gold and Platinum Members. There is also a private outdoor patio overlooking the waterfront.

Motif Seattle Completes Renovations Summer 2017

Motif Seattle underwent a $10 million redesign of their 319 guest rooms, with renovations including an investment in local art pieces. The new design is a platform for Motif’s Visiting Artist Program where they collaborate with a local artist to design a new motif, which is reflected in the hotel’s stationary, envelopes, guest amenities and more. The new interiors in guest rooms were also designed locally by Seattle design and architecture firm Degen and Degen.

Hotel Monaco Reopens Sazerac Restaurant with New Name and Concept

The 20-year-old, New Orleans-themed Sazerac restaurant at Hotel Monaco reopened as Outlier in March 2017. Led by Executive Chef Shawn Applin, Outlier’s menu features shareable, seasonally-driven global fare, such as Dungeness crab-stuffed pasta, brick oven pizzas, and black Chile roasted chicken, designed to be paired with cocktails or local brews. The interior has been decorated to reflect fern bars of the 1970s, complete with a newly built back patio space.

Media Contact: Margo Helgen, (206) 516-5049;

Seattle’s Historic Mayflower Park Hotel Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

First opened on July 16, 1927, the Mayflower Park Hotel is Seattle’s longest continuously running hotel and celebrated its 90th birthday in 2017. On September 29, 2017, the Historic Hotel Awards of Excellence announced the Mayflower Park Hotel as the best Historic Hotel of 2017.

Media Contact: Stacia Williams, (206) 382-6991; 

Now Open

Flagship Embassy Suites Opened March 28, 2018 in Pioneer Square

The newest all-suite hotel in the Hilton family offers 282 rooms, a flexible 7,433 square foot ballroom, outdoor event terrace, indoor pool, and more. The hotel is located in Pioneer Square, and is near the stadiums, Pike Place Market, and other major Seattle attractions.

New Marriott Hotel Concept Now Open

Marriott International rolled out a new hotel and hotel concept near the new Amazon headquarters in Seattle. Moxy is now open at 1016 Republican St. and is among the first properties in the new brand to open in several U.S. markets, including Seattle and San Francisco. The boutique hotel has 146 smaller-than-normal rooms and is described as “spirited and fun”.

Residence Inn by Marriott Opened December 1, 2017

The 15-story, 302-room Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown’s Denny Triangle neighborhood opened December 1, 2017. The new hotel is located at Howell Street and 9th Avenue, across the street from the Washington State Convention Center Additional Facility.

Hotel Theodore (né Roosevelt) Opened November 1, 2017

Portland-based Provenance Hotels opened the 151-room Hotel Theodore at Seventh and Pine Street in downtown Seattle in November 2017. Occupying the landmark 1929 building, currently known and operating as the Roosevelt Hotel, the new hotel name is inspired by President Theodore Roosevelt and showcases a collection of works that honor Seattle’s pioneering spirit. Meeting space of 2,415 square feet is offered.

Media Contact: Kate Buska, Providence Hotels, (503) 548-9399;

Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Downtown Now Open

Just steps from the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) and the upcoming Additional Facility, the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Downtown is also close to downtown restaurants, shops and attractions. The hotel has 222 well-appointed guest rooms, three meeting rooms (2,000 square feet total) and a saltwater swimming pool.

Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle’s Southport Opened 2017

Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Washington with views of the Seattle skyline and Olympic Mountain Range, this new hotel offers 347 guest rooms and two gorgeous waterfront ballrooms as part of 60,000 square feet of total indoor and outdoor meeting space.

AC by Marriott Opened August 2017

Designed for entrepreneurial and creative travelers, the 234-room AC Hotel Seattle Bellevue Downtown opened in August at 208 106th Place N.E. in Bellevue, WA, just five miles east of Seattle. Boasting “Spanish roots, European soul, and a global mindset”, the hotel includes a bar and lounge, open for breakfast, tapas, and cocktails.

W Bellevue Opened Summer 2017

W Hotels, a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, opened a 245-room hotel, also in Bellevue. The new property is located in the Lincoln Square development amid a thriving retail and entertainment district. The hotel occupies the first 13 floors of the 41-story tower, with 231 apartments on the next 28 floors. Some 180,000 square feet of retail will contribute to a $1.2 billion expansion of the Bellevue Collection. The 424-room W Seattle opened in downtown Seattle in 1999 and completed a renovation in 2016.


Convention Center (WSCC) Plans Additional Facility

The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) continues to undertake feasibility studies and work on an environmental impact study for an additional convention facility at the King County-owned Metro Transit station, one block from the existing WSCC facility. This site, augmented by certain adjacent properties, could yield an additional facility to the existing WSCC – one large enough to successfully attract the size of national conventions that want to come to Seattle. Seattle’s Pine Street Group has been selected as project manager; together with LMN Architects, they are working on design development for the program spaces and permit approvals. The general contractor is Clark/Lewis, a joint venture of Clark Construction and Lease Crutcher Lewis. The overall development is currently envisioned with up to 255,000 square feet of heavy-load exhibition space on two levels, 120,000 square feet of meeting rooms, a full service kitchen and 60,000 square feet of ballroom, freight loading and support space. If the signs remain positive, project construction groundbreaking is anticipated to start Q2 of 2018, with projected opening in 2021. 

