Photo: David Newman

What’s New

Story Suggestions for Seattle and Washington State

Summer 2016


ATTRACTIONS & TOURS

Museum of Flight Opens Massive Aviation Pavilion

The Museum of Flight’s $22 million Aviation Pavilion is underway, and will open to the public on June 25, 2016. The open-air structure will extend the length of two football fields and exhibit more than 20 commercial and military airplanes, including the original Boeing 727, 737 and 747, the 787 Dreamliner, Air Force One, Concorde airliner and the B-17, B-29 and B-47 bombers. The Pavilion will also offer a café and playground. Founded in 1965, 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, called the Red Barn.
Media Contact: Ted Huetter (206) 455-5360; thuetter@museumofflight.org.

 

Seattle Aquarium Expansion Planned

Architect Marc L’Italien from EHDD in San Francisco, who directed Chicago’s John G. Shedd Aquarium master plan and designed San Francisco’s new Exploratorium and the expansion of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, will lead a major re-design of the Seattle Aquarium. Conceptual design has begun on an expansion and redesign of the aquarium campus which will include a major new exhibit at the central/overlook walk location and a renovation of Piers 59 and 60.
Media Contact: Tim Kuniholm, (206) 386-4345; t.kuniholm@seattleaquarium.org.


Pike Place Market Launches Summer Evening Market

Visitors and locals may enjoy the products and atmosphere of the iconic farmers market throughout the long summer evenings with Pike Place Market’s new extended hours of operation. Since June 1, the new evening market is open each Wednesday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The summer evening market boasts dozens of market farmers and vendors from Pike Place Market. Throughout summer evening hours, the market hosts various special events such as live music and cooking classes. Iconic Pike Place businesses such as Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Rachel’s Ginger and Sea Breeze Farm’s new butcher shop offer extended hours of operation throughout the summer for visiting and local shoppers.
Media Contact: Emily Crawford, (206) 774-5278; emily.crawford@pikeplacemarket.org.

 

Historic Smith Tower to Opens New Visit Experience and Tours this August

Once the tallest building west of the Mississippi, the 35-story Smith Tower in the heart of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square will open new, interactive tours and exhibits, a curated general store and a renovated top floor observatory with a café and bar themed to the building’s 1920s speakeasy roots. Unico Properties, building owner, contracted internationally-recognized museum planning and design firm Gallagher & Associates to research and develop the new exhibits and features, and Seattle’s Columbia Hospitality to oversee visitor programs, private event sales and day-to-day visitor operations.
Media Contact: Joleen Zanuzoski, GreenRubino, (206) 452-8189; joleenz@greenrubino.com.

 

Chihuly Garden and Glass Joins Seattle CityPASS

CityPASS 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 $74, while youth passes (ages 4-12) are $54. 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 citypass.com/city/seattle.html.
Media contact: Tin Bui, Seattle CityPass; (503) 292-4418.

 

Pike Place Market Grows for the First Time in 40 Years

Ground has been broken for the 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 completed in 2016, 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; emily.crawford@pikeplacemarket.org.

 

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 liking. 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 www.spaceneedle.com/app/.
Media Contact: Dave Mandapat, (206) 905-2164; davidm@spaceneedle.com.

 

Center for Wooden Boats to Open New Education Center

In January 2016, Seattle’s Center for Wooden Boats broke ground on its new Dick and Colleen Wagner Education Center. The 9,600-square-foot building 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. 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.

 

Puget Sound Express Offers Whale Watching Tours

In March 2015, Puget Sound Express began whale watching departures from Edmonds, WA, north of Seattle, to see orcas, humpback whales, and all the majestic wildlife in the San Juan Islands. Guests travel on a propeller-less hydrofoil that is the fastest and greenest boat in the Pacific Northwest with travel times to the San Juan Islands of just over one hour. Puget Sound and the Georgia Strait are home to some of the world’s highest concentrations of whales and other sea life. The resident pods of orcas in the islands are the tour highlight.
 Media Contact: Keven Elliff, (360) 821-9414; keven@pugetsoundexpress.com.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Famous Terracotta Warriors of Xian Comes to Pacific Science Center 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.
Media Contact: Katelyn Del Buco, (206) 269-5728; kdelbuco@pacsci.org.

 

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 highlights 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 Fondation Pierre Bergé 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.
Media Contact: Rachel Eggers, (206) 654-3151; rachele@seattleartmuseum.org.

 

Bumbershoot 2016 Line-Up Announced, Tickets on Sale

The musical line-up for Bumbershoot 2016 includes Seattle-native headliners Macklemore Ryan Lewis and Death Cab for Cutie, as well as big-name chart toppers including KYGO, G-Eazy, Fetty Wap and 80’s icon Billy Idol. The 46th annual end-of-summer music festival will take place at Seattle Center September 2-4, 2016. Bumbershoot’s diverse programming includes live music, comedy, theatre, film, visual arts, dance performances, and more. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit bumbershoot.com/home.
Media Contact: Andrew Roe, (206) 652-9701; media@bumbershoot.com.

