Photo: David Newman

What’s New

Story Suggestions for Seattle and Washington State

Fall 2015



Pike Place Market Grows for the First Time in 40 Years

Ground is broken on a new “Marketfront,” a .75-acre, 30,000-square-foot public terrace and plaza that will expand the western flank of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. When open in 2016, the new Marketfront will open panoramic views of Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains, create 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 will provide future access to the central waterfront development and create 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 will complete the district, created in 1971, and will connect to the main arcade via the Desimone Bridge.

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

Museum of Flight Plans Massive Aviation Pavilion

The Museum of Flight’s Aviation $31 million aviation pavilion is underway. When complete in spring 2016, the structure will extend the length of two football fields and enclose more than 20 commercial and military airplanes, including the original Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet, the 787 Dreamliner, Air Force One, the Concorde airliner and the B-17, B-29 and B-47 bombers. The museum will open an exhibit spotlighting the aircraft under the new pavilion later that summer. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, the Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world and its collection includes more than 160 historically significant airplanes and spacecraft, from the first fighter plane (1914) to the world’s only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The museum also features the original Boeing Company factory (red barn).

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

Chihuly Garden and Glass Joins Seattle CityPASS

CityPASS has joined forces with Chihuly Garden and Glass in its Seattle CityPASS attraction book, effective March 1, 2015. Chihuly Garden and Glass joins other great Seattle attractions such as the Space Needle, Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour, Seattle Aquarium, and two option tickets with the choice of visiting EMP Museum or Woodland Park Zoo and the choice of visiting the Pacific Science Center or Chihuly Garden and Glass. Adult Seattle CityPASS books are $69, while youth passes (ages 4-12) are $49. The collection of passes saves 50 percent of what each ticket would cost if it was purchased separately. Seattle CityPASS may be purchased at any of the included attractions or online at

Media contact: Tin Bui, Seattle CityPass; (503) 292-4418.

EverGreen Escapes Opens New Adventure Hub & Winery

EverGreen Escapes, Elsom Cellars and Kaf Adventures have joined together to create a place for inspired travel and wine, just south of downtown Seattle. The new Adventure Hub & Winery, opened March 26, features adventure travel presentations, live music and special events. It is also be a place to enjoy a glass of wine or read guide books, check outdoor conditions, plan or book customized guided experiences, hiking, backpacking or yoga activities, take mountaineering classes, or rent backpacking, camping, snow and mountaineering equipment . The venue is also available for private events. Learn more at

Media Contact: Brian Cant, Tartan Group, (250) 592.3838;

Space Needle Launches New Digital Experiences for Visitors

Built for the 1962 Age of Space World’s Fair as a symbol of the future, the Seattle Space Needle continues its legacy of innovation and creativity by offering new digital and mobile experiences for visitors. At 520 feet above the city, visitors typically gaze over downtown Seattle and plan their next stop in town. With the new Space Needle mobile app and digital kiosks like the 520 Teleporter and touchscreen SkyPad, guests can transport to a different attraction in Seattle offering alternate views and learn more about key sights in town. The new kiosks can transport visitors onto the field with the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field or climb aboard one of the famous houseboats on Lake Union. Guests can come away with more historical knowledge as well as digital photos personalized to their like. Additional elements of the new technology will continue to roll out over the coming months. Individual tickets to the Space Needle may be purchased or Seattle CityPass offers a booklet of attraction passes at a discounted price. Download the app at

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

Seattle Takes Ghost Hunting to New Lows

Bill Speidel Enterprises Inc., proprietor of Seattle’s popular Underground Tour, unveiled the Underground Paranormal Experience tour in 2014. The new tour takes ghost-hunting visitors below the streets of Seattle where hauntings have been reported. The 90-minute tour outfits its guests with electromagnetic field detectors and electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) recorders to provide the full effect.

Media Contact: Nicole Newbury, (206) 682-4646.