Illuminating Public Art at the Washington State Convention Center

The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) has partnered with a new mobile app STQRY (“pronounced “story”) to showcase its popular public art collection of over 100 works on display. STQRY provides a novel, interactive way for visitors to actively engage with arts, culture, science, and other attractions in their area, and the WSCC is the first convention center to be featured on the app. Using STQRY on a mobile device, visitors can easily locate and explore sculpture, paintings, multimedia, and other works on display at WSCC. Other organizations participating with STQRY include many of WSCC’s art partners such artists, museums, galleries, corporations, foundations, private collectors and the government.

Streetscaping Along Washington State Convention Center Evokes Northwest Woodlands

As part of the Pike/Pine corridor renovation project, the Washington State Convention Center is beautifying the sidewalk along the Pike Street entrance to the building. The addition of high Cascade granite boulders and a vast selection of trees and plants, including Coast Redwood, Sword Fern, Azalea, Wood’s Rose, Wild Ginger, Sweet Woodruff, Trillium, Creeping Mahonia, and Fragrant Sweet Box, among others, are designed to create a stunning aesthetic as well as a safe walking path for pedestrians. A complete lighting upgrade along Pike and Eighth improves visibility for foot traffic. The large scale planters ringed with boulders coupled with giant coniferous trees and understory plants complement cascading granite pavers to evoke a walk in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.


Ethan Stowell Joins Holland America Cruise Line’s Culinary Council

Joining a group of six other world-renowned chefs, Ethan Stowell will contribute his culinary expertise to Holland America’s Alaska-bound cruises, adding unique flavors from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to the overall dining experience on board. Several dining venues will feature Stowell’s menu items, including New York Pizza, and the Distant Lands Italian Station in Lido Market. Stowell will also be designing an appetizer and main course that will be offered on the Culinary Council menu in the main dining room. Stowell brings years of experience and passion to this new partnership as the executive chef and owner of Ethan Stowell Restuarants in Seattle.

Media Contact: Sally Andrews, (800) 637-5029;

Port of Seattle Has Biggest Cruise Season to Date

The Port of Seattle recorded 1,071,594 revenue passengers through its cruise terminals in 2017 and expects to surpass this in 2018. Each cruise vessel is estimated to bring in $2.7 million for the local economy, bringing total revenue to the region to over $500 million. The Port saw a nine percent increase in cruise passengers in 2017. Some 3,700 regional jobs are sustained by the local cruise industry. Seattle Homeport cruise lines in 2017 include Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

Media Contact: Peter McGraw, (206) 787-3446;

Norwegian Bliss Comes to Seattle Home Port in 2018, will be the largest Cruise Vessel on the West Coast

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and the Port of Seattle announced that NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, will offer seven-day Alaskan cruises from Seattle’s Pier 66 beginning in 2018. The 4,000-passenger Bliss will be the largest cruise vessel on the West Coast and in NCL’s tradition of decorating ship hulls with signature art, the Bliss will feature art from noted wildlife artist Wyland.


Clipper Vacations Introduces Brand-New Vessel

Starting March 9, Clipper Vacations will add a brand-new vessel to their schedule, the Victoria Clipper V, which will replace the retiring Victoria Clippers I and IV. This newest vessel can travel up to 36 knots, which will maintain a travel time of 2 hours and 45 minutes from Seattle to Victoria, and back. The vessel carries 440 passengers and offers both Economy and Comfort Class (a $20 USD upgrade per segment of travel). Comfort Class provides priority boarding, a private cabin, and complimentary coffee, tea, fruit and snacks. Also available onboard are gifts and duty-free shopping options, as well as food and beverages for purchase.

Media Contact: Scott Meis, (206) 443-2560;

Seattle’s Light Rail System Expands

The University Link extension to Sound Transit’s Link light rail opened March 19, 2016. The 3.1-mile extension includes two new stations in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and at the University of Washington, near Husky Stadium. The University Link extension connects the already 15.6-miles of Link light rail that opened in 2009. Passengers can ride from the University of Washington to downtown Seattle in less than eight minutes, and to Sea-Tac International Airport in less than an hour. This project serves the three largest urban centers in the state of Washington – downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University District – bypassing some of the region’s most congested traffic.

Riding Sound Transit’s Link light rail to Sea-Tac International Airport became easier than ever in September 2015. Sound Transit added more trains at peak travel hours to accommodate commuters and guests, with trains now arriving every six minutes between 6:00-8:30 a.m. and 3:00- 6:30 p.m. Trains will continue to arrive at stations approximately every 10 minutes most other hours.