 

The 5th Avenue Celebrates 90 Years with Seven Classic and Contemporary Musicals

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the 5th Avenue Theatre has an exciting line-up of seven musicals for its 2016-2017 program season. The new season will begin with Man of La Mancha (Oct. 7–30), followed by Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Nov. 23–Dec. 31), The Pajama Game (Feb. 9–March 5, 2017), world premiere Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (June 8–July 2, 2017) and will close with Fun Home (July 11–30, 2017), the 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Musical. The season will also include Murder for Two (March 25–June 4, 2017), a co-production with Seattle’s A Contemporary Theater and The Secret Garden (April 14–May 6, 2017), a co-production with the Shakespeare Theater Company.
Media Contact: Bridget Morgan, (206) 260-2174; bmorgan@5thavenue.org.

 

KEXP Brings Seattle Sound to Visitors and Locals

Cutting-edge Seattle music station KEXP opened its new station adjacent to the Seattle Center Campus in January 2015. The station’s new home allows better community access, live performances and more opportunities for music lovers from near and far to connect with their favorite artists. As part of its new home, KEXP has opened a Gathering Space for visitors to enjoy the sounds and tastes of Seattle. The Gathering Space is open for visitors Monday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Sundays, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., with facility tours available on weekdays. Seattle’s own La Marzocco opened its first espresso tasting room and retail space within the Gathering Space, partnering with different local food vendors each month. More than 400 in-studio performances will be free and open to the public (up to 75 audience members), daily tours are offered, educational programs are planned and the DJ booth is 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.
Media Contact: Ethan Raup, ethan@kexp.org.

 

Chihuly Garden and Glass Adds Seasonal Hot Shop Experience 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 seasonal hot shop experience in 2015. Onsite annually from Nov.-April, the hot shop is located in the exhibition’s garden in a retrofitted Airstream trailer, a nod to Dale Chihuly’s love of vintage items and the clean lines and industrial feel of these classic trailers. From 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily guests can view 20-minute glass art demonstrations handled by a group of community glassblowers. 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; aprilm@chihulygardenandglass.com.

 

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 began October 5, 2015 with the support of Linda and Shannon Lee. 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. Year 2: Breaking Barriers will run through September 2016.
Media Contact: Margaret Su, (206) 623-5124, ext 127; msu@wingluke.org.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Josh Henderson Opens Six New Seattle Restaurants with Three More on the Way

Executive Chef and founder of Huxley Wallace Collective, Josh Henderson opened five new restaurant concepts throughout the Seattle area in 2016. Adding to the already-popular Quality Athletics sports bar in Pioneer Square and South Lake Union’s Westward, Huxley Wallace’s newest concepts of American-style brasserie Saint Helens located in Laurelhurst, taqueria Bar Noroeste, and two Great State Burger locations. Josh Henderson is also serving up two new restaurant concepts in the Thompson Seattle hotel, Scout restaurant with an 18-sea chef’s table and The Nest rooftop bar. More to come later this year include; chef’s counter, Vestal in South Lake Union; taproom-lounge, Cantine; and a rotisserie chicken take-out window, Poulet Galore.
Media Contact: Lesa Linster, (206) 550-1200; lesa@linster.com.

 

Renee Erickson Wins 2016 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest

Native Washingtonian and Seattleite, Renee Erickson aptly-titled her restaurant group for what she serves best, Sea Creatures. The James Beard award winning chef has six restaurants that each uniquely highlight the wide-variety of seafood Seattle is proudly home to. Located on uber-trendy Ballard Avenue, The Walrus and the Carpenter offers a neighborhood feel fishing pub, offering numerous varieties of regional oysters. Other Sea Creatures project include The Whale Wins for Northwest-fusion cuisine, Italian aperitivo at Barnacle Bar, French-inspired Bar Melusine, Erickson’s rendition of a steakhouse at Bateau and the charming Capitol Hill doughnut shop, General Porpoise.

 

Chef Ethan Stowell Creates New Restaurant for Four Seasons Hotel Seattle

The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and Seattle Restaurateur Ethan Stowell opened Goldfinch Tavern in May 2015 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; kirsten@kirstengrahampr.com/

Meg Paynor, Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, (206) 913-3848; meg@paynorpr.com.

 

Starbucks and Star Chef Tom Douglas 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; pamelah@tomdouglas.com.

 

850 Wineries and Counting

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 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.

 

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 a chef who will explain the local and seasonal produce as he or 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; michelle@michellesanderspr.com.