New Food Tasting Tours Feature Pioneer Square and Alki Beach

Taste Seattle now offers seasonal food tours of two popular Seattle neighborhoods. The Historical Pioneer Square Food & Cultural Walking Tour is a three-hour, guided tour of Seattle’s historic district and one of its up-and-coming culinary destinations. The tour features seven local tasting locations and more than 20 unique tastes, complimentary wine and sake sips and introductions to several local shop owners and artisans. The Beach, Bikes & Bites Tour offers a three-hour, guided bicycle tour of Alki Beach in West Seattle. The tour includes five local tasting locations, eight tastes and more. Learn more at


Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop Exhibit Runs through Spring

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) presents The History of Seattle Hip-Hop, September 19, 2015 – May 1, 2016. Curated by Seattle natives Jazmyn Scott (The Town Entertainment) and Aaron Walker-Loud (Big World Breaks), this interactive exhibit immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of Seattle’s growing Hip-Hop culture through audio recordings, photography, artwork, artifacts, and more. The exhibit explores many facets of the Seattle Hip-Hop scene, including graffiti, deejaying, break dancing, production, and emceeing, linking our region to the continuously evolving global Hip-Hop movement. First-person narratives and experiences of Seattle performers and artists are featured throughout the exhibit.

Media Contact: Jackie Durban, (206) 324-1126;

Yves Saint Laurent Comes to Seattle Art Museum

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents Yves Saint Laurent: The Perfection of Style, Oct 11 2016 – Jan 16 2017. The exhibit will showcase highlights from the legendary designer’s 44-year career. Drawn from the collection of the Fondation Pierre Bergé—Yves Saint Laurent, the exhibition features new acquisitions by the Foundation that have never been shown publicly before, including a selection of 100 haute couture garments, photographs, drawings, films and other multimedia elements from the Foundation’s vast archive. Visitors will observe Saint Laurent’s immersive working process from his first sketch and fabric selection to the various stages of production and fitting before the final garment was realized. The exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum in partnership with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent, Paris.

Pacific Science Center Presents Chinese Terracotta Warriors in 2017

Seattle’s Pacific Science Center and The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia will present Terracotta Warriors, a one-of-a-kind exhibition that will premiere at Pacific Science Center for a limited five-month run in spring 2017. Exact dates have not been announced for the limited two-city tour. Tickets will be available to the public fall of 2016. The honorary exhibit co-chairs are the Honorable Gary Locke, former Governor of Washington, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and U.S. Ambassador to China, and Mona Locke, senior vice president of corporate communications and marketing for Intellectual Ventures, and a former television reporter and nonprofit executive.

EMP Museum Says “Hello Kitty”

The first large-scale Hello Kitty museum retrospective in the U.S. is on display at Seattle’s EMP Museum November 14, 2015 through May 15, 2016. In celebration of the pop icon’s 40th Anniversary, Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty is organized by Sanrio, the global lifestyle brand best known for Hello Kitty, and the Japanese American National Museum, where the exhibition originated. More than 600 rare and unique pieces from Sanrio’s archives are on display. Plans are underway for the exhibition to travel to additional museums across the U.S.

Media Contact: Anita Woo, (206) 262-3245;

Chihuly Garden and Glass Adds Mobile Hot Shop in a Retrofitted Airstream

Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s artwork located at the Seattle Center, unveiled a new Mobile Education Hot Shop in the exhibition’s garden in spring 2015. The educational hot shop is located in a retrofitted Airstream trailer. Inside, guests can view 20-minute glass art demonstrations handled by a group of local artists from Pratt Fine Arts Center. Chihuly Garden and Glass brings together all the elements of Dale Chihuly’s work, including Drawings, signature glass series, large architectural installations and personal collections in a long-term exhibition.

Media Contact: April Matson, 206-753-4924,

Bruce Lee Exhibit Expands in Second Year

Building on the first year of its Do You Know Bruce? exhibition, the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing) digs deeper into the significance of Bruce Lee and his impact in media during a time of racial stereotypes and barriers. Year two of the two-year exhibit begins October 5, 2015 with the support of Linda and Shannon Lee and The Wing is the only museum outside of Hong Kong to present an exhibition about Bruce Lee. The exhibit presents the largest display of Green Hornet toys and collectibles ever in the U.S., personal letters from Lee’s early television career, behind-the-scene photos from the sets of Way of the Dragon and Enter the Dragon, handwritten film notes by Bruce for Game of Death and photos from his years in Seattle.

