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Last weekend, 81 boy’s baseball teams converged on the Wenatchee Valley for the 5th annual Triple Crown Season Opener. The tournament featured teams from Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Canada, bringing some 2500 visitors to the Wenatchee Valley. They were greeted by weather that was truly hard to beat. But it wasn’t only the weather that made a lasting impression.

One aspect that makes this tournament unique, is that teams are treated to opening ceremonies the night before play begins. We were fortunate enough to have a Wenatchee Wild playoff game scheduled at Town Toyota Center that night, so for the second year in a row, that was our setting. The cooperative attitude shown by the Wild, Triple Crown and TTC was an absolute pleasure to be involved with. Their efforts truly gave teams a night to remember. A dozen area businesses stepped up to contribute raffle prizes for the players, unheard of in many other areas. Attending teams were paraded on ice during the 1st intermission while receiving scoreboard recognition, and they got to take in playoff hockey before a near capacity crowd. It was an economic boost for the Wild and Town Toyota Center, it made Triple Crown shine as an event organizer, and it was just a flat out fun experience.

As for actual play, a total of 17 baseball fields were in use over the weekend. When the tournament began Saturday, teams were treated not only to the great weather, but playing surfaces that were in fantastic condition. I personally heard several compliments about the efforts of the Chelan County PUD field crews, and those from WVC, our school districts and Parks & Rec departments. Their efforts really paid off. It’s not easy to get fields in top notch condition by early April. Besides transforming grounds from late winter to early spring, many fields also had been set up for other sports, such as lacrosse. You would have never known.

The result of all these efforts and cooperative attitudes once again showcased us as a great place to come and play. Besides boosting the economy to the tune of well over $400,000, it surely made a lasting impression on the hundreds of folks who were experiencing the Wenatchee Valley for the first time. When they’re ready to consider future vacations, our valley will be at or near the top of many a list. From a sports tourism coordinator’s viewpoint, I can tell you it doesn’t get much better than that.

Matt Kearny is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or matt@wenatchee.org

The City of Wenatchee is pleased to announce the launch of GO Request! The new program will help facilitate communication between the City and its citizens by automatically routing requests to the appropriate employees, and providing performance reports and notifications to managers. Citizens can access the service by entering a request by using the Citizen Request/Citizen FAQs link on the city’s website by clicking here, or by downloading the free mobile GORequest application. The system automatically displays the expected turnaround time of the service request and a tracking number for the citizen to easily check the status of the request online or by calling the City directly. GO Request allows the City to resolve customer requests in a more efficient manner and also promotes accountability among the staff. The City’s primary goal is to respond to all citizen requests in a timely, courteous fashion.

Citizens can also use a mobile application.  The mobile application is one of the latest enhancements available to citizens who want to submit requests from an Android, iPhone or iPad. Users simply open the application, select an issue, take a picture and tap submit – the phone records the GPS coordinates for an exact location and sends the request directly to the appropriate employee.

 

As you’ve probably noticed, hashtags are kind of a big deal right now. You see them on every show, news program and advertisement. Yet many people still find them daunting, complicated and worst of all – trivial.

Even the co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, said that he thought hashtags would never catch on because they were “waaay too nerdy.”

But they did catch on, and anyone who has a television, radio, computer or smartphone can see that.

So if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!

We at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce have come up with our own hashtags to represent the Wenatchee Valley both locally and abroad.

Since our new brand tagline is “Wenatchee: What Will You Pick Today?” we decided to use #pickwenatchee as the tourism-oriented hashtag. It invites tourists to choose this place and all the options here.

#wearewenatchee is meant to be our local, community-oriented hashtag. Whether it be a high school football game, a Junior Service League charity event or Apple Blossom, #wearewenatchee is meant to be used to create a conversation about what we as a community is up to.

We encourage you to promote your business, our beautiful valley and the people who call this place home with the hashtags #pickwenatchee and #wearewenatchee on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and/or anywhere else you connect with your network online.

We accepted an invitation from Wenatchee Sunrise Rotary to share a booth last month at the Seattle Bike Expo. They have been attending it for a few years promoting their popular Apple Century Bike Ride, which takes place in June. The Bike Expo is a big deal in the Puget Sound region, and attracts thousands of cyclists, both recreational and those interested in endurance events. We took the opportunity to promote other like events, such as the Tour de Bloom Cycling Omni, The Wenatchee Marathon and the Warrior Challenge, all coming up this spring. In the sports tourism business, it’s easy to get wrapped up in promoting and recruiting large team events, but attracting the individual “sports tourist” is every bit as important. This is especially true in the Wenatchee Valley, where quality outdoor recreation opportunities are expanding at an incredible rate. The Seattle Bike Expo provided a perfect forum for targeting and connecting with those who have a passion for cycling and running, and are looking for a change of scenery and new experiences.