HOTELS

Seattle’s Largest Hotel Under Construction

In July 2015, a ruling by Seattle’s city hearing examiner cleared the way for developer R.C. Hedreen Co.’s 8th & Howell 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 $450 million, 45-story building will include 1,260 hotel guest rooms,  approximately 105,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space, and nearly 30,000 square feet of restaurants, lounges and bars enlivening the pedestrian streetscape. The hotel operator is expected to be announced this summer.

 

First Thompson Hotel in the Pacific Northwest Opens

Thompson Hotels opened a new property at 1st Avenue and Stewart Street in downtown Seattle near the Pike Place Market on June 2, 2016. The 158-guest room hotel is part of a 12-story mixed used development that also features residential and retail. The hotel features views of Elliott Bay, Puget Sound and downtown Seattle with eight corner studios and two suites. More than 5,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space is available for meetings and events. The hotel also features a signature rooftop cocktail lounge, The Nest, and lobby-level restaurant, Scout, from acclaimed Huxley Wallace Collective and Executive Chef Josh Henderson.
Media Contact: Bryan Hansen, (310) 586-7174; bhansen@murphyobrien.com; Lesa Linster, (206) 550-1200; lesa@linster.com.

 

Hotel Theodore Planned for Fall 2016

Portland-based Provenance Hotels will open the 151-room Hotel Theodore at 7th and Pine Street in downtown Seattle this fall. Occupying the landmark 1929 building formerly known as the Roosevelt Hotel, the new hotel name is inspired by President Theodore Roosevelt and will showcase a collection of works that honor Seattle’s pioneering spirit. Meeting space of 2,415 square feet is planned.
Media Contact: Kate Buska, Providence Hotels, (503) 548-9399; kate@providencehotels.com.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Choice Hotels will Open New Seattle Property in 2017

A 112-room Cambria Hotel & Suites property will open in late 2017 in downtown Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood at 1915 Third Avenue. Designed as a business travel and leisure brand, all Cambria hotels & suites properties feature a larger lobby to give guests a more social atmosphere; oversized rooms with flexible spaces; and the latest technology that allows guests to stay connected while they travel. The Seattle property will offer 1,600 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and a rooftop patio with views of Puget Sound.

 

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.

 

Residence Inn by Marriott, New Addition to Denny Triangle

Construction is currently underway for a 15-story, 302-room Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown’s Denny Triangle neighborhood. The new hotel, scheduled to open in fall 2017, is located Howell Street and 9th Avenue, across the street from the Washington State Convention Center expansion project.

 

Fairmont Olympic Undergoes Major Renovation

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle will began a $25 million renovation of all 450 guest rooms and corridors, soft goods, hard goods and bathrooms in December 2015. Completion is scheduled for early July 2016. The renovation will be completed floor-by-floor, utilizing buffer floors to maximize current guest experience.
Media Contact: Casey Barks, (206) 858-3433; casey.barks@fairmont.com.

 

Marriott to Open New Hotel Concept in Seattle

Marriott International will roll out a new hotel and hotel concept near the new Amazon.com headquarters in Seattle. Moxy will open at 1016 Republican St. and be among the first properties in the new brand to open in several U.S. markets, including Seattle and San Francisco. Moxy Hotels, described as “spirited and fun” will have smaller-than-normal rooms. The new hotel is expected to open in late 2017.

 

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.

 

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; brandyn.hull@kimptonhotels.com.

 

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; clobaito@thehotelgroup.com.

 

Residence Inn Open in U-District

The Residence Inn – University District opened in summer 2015 with 165 studio and one-bedroom suites, a 1,200-square-foot meeting room and 400 square-foot board room. The new property is within walking distance of the University of Washington (UW) and UW Medical Center.
Media Contact: Julie Mackey, (206) 322-8887; julie.mackey@UDMRI-LLC.com.

 

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.
Media Contact: Bruce Janzen, (425) 429-5189; bruce.janzen@seattlemarriottbellevue.com.

CONVENTION NEWS

Convention Center (WSCC) Plans Additional Facility

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 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 underwent a major upgrade of wireless and fiber optic connectivity at its downtown Seattle facility. The convention center increased Internet bandwidth from one to 10 gigabits and increased wireless access points from 75 to a total of 180, replacing all switches and routers to the latest Cisco Edge gear. The refurbishment also replaced all multi-mode fiber optic cable and Cat 5 copper cable with single-mode fiber optic cable and Cat 6 copper cable.

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.

CRUISE

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. 2016 Seattle Homeport cruise lines included Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line Signs Historic Lease with the Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle signed an unprecedented 15-year lease with Norwegian Cruise Lines to operate out of the Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66. The lease agreement includes a shared facility upgrade plan of nearly $30 million, investing in terminal improvements to allow Pier 66 to better accommodate modern cruise ships with larger passenger capacities. Norwegian Cruise Line will charter more than 40 ships out of Seattle between May and September 2016.