Media Contact: Margaret Su, (206) 623-5124, ext 127/

Seattle Museum Month Returns in 2016

The second Seattle Museum Month takes place throughout February 2016, offering visitors 50 percent off admission at more than 40 participating museums throughout Seattle and the region. The offers are valid for guests staying at one of 54 downtown Seattle hotels. Guests must present an official Seattle Museum Month guest pass at participating museums to redeem the discounts; these discounts will be valid for all guests staying in the hotel room (not to exceed four people) during hotel stay dates. Visitors can check the Seattle Museum Month web site for a full list of participating museums at

KEXP Brings Seattle Sound to Visitors and Locals

Cutting-edge Seattle music station KEXP will open its new station adjacent to the Seattle Center Campus in December 2015. The station’s new home will allow better community access, live performances, learning opportunities and more opportunities for music lovers from near and far to connect. More than 400 in-studio performances will be free and open to the public (up to 75 audience members), daily tours will be offered, educational programs are planned and the DJ booth will be visible to visitors. KEXP is known to showcase local music every hour and has hosted the longest-running local music show in the Pacific Northwest, Audioasis, which has championed local artists since 1982.

Sea-Tac International Airport Expands Music Initiative

In March 2014, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) doubled the number of live musicians playing and number of hours throughout the terminal as part of the award-winning Sea-Tac Airport Experience the City of Music Program. The artist roster features 40 local musicians seven days a week over an eight hour period in up to three different locations throughout the terminal. The program is a private/public partnership between Sea-Tac Airport, the Seattle Music Commission, and PlayNetwork. The program includes overhead music in common areas, live artist performances in the terminal, artist-recorded overhead announcements, curated videos on terminal and baggage claim monitors, and a multi-channel web radio player available through the free airport Wi-Fi network. In just the first year of the overall music program, the airport playlist has grown to 630 songs with 204 Northwest artists volunteering their time to tape overhead welcome, security and informational announcements including such diverse artists as Macklemore, Ben Gibbard, Ann Wilson, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Jerry Cantrell, Quincy Jones, Ludovic Morlot, Brandi Carlile, John Popper, Allen Stone and many more. Travelers can submit feedback or let the airport know what they are hearing by following @SeaTacAirport on Twitter and using #SEACityofMusic.

 Media Contact: Perry Cooper, Port of Seattle, (206) 787-4923;


Chef Ethan Stowell Creates New Restaurant for Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and Seattle Restaurateur Ethan Stowell opened Goldfinch Tavern inside the five-star hotel’s lobby level. Led by Chef Joe Ritchie, the restaurant offers simply prepared Pacific Northwest cuisine using the finest local ingredients. The variety allows for several plates to be shared family-style, or one can order as a coursed meal. The center bar anchors the restaurant and the addition of a fireplace in the bar area lends to the warmth of the room. Floor-to-ceiling windows give guests views of Elliott Bay, the Seattle Great Wheel and the Olympic Mountains. The restaurant seats 183, including two private dining rooms with space for 16 people in each. Stowell, who was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2008 then chosen as a Best New Chef All-Star in 2013, conceptualized the menu with Ritchie. The redesign was led by EDG Interior Architecture & Design.

Media contacts: Kirsten Graham, (206) 890-3435;

Meg Paynor, Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, (206) 913-3848;

Starbucks and Star Chef Join Forces

Seattle-based Starbucks opened the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in December 2015. The hybrid roastery/coffee shop in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood features roasting operations that are viewable by visitors and the building also features a Serious Pie restaurant, the highly successful franchise of Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas. The 50-seat pizza eatery incorporates coffee into its menu as well.

Media contact: Pamela Hinckley, (206) 604-1442;

Washington State Ranked Top by Nation’s Most Influential Wine Journals in 2014

Washington wines made the 2014 “top” lists of Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits in 2014. The combined best-of-lists included 32 wineries and 35 different wines from the State. Throughout the year, these publications each score and review approximately 18,000 submissions from around the world and then name their most celebrated wines in the following categories: Top 100 Best Buys, Top 100 Cellar Selections, Top 100 Values, Top 100 Most Exciting Wines, Top 100 Wines of the Year and the Top 100 Wineries of the Year.