Speaking of expos, and a bit closer to home, Wenatchee Marathon organizers are taking an exciting step forward in celebration of their 10th anniversary run this year. The 1st annual TedDriven Wenatchee Marathon Expo will be held April 18 at the Stanley Civic Center, the day before the race. Marathon co-founder Lynda Finegold and her group are putting together a nice collection of running-related booths, including everything from outdoor gear vendors to local groups promoting events and related activities. If you’re interested in participating or need additional information, email lynda@teddriven.com.

Matt Kearny – Wenatchee Valley Sports

Gesa Credit Union Pledges To Match Community Donations Made To Assist Snohomish County Mudslide Survivors 

RICHLAND, WASHINGTON ‒ Gesa Credit Union announced today that it will match community member’s donations – dollar for dollar; up to a total of $10,000 – to support the survivors of the deadly mudslide in Snohomish County that occurred on March 22nd.

“The loss of lives and family homes is overwhelming, and the 530 mudslide is one of the most horrific natural disasters seen in the Northwest in decades,” said Don Miller, Gesa’s President and CEO. “Many of the victims and their surviving family members belong to credit unions. Credit unions exist to help people and here at Gesa we are committed to doing what we can do to help.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones, the families who have lost their homes, and the first responders who are still working to find survivors.”

Donations received will be collected by the Northwest Credit Union Foundation and distributed to impacted residents by the United Way of Snohomish County. All collected donations will be used to meet housing and other immediate needs of the survivors.

Community members who wish to contribute can visit any Gesa Credit Union branch before April 9th, 2014 to have their donation matched by the credit union.

CONTACT:  Brian Griffith, Assistant Vice President, Marketing   509.713.9421 / bgriffith@gesa.com

 

Mission Ridge seeks to grow involvement and awareness in our community while promoting all forms of outdoor recreation.

Overview

We have opened a new year-round store in Pybus Market to sell our products and services while promoting Mission Ridge.  We seek to form partnerships with all organizations, clubs, and business that promote outdoor recreation and education opportunities.

If you have an organization, group, club, business or activity that exist to promote being outside and recreating, then Mission Ridge would like to connect with you.

Mission Ridge Partnership Objectives:

  • Promote and bring awareness to all of the amazing resources available in our community.
  • Supply the public with maps, guides, info, education and inspiration about outdoor recreation in our communities.
  • Assist visitors and tourists with recreation based information and details.
  • Generally raise the collective ‘stoke’ factor for Pybus Market by bringing in fun outdoor related demos, activities, classes and events.
  • Act as a physical hub for all outdoor groups, activities, communication and information.
  • Perhaps make a little money.
  • Sell products and services for business partners as appropriate.

Next Steps

If you are involved in an organization that would like to get involved, please take our survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MRPYBUS

Contact Info for questions:

Josh Jorgensen
General Manager
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort
office    509.888.9402
cell        509.679.1100
email    jjorgensen@missionridge.com 

 

While the Wenatchee Valley is an area that provides sports & recreation opportunities year-around, there’s no denying that we have begun the most impactful time of year, at least from a sports tourism standpoint. In fact, in 2013, March and April were the two biggest months in terms of sports tourism visits and hotel room nights, with June not far behind. March began with a bang this year with the Washington State Olympics Winter Games. Some 1598 athletes and their sizeable accompaniment were in the area for 3 days (some even longer with the tenuous mountain pass situation that weekend).

Over the next few weeks, we’ll see a clash of winter and spring. Mission Ridge hosts their biggest race of the year, the 6-day Western Regionals, while at the same time, our parks come out of hibernation and ready for lacrosse and the start of baseball & softball before months end. And for good measure, throw in a nice home schedule of Wenatchee Wild hockey.

Jumping ahead just a few weeks, April boasts two of our top five events of the year from a sports tourism standpoint – the Triple Crown Baseball Season Opener April 12 & 13 (boys teams ages 9-14), followed by The Wenatchee Marathon on the 19th. New this year will be the Wenatchee Marathon Expo on the 18th at Stanley Civic Center. Running-related booths, including outdoor gear vendors and others connected to local endurance events and groups will be featured.

I’m a numbers guy, so here’s my way to illustrate the impact that takes place this time of year. In 2013 the Wenatchee Valley realized an estimated $7.35 million in sports tourism spending on just tournaments and events alone. An incredible 34% of that came in March & April. The pendulum will swing somewhat in 2014, as we’ll see the 2nd half of the year cut into those percentages in a positive way with some sizeable new events coming, most notably in figure skating and swimming.

The best part of this for both participants and spectators alike is the wide diversity of events and activities to take in. At least 10 uniquely different sports will be showcased between now and the end of April, ranging from the likes of top tiered skiing competitions to senior softball tournaments. When you add in the availability of our miles of trails for spring hiking and cycling, it leaves no doubt that it’s a hard time of year to beat for those who enjoy sports and recreation.

