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Sign, 7 stories tall, could go up to promote pre-Olympic gymnastics event in Everett

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EVERETT -- A gymnast might be flexing her seven-story tall muscles in downtown later this month.
A sports promoter hopes to hang a building-sized banner on the Holiday Inn next to I-5 to advertise the Olympic-qualifying international gymnastics meet coming to Everett.
The Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships are scheduled for the Comcast Arena on March 16-18.
The event is one of the last major international competitions before the Summer Olympics in London. It will bring the best gymnasts in the world to town and focus international attention on Everett.
To get the word out, promoter Laura Lee is working with the hotel to hang the gigantic banner, which wouldn't cover windows. She's also talking with officials at Comcast Arena about putting another banner there, similar to oversized signs used at other USA Gymnastics events, Lee said.
The banners haven't been finalized, but Lee said she imagines a long strip that would run vertically down the hotel, combining an image of a gymnast and text that says "The road to London runs through Everett."
The city of Everett had to change the law to allow for that big of a sign.
When Lee started talking with the city about the banner, she learned the city restricted outdoor banners to 32 square feet.
That's "tiny, tiny, tiny," Lee said.
The change the City Council approved Wednesday night is meant to be restrictive, said Allan Giffen, Everett's Planning and Community Development director.
The city doesn't want companies routinely hanging gigantic advertising banners all over buildings.
The new law allows for one temporary sign mounted on the outside of a city-owned or -operated building hosting a "community sanctioned special event" or a hotel or motel promoting that event.
Those community special events are defined as those that receive lodging tax money.
There are no size restrictions. The sign must come down within two days after the end of the event.
Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or
Story tags » EverettXfinity Arena

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