Media Contact: Bruce Gray, Sound Transit, (206) 398-5069;


More Dining and Retail Options Coming to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

In February, the Port of Seattle announced that several new dining options will be added to their current offerings at Sea-Tac, including Floret by Café Flora and Qdoba. At least eight more options will be added throughout the year, including Starbucks Evenings, Rel’Lish Burger Lounge, Papa Woody’s, Stone House Café, Camdenfoodco., Le Grand Comptoir, Capitol Hill Food Hall, and Ballard Brew Hall. In 2019 and 2020, additional local brands will open their doors as well, with Skillet, Sunset Fried Chicken and Caffé D’arte joining the dining choices, and Filson and Elliot Bay Books contributing to additional retail selections. This growth is to support the North Satellite Modernization development project underway, and the new International Arrivals Facility.

Media Contact: Perry Cooper, Sea-Tac Airport, (206) 787-4923;

Delta Adds New Flights from Seattle to Vancouver, BC

Starting summer 2018 Delta Air Lines will add a new route from Seattle to Vancouver BC, this flight will be served daily by Boeing 737-800. 

Thomas Cook Airlines to Launch Flights to Manchester

On May 27, 2018, Thomas Cook Airlines will launch direct seasonal flights to Manchester from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The service will operate twice a week, adding to the expanded Seattle flight offerings by sister airline, Condor, and a mileage plan deal with Alaska Air Group.

Air France to Service Nonstop Flight from Seattle to Paris

Starting March 25, 2018, Air France will launch up to five weekly nonstop service flights between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The new flight is in addition to the daily Paris flight as a joint venture with Delta Air Lines.

Aeromexico Now Offering Nonstop Flights to Mexico City

Beginning November 1, 2017, AeroMexico, an affiliate of Delta Air Lines, began operating daily nonstop flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Mexico City. These new flights are part of an evolving partnership between AeroMexico and Delta, introduced during a series of new services and expansion.

Port of Seattle Welcomes Norwegian service to London – Gatwick

In September 2017, Norwegian airline began service from London’s Gatwick International Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The new flight reflects the expansion of Norwegian to the United States as well as Sea-Tac’s continual international growth.

Eurowings to Offer Flights from Seattle to Cologne

In July 2017, Eurowings launched seasonal flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Cologne, Germany. Eurowings will fly three times a week from July until the end of October 2017, Seattle being one of Eurowings’ four U.S. destinations.

Delta Air Lines Launches Daily Service Between Seattle and Chicago 

On June 19, 2017, Delta Air Lines began operating three daily flights from Sea-Tac International Airport to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The new service reflects the growth of Delta’s Pacific Northwest hub, which serves Seattle customers with more than 160 daily flight options to 50 global destinations this summer.   

Condor to Offer New Munich Service

Condor Airlines inaugurates new service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Munich, Germany in July 2017. This adds to Condor’s service expansion from Sea-Tac, which recently extended existing Frankfurt service to year-round flights. Sea-Tac has become Condor’s largest U.S. gateway along with Las Vegas. The Seattle to Munich flights will be Sea-Tac’s only nonstop connection to Munich.

Virgin Atlantic to Launch New Nonstop Seattle Service

Virgin Atlantic Airways began nonstop service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and London-Heathrow March 26, 2017, replacing the existing service offered by its joint venture partner Delta Air Lines. The new service uses a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Sees Record Growth

For the seventh straight year, passenger traffic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) increased in 2017. With a record-setting 46.9 million overall travelers, Sea-Tac passenger levels increased 41 percent in the last five years, up from 33.2 million passengers in 2012, according to the Port of Seattle. Sea-Tac is considered the ninth busiest airport in the U.S.

International traffic continues to grow at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, up 5.4 percent in 2017, which included a 17.1 percent increase in traffic to Europe. Four new international airlines were added in 2017: Virgin Atlantic to London-Heathrow, Norwegian to London-Gatwick, Eurowings to Cologne, and Aeromexico to Mexico City. Three more will be added in 2018: Air France to Paris, Thomas Cook to Manchester, and Aer Lingus to Dublin.

Seattle Airport Infrastructure Growth Continues

Airport projects over the next five years total $1.9 billion, including renovation and expansion of the north satellite, a new International Arrivals Facility, a new centralized, high-efficiency baggage system, and the reconstruction of the center runway (completed in December 2015). Airport officials are considering up to $10 billion on future facility upgrades as part of a Sustainable Airport Master Plan, including an estimated 35 additional gates.

A $636 million modernization of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport’s North Satellite will include eight new gates with a 240-foot extension of the building to the west, add an upper level mezzanine, more than double the existing dining and retail square footage and offer a rooftop Alaska Airlines lounge with views of the Olympic Mountains. Groundbreaking took place in the first quarter of 2017 with phase one to be completed in 2019 and the full facility upgrade opening in 2021. The project represents an unprecedented working arrangement between the Port of Seattle, which operates the airport, and Alaska Airlines, Sea-Tac’s largest airline and the sole tenant of the North Satellite.





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