850 Wineries and Counting

In 2015, Washington is the nation’s second-largest producer of premium wines and boasts more than 850 wineries across 13 American Vitacultural Areas (AVAs). Some 350 wine grape growers produce more than 40 wine varietals.

Washington State’s Cider Revolution

Hard cider is the fastest growing sector of the alcohol market with sales tripling since 2007, according to the Northwest Cider Association. The association includes more than 30 cider makers and 15 cideries, many of whom are apple growers as well as early adopters of premium cidermaking. Washington produces more apples than any other state in the U.S. and that, combined with a young but robust heritage of cider making explain why Washington State leads the U.S. in premium cider production. Some top ciders in Washington include Tieton Cider Works, Finnriver Cidery and Seattle Cider Co. Increasingly, bars, restaurants, wineries and breweries are giving cider their own taps. With 32 hard ciders on tap and over 250 hand-selected ciders from around the world, the Schilling Cider House in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood boasts the largest selection of draft hard ciders in the nation. Other cider tasting rooms are springing open, including several in Seattle: Beveridge Place Pub; Full Throttle Bottles; 99 Bottles; The Noble Fir and the Sixgill; and Capitol Cider.

Craft Beer and Ale Builds on Heritage and Regional Products

Washington’s Yakima Valley produces 77 percent of the hops used in U.S. beer production and Seattle is home to some of the nation’s first microbreweries and is often cited along with Portland for forging the craft beer and ale trail. The pioneer brewing spirit continues with a 25 percent increase in Washington craft breweries since 2014. The state currently has 297 craft breweries in operation, second only to California, and there are 80 craft breweries operating in the Seattle area. By comparison, Portland, Oregon, has 61 breweries and Oregon has 234 breweries.

Craft Distilleries and Tours Grow

Along with wineries and breweries, distilleries are now growing in the city and throughout western Washington. Passed in 2008, the Washington State Distillery Law now allows smaller distillers to operate with a craft distillery license, the first time since prohibition. The new law lowered craft distillers’ licensing fees from $2,000 to $100 and raised the amount of spirits a craft distillery can distill from 20,000 to 60,000 gallons annually. The law also allows for on-site tasting, bottle sales and facility tours. Dozens of new distilleries are now operating and distill absinthe, whiskey, grappa, gin, rum and vodka. Distilleries are required to use 51 percent state-sourced ingredients. Local Craft Tours’ Distillery Tour features three distillery visits and 12 spirit tastings, including award-winning vodkas and whiskeys. Local artisanal snacks and luxury transportation are provided. The newest tour, inaugurated in 2014, is Downtown Brown, focusing on the Emerald City’s craft whiskey and bourbon offerings and featuring three of Seattle’s hottest craft distilleries. Group tours are available.

Eat Seattle Offers New Pike Place Market Tours and Classes

New chef-guided tasting tours of Pike Place Market and hands-on cooking classes are featured by Eat Seattle. A two-hour tasting tour of Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market takes guests on a journey through Pacific Northwest culture. The tour features artisan vendors and tips on where the chefs shop, how they select their seasonal produce and daily proteins. Eat Seattle also offers a new, 3 ½ hour farm-to-table cooking class and produce tour through the Pike Place Market, guided by the chef who will explain the local and seasonal produce as she selects the ingredients for the 3-course menu to be cooked. The tour concludes in the Atrium Kitchen where the chef guides guests in preparing the menu and provides tips on cooking techniques.

Media Contact: Michelle Sanders Leyva, (206) 858-8135;

Tom Douglas’ Opens Two New Downtown Restaurants

Tom Douglas’s Cantina Leña opened in late 2014 in downtown Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. Featuring rustic Mexican fare, the restaurant also includes a 10-foot-long raised wood pit, masa grinder outfitted with volcanic stones and impressive tequila selection. In summer 2015, Douglas opened The Carlile Room at Ninth Avenue and Pike Street; inspired by singer Brandi Carlile, his newest restaurant has been described as equal parts bar, restaurant, pool hall and sporting goods store.