Matt Kearny is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or matt@wenatchee.org

The City of Wenatchee Parks and Recreation Department’s Special Needs Social Program has been selected to receive the 2014 Washington Recreation and Park Association Spotlight Award for Program Excellence in Cultural Competency. The award recognizes parks and recreation programs, initiatives or special events in Washington State that reach across cultural boundaries to educate, include, welcome or serve.

The Special Needs Social program is designed to be a unique, integrating recreational opportunity for individuals with developmental delays to build relationships and participate in community events and activities without the barrier of cost. Its primary goal is to provide an opportunity for individuals with developmental delays to have meaningful social interactions with their peers. A secondary goal is to connect the individual’s whole family to other families in similar life situations so that they can form a support network.

The Social Program has been serving North Central Washington residents for over ten years. Over 900 people and their care givers participate in the program annually. The program provides opportunities for interaction in settings where only our group is present, and also in situations where we are engaging the community. Activities have ranged from boat trips on Lake Chelan on the Lady of the Lake, trips to local athletic events and movies, pizza and karaoke nights, shopping trips, picnics and very popular holiday dances. The program also provides coaching of appropriate social skills and encourages healthy, positive interactions. Friendships within the program blossom, and individuals learn practical skills and build their self-confidence by participating. The program is made possible through a partnership with Chelan Douglas Development Disabilities Council.

The Social Program was selected for the award from a field of candidates by an awards committee comprised of parks and recreation professionals from around the State. The award will be presented to the City of Wenatchee Parks and Recreation Department at the joint Washington Recreation and Park Association and Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Conference in Seattle on April 9th.

The Washington Recreation and Park Association (WRPA) was established in 1947. It is the professional membership organization for the field of parks and recreation in the State of Washington. There are currently over 1,350 members in WRPA and that number is growing.

Members represent a broad spectrum of agencies and organizations including: Cities, counties, State parks, universities, utility districts, park districts, conservation groups, sports and youth organizations, commercial members and other entities.

For more information, contact Dave Erickson or Caryl Morrell of the City of Wenatchee Parks and Recreation Department at (509) 888-3280 or (509) 888-3282.

Wenatchee Marathon to hold first expo in April — The Wenatchee Marathon has been the city’s largest running event for several years. Now, it’s putting on an expo as part of the event.

The TedDriven Wenatchee Marathon Expo will be held from noon to 8 p.m., Friday, April 18, at the Stanley Civic Center. The marathon — as well as a half-marathon and 10K — will be held the next day, April 19, starting and ending from the Stanley Civic Center Plaza. It will be the race’s 10th-anniversary.

Marathon co-founder Lynda Finegold said the expo will feature running-related booths, including those staffed by outdoor gear vendors, as well as other booths promoting other local sports endurance events and groups. Registration and packet pickup for the marathon, half-marathon and 10K will be held at the expo as well.

In 2013, the Wenatchee Marathon attracted about 1,500 participants to the city.

“We’ve been talking about doing the expo for a year or so,” Finegold said. “It’s good for the community and good for the sponsors and it’ll bring more life to the marathon.

“It was time and the 10th anniversary makes it even better,” she said.

TedDriven is the marathon’s parent group and is named after Finegold’s late husband, Ted Finegold.

The expo will be located inside the Stanley Civic Center. For the cost of booth space and an application form, please contact Finegold at (509) 670-8102 or lynda@teddriven.com.

For more on the marathon itself, visit http://teddriven.com/wenatchee-marathon.

 

The North Central Washington Economic Development District has opened the 2014 call for regional project application submissions. This is open to all organizations, municipalities, counties and private businesses in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan Counties, as well as the Colville Confederated Tribe.

Interested applicants are asked to first submit a one-page Letter of Inquiry that briefly explains the scope of the project, timeline and outlines the anticipated request of the NCWEDD. This is being done to ensure that applicants are eligible and soliciting appropriate support from the NCWEDD prior to completion of the full application.

Entities submitting approved Letters of Inquiry will be invited to make a full application that will be reviewed by a committee and put before the NCWEDD Board of Directors for consideration.

Please include the following information in the Letter of Inquiry:

Name of applicant:
Address:
Phone:
Email:
Overview of proposed scope of work:
Estimated timeline:

Requested assistance: the NCWEDD can assist qualifying projects of regional economic significance with the following:

  • Inclusion on regional list of economically significant projects
  • Fund sourcing
  • Project facilitation
  • Grant writing
  • Letter of support

Letters of Inquiry are due no later than 5:00pm on March 14, 2014. Please submit one electronic copy to Jennifer@ncwedd.com and one hard copy via US Mail

Our address is:
NCW EDD
PO Box 1064
Wenatchee, WA  98807

 Please direct all questions to Jennifer Korfiatis at (509) 682-6907 or jennifer@ncwedd.com