$150,000 in state funds to promote tourism in Stillaguamish Valley

Three major events that attract thousands of visitors to Darrington and the Stillaguamish Valley each summer are going to get a little extra promotion this year.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee freed up $150,000 in state funds to market the region as a tourist destination and promote the Timberbowl Rodeo, Bluegrass Festival and Summer Meltdown.

That’s good news for shop owners hit hard by the loss of business due to the extended closure of State Highway 530 following the deadly mudslide.

“The Stillaguamish Valley has some of the finest outdoor recreation opportunities in the state,” Inslee said. “We know tourism and visitor spending will bring immediate economic benefit to the communities recovering from the slide.”

Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin couldn’t have been happier. He’s been working on ways to help stores remain open through the summer and during the rebuilding of the road.

“It’s great. I think most of the outside world thinks we’re closed for business,” he said. “Without this, I don’t think we’d have the kind of marketing we would need to overcome that roadblock.”

The money is coming from a strategic reserve fund for economic development, the same fund used to market communities affected by the partial collapse of the Skagit River Bridge on I-5 in 2013.

The $150,000 will be used to conduct a multimedia advertising campaign of the area’s attractions including promotion of the rodeo in late June, bluegrass festival in July and the Summer Meltdown in August.

The Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and the Snohomish County Office of Economic Development will select companies to carry out the work.

Another batch of dough garnered from the county will be spent on park improvements, trailhead signs and route markers.

“This area has great outdoor recreation opportunities and summer festivals, and we want to make sure locals and tourists know that hasn’t changed as a result of the slide,” said Snohomish County Executive Director Gary Haakenson, who is overseeing the county’s long-term disaster recovery team.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett man accused of causing his baby’s brain damage

He told police he shook his son to get him to stop crying, and the boy slipped out of his hands.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Legislation to limit opioid prescriptions under debate

Inslee also has requested a bill that prioritizes medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

Most Read