Media contact: Pamela Hinckley, (206) 604-1442;

Pop-Up Restaurants are Popping Up in Seattle

Chef-driven, after-hours pop-up concepts in and around Seattle include options from the award-winning Café Juanita in the former Old Lark space, a Mexican-Chinese pop-up at Ballard’s Bloom restaurant called Chinese Laundry, Parchment Bakery located at Brimmer & Heeltap on two Sundays each month, and Vashon Island’s Meat & Noodle ramen pop-up.


Seattle’s Largest Hotel Planned

In July 2015, a ruling by Seattle’s city hearing examiner cleared the way for developer R.C. Hedreen Co.’s Ninth & Stewart hotel project, which will be the largest hotel north of San Francisco. Seattle developer R.C. Hedreen Co. plans to build the new headquarters hotel two blocks north of the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC and adjacent to a planned future WSCC sister facility. The new hotel will be one of the largest on the Pacific Coast when it is expected to open in 2018. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle between Stewart and Howell streets and Eighth and Ninth avenues, the $400 million, 45-story building will include 1,264 hotel guest rooms and approximately 105,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space on five floors. Design concepts and a hotel operator has yet to be selected.

Kimpton Opens Fourth Downtown Seattle Hotel

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants opened a new four-star hotel in downtown Seattle in February of 2015. An adaptive reuse of the landmark Palladian Building, originally built in 1910 as the Calhoun Hotel, is now the new Palladian hotel. The newly renovated 97-room property includes two new culinary concepts by Chef Walter Pisano. The first is a modern fresh seafood restaurant (Shaker + Spear) and an old-world style bar (Pennyroyal) all with an edgy urban vibe.The new hotel is just steps away from Pike Place Market and other downtown attractions. This is Kimpton’s fourth Seattle property, joining the existing Hotel Monaco, Hotel Vintage and the Alexis Hotel.

Media Contact: Brandyn Hull, (206) 340-6678;

Hotel Indigo Announced in Belltown

Path America, an EB-5 Regional Center, in conjunction with Dargey Development, plans a $190 million property called the Potala Tower Seattle (named after Potala Palace in Tibet) that will include a 142-room Hotel Indigo, the branded boutique concept from InterContinental Hotels Group. Located in the downtown neighborhood of Belltown, the project will also include 342 residential apartments, mezzanine, restaurant and wine bar and more. An opening date has not been announced.

Media Contact: Jason Hamilton, (206) 682-6979;

Style, Luxury and Service (SLS) to Open in Seattle

Ground has broken for the new SLS Four Star hotel on Fifth Avenue and Columbia St. The new luxury hotel will be part of a new 660-foot skyscraper in downtown Seattle. The 43-story tower is scheduled to open in 2017 with a 15-story hotel consisting of 184 rooms. The hotel will have a full luxury spa with a pool, 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a 5,000 square-foot ballroom, a sky lounge, restaurants and fitness center.

First Thompson Hotel in the Pacific Northwest Announced

Commune Hotels & Resorts plans a new property under the Thompson Hotels flag at 1st Avenue and Stewart Street in downtown Seattle near the Pike Place Market. The 161-guest room hotel will be part of a 12-story mixed used development that also features residential and retail. The hotel is expected to open in 2016.

Fairmont Olympic Announces Major Renovation

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle will begin a $25 million renovation of all 450 guest rooms and corridors, soft goods, hard goods and bathrooms. Completion is scheduled for early July 2016.

Media Contact: Casey Barks, (206) 858-3433;

Hotel Clare Planned for Downtown Seattle

Pineapple Hospitality plans the 208-guest room Hotel Clare at 2nd Avenue and Virginia near the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. The project will be developed by Columbia West and is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Stadium Place Project to Include Hotel

Phase 2 of the mixed use Stadium Place Project just north of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field will include a 282-guest room Embassy Suites Hotel. The project located at 255 S. King Street is being developed by American Life, Inc. and plans call for opening in 2017.

Hyatt House Opens Near Space Needle

A new Hyatt property in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, designed by Johnson Braund Design Group, opened in July 2015 and consists of an eight-story, 172-guest room hotel on the streets surrounding the Seattle Center campus. This project is the second Seattle Hyatt development led by Kauri Investments Ltd. in the last three years, with the Hyatt Place Seattle/Downtown opening in June 2010.

