Plan falls through for 7-story banner to promote gymnastics event in Everett

EVERETT — A gymnast will not be flexing her seven-story tall muscles in Everett after all.

The city changed its laws to allow the massive sign to be placed on the side of the Holiday Inn next to I-5 promoting the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships scheduled for the Comcast Arena on March 16-18.

It was all for nothing.

The plan is a gigantic no-go after the state Department of Transportation contacted the city and said the banner would be too close to an on/off ramp to I-5 — among other issues, said sports promoter Laura Lee.

“It’s super disappointing,” she said.

The city normally restricts outdoor banners to 32 square feet, but Lee had talked with city officials about changing that law for this and other major events. On Feb. 1, the City Council approved a change that would have allowed for the sign on the Holiday Inn, but also was meant to be restrictive.

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 event ends.

Lee also had talked with officials at Comcast Arena about putting another banner there, similar to oversized signs used at other USA Gymnastics events.

The gymastics 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.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or

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