TRANSIT

Sea-Tac Launches Pilot Program from Rideshare Apps

Passengers arriving to Sea-Tac airport can now use rideshare apps, such as Uber or Lyft, as a transportation option to their final destination.  As of March 31, 2016, rideshare app-users are able to be dropped-off and picked-up at Sea-Tac airport. The rideshare pick-up and drop-up stations will be located on the third floor of the parking garage, near the taxi station.

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 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; bruce.gray@soundtransit.org.

 

Seattle Streetcar Connects City History with Trendiest Neighborhood

Seattle’s streetcar system expanded to a new route with 10 stops, connecting some of Seattle’s most vibrant neighborhoods. The First Hill Streetcar began service in January 2016, running 2.5 miles connecting historic Pioneer Square and trendy Capitol Hill.  The street-level street cars provide reliable, frequent service with headways of approximately 10 minutes during peak periods.

New Transit Smart Card Designed with Visitors in Mind

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 www.orcacard.com.

AIR TRANSPORTATION

Xiamen Airlines Launches First US Service with Direct Flight to Seattle

Beginning September 2016, Xiamen Airlines will launch its first trans-Pacific services, with flights to Seattle. The Chinese airline will operate three weekly flights from Xiamen, via Shenzhen.

Condor to Offer New Munich Service

Condor Airlines will inaugurate new service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Munich, Germany beginning 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 will begin nonstop service between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and London-Heathrow, replacing the existing service offered by its joint venture partner Delta Air Lines beginning March 26, 2017. The new service will use a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

 

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Sees Record Growth, Plans Infrastructure Improvements

For the fifth straight year, passenger traffic at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) increased. With record-setting 42.3 million overall travelers, Sea-Tac passenger levels increased nearly 13 percent, including a 14.6 percent increase for international travelers, according to the Port of Seattle. Sea-Tac remains one of the fastest growing large hub airports in the U.S. Throughout 2015, Sea-Tac saw the introduction or announcement of 30 new services on five different airlines, including five new (previously unserved) nonstop destinations: Charleston; Dallas-Love Field; Helena; Oklahoma City; and Raleigh/Durham.

International traffic continues to grow at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac). Since 2010, long-haul international passengers have increased nearly 80 percent and all international passenger traffic (including Canada and Mexico) has increased more than 60 percent. In 2015, Sea-Tac welcomed more than 4.4 million international passengers. 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 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.

 

Delta Airlines: New Destinations and Flights to Seattle

Delta Air Lines, Seattle’s second-largest carrier, added 10 new destinations between November 2015 and May 2016 to and from Sea-Tac International Airport. New destinations include: Billings, Mont.; Boston; Cancun, Mexico; Edmonton, Alberta; Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island; Missoula, Mont.; Orange County; Orlando; Pasco, Wash.; and Victoria, British Columbia. Some service may be operated by Delta Connection carriers SkyWest Airlines and Compass Airlines.

Delta Airlines’ business brand “Delta Shuttle” is expanding to Seattle with eight weekday flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Delta Shuttle services are marketed to business passengers, and will have specialized check-in areas in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, open May 11, 2016. Delta also inaugurated additional Seattle-Los Angeles flights to the Delta Shuttle service on May 23, 2016.

As of June 2016, Delta Air Lines offers more than 140 peak-day departures to 44 destinations, including eight international destinations in Europe and Asia. In addition to additional destinations and departure times to and from Sea-Tac, Delta Air Lines is also investing within the airport. Delta will open a 21,000-square-foot Delta Sky Club in late 2016. Located between Concourses A and B, this will be the second Delta Sky Club in Sea-Tac International Airport.

 

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

In fall 2015, Alaska Airlines began nonstop flights from Seattle to Nashville, Tenn., Charleston, S.C. and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. Nashville flights began Sept. 23; service to Raleigh-Durham began Oct. 1; and flights to Charleston started Nov. 16.  There is one daily round trip flight between Seattle-Nashville and Seattle-Raleigh-Durham. Seattle-Charleston flights are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

 

Emirates Airlines: New Second Daily Flight to Seattle

Dubai-based Emirates Air added a second daily flight between Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Seattle July 1, 2015. The new flight uses 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.

 

New Hainan Airlines: Nonstop Service from Shanghai to Seattle, June 2015

In June 2015, Hainan Airlines began its nonstop service from Shanghai to Seattle. The Seattle-Shanghai flights are on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

 

Delta Air Lines: Non-Stop 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.

Media contacts:

David Blandford – (206) 461-5806, dblandford@visitseattle.org

Alisa Carroll – (206) 461-5862, acarroll@visitseattle.org

Heather Bryant – (206) 461-5805, hbryant@visitseattle.org

Kauilani Robinson – (206) 461-5839, krobinson@visitseattle.org

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