Hilton Garden Opens in Downtown Seattle

A 222-room Hilton Garden hotel opened in July 2015 on Boren Avenue near the Washington State Convention Center. The hotel offers more than 2,000 square feet of versatile meeting space. Six of its guestrooms will be suites.

Media Contact: Carol Lobaito, (206) 631-8040;

Residence Inn to Open in U-District

The Residence Inn – University District opened in 2015 with 165 studio and one-bedroom suites, a 1,200-square-foot meeting room and 400 square-foot board room. The new property will be within walking distance of the University of Washington (UW) and UW Medical Center.

Media Contact: Julie Mackey, (206) 322-8887;

Seattle Marriott Bellevue Opens

The first full-service hotel in downtown Bellevue (just east of Seattle) opened in June 2015. The Seattle Marriott Hotel Bellevue offered 384 guestrooms, 21,000 square feet of event space that includes a 6,200-foot ballroom and 17 meeting rooms.

Bruce Janzen, (425) 429-5189;

W Bellevue Planned

W Hotels, a brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, plans to open a 245-room hotel in Bellevue, WA, five miles east of Seattle. The new property will be located in the Lincoln Square development amid a thriving retail and entertainment district. Plans call for opening in spring 2017. The hotel will occupy the first 13 stories 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.


Convention Center (WSCC) Plans Additional Facility

During 2015, the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) continues to undertake extensive 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 and LMN Architects is working on early concept design for the program spaces. A general contractor will be hired this year. The overall development is currently envisioned with up to 250,000 square feet of heavy-load exhibition space on two levels, 120,000 square feet of meeting rooms, a full service kitchen and 60,000-70,000 square feet of ballroom, freight loading and support space, as well as certain transit operations, retail, and potential private co-development. If the signs remain positive, construction could start in early 2017 with projected opening in 2020.

Washington State Convention Center Completes Major Refurbishment, Adds Bandwidth

The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) recently completed a $20 million refurbishment of its downtown Seattle facility. The updates took place in multiple phases throughout 2014, concluding with updates to ceilings, lighting public spaces and the facility’s exterior. The largest portion of work was scheduled during times with the least impact on events. Lobbies and pre-function spaces throughout the WSCC have recently been fitted with wood and leather couches, benches and arm chairs and two new fireplaces to create an inviting environment for visitors. Way finding was enhanced with new digital meeting room signage and completely redesigned directional signage. Many pieces of local art on display work to establish a strong sense of place that is tied to the Pacific Northwest.

In late 2015, the convention center plans a major upgrade of wireless and fiber optic connectivity at its downtown Seattle facility. The convention center will increase Internet bandwidth from one to 10 gigabits and increase wireless access points from 75 to a total of 180, replacing all switches and routers to the latest Cisco Edge gear. It will also replace all existing multi-mode fiber optic cable and Cat 5 copper cable with single-mode fiber optic cable and Cat 6 copper cable. The upgrade is expected to be complete by December 1, 2015.

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.


Seattle Cruises, Passengers Grow

The Port of Seattle’s 2016 cruise season, which runs April 29 through October 21, features 203 sailings and passenger volumes of 479,922. Cruises from Seattle to Alaska’s Inside Passage include seven-, 10- and 14-day itineraries. The industry generates $2.5 million with each vessel call and $441 million in total annual business revenue for the city and region. Some 3,647 regional jobs are sustained by the local cruise industry. 2015 Seattle Homeport cruise lines include Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.


Seattle’s Light Rail System Will Expand in 2016

Seattle’s Link light rail system, popular with convention attendees for its 30-minute connection between the airport and downtown Seattle for $3 each way, will add a new line and two new stations next year. The system expands to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and the University of Washington in spring 2016. The project includes 3.15 miles of new tunnel track and will serve the three largest urban centers in the state of Washington – downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University District.

Seattle Streetcar to Connect City History with Trendiest Neighborhood

Seattle’s streetcar system will expand later this year to include a new line from Pioneer Square, the city’s historic district, through the Chinatown-International District, First Hill and Capitol Hill, home to many of the city’s hottest restaurants and night spots. The street-level street cars will provide reliable, frequent service with headways of approximately 10 minutes during peak periods. Street cars on the system’s inaugural line between downtown Seattle and South Lake Union have been operating since 2007.

New Transit Smart Card Designed with Visitors in Mind

This month, Seattle’s regional transit agencies teamed up to launch a Regional Day Pass program designed to make it easier and more affordable for visitors to get around. There are two new pass products that can be added to the regional ORCA card:

  • An $8 Regional Day Pass for adult riders valid for unlimited rides on services with fares up to $3.50
  • A $4 Regional Day Pass for ORCA Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP) valid for unlimited rides on services with fares up to $1.75.

Day passes are also available where ORCA cards are sold and revalued. Regional Day Passes are accepted on bus, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar and foot ferry services. Learn more about ORCA or purchase cards and products at


Seattle-Tacoma International Sees Record Growth, Plans Infrastructure Improvements

First quarter 2015 passenger levels at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) increased more than 13 percent, including a 16 percent increase for international traffic, according to the Port of Seattle. In 2014, Sea-Tac Airport set a record for passengers with nearly 37.5 million. Sea-Tac remains one of the fastest growing large hub airports in the U.S. Preliminary statistics have pushed it up one notch to the 13th largest in the U.S. for passenger traffic in 2014.

International traffic continues to grow at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). Since 2009, long-haul international passengers have increased nearly 80 percent and all international passenger traffic (including Canada and Mexico) has increased more than 45 percent. During the past ten years, Sea-Tac has added 14 new intercontinental services. Sea-Tac currently has 19 intercontinental nonstop services to six cities in Asia (Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo), five cities in Europe (Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Reykjavik) and Dubai.

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 high-speed baggage system, and the reconstruction of the center runway.

Media Contact: Perry Cooper, Port of Seattle, (206) 787-4923;

Emirates Airlines Adds Second Daily Flight to Seattle

Dubai-based Emirates Air adds a second daily flight between Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Seattle beginning July 1, 2015. The new flight will use a 266-seat Boeing 777-200LR aircraft with 8 first class, 42 Business class, and 216 Economy class seats. Emirates inaugurated daily, nonstop flights to Seattle in March 2012 and added another 80 seats with a larger aircraft in May 2014.

Delta to Add Destinations and Flights to Seattle

Delta Air Lines plans to add domestic air service to and from Sea-Tac International Airport in 2015 and 2016. Three daily flights between Seattle and Pasco, WA will inaugurate Nov. 1, 2015; and one daily flight between Seattle and Orlando will begin Dec. 19, 2015. Three daily flights between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. will begin April 4, 2016 (subject to Canadian government approval); and one daily flight between Seattle and Bozeman, MT is scheduled to begin Aug. 1, 2015, expanded from Saturday-only seasonal service.

Alaska Airlines Plans Seattle Service between Nashville, Charleston and Raleigh-Durham

This fall, Alaska Airlines will begin nonstop flights from Seattle to Nashville, Tenn., Charleston, S.C. and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.. Nashville flights begin Sept. 23; service to Raleigh-Durham begins Oct. 1; and flights to Charleston start Nov. 16.  There will be one daily round trip flight between Seattle-Nashville and Seattle-Raleigh-Durham.  Seattle-Charleston flights are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

Delta Air Lines Offers Nonstop Service from Hong Kong and Seoul to Seattle

Delta Airlines began daily nonstop service between Seattle and Hong Kong on June 16, 2014 and Seoul on June 2, 2014. The routes are the thirteenth and fourteenth additions, respectively, in new international routes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport since 2007.

New Heathrow-Seattle Service with new Delta-Virgin Venture

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. began new nonstop service between Seattle and London-Heathrow, March 29, 2014.

New Delta Service from Tokyo-Haneda and Shanghai

In June 2013, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport welcomed two additional international services from Shanghai and Tokyo-Haneda through a continuing partnership between Delta and Alaska Airlines. In addition to these new flights, Sea-Tac has added other international flights, including service to Paris, Frankfurt, Beijing, Reykjavik, Dubai and Tokyo.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Begins Non-stop Service to Seattle

All Nippon Airways (ANA) inaugurated nonstop service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in July 2012.

 Media contacts:

David Blandford, (206) 461-5806,

Kauilani Robinson, (206) 461-5839;

Heather Bryant, (206) 461-5805;




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