Governor Jay Inslee today approved $150,000 in economic recovery aid to help promote Darrington and the Stillaguamish Valley as a destination for summer travelers. The funds will supplement local business, city, county and Washington Tourism Alliance spending.
“The Stillaguamish Valley has some of the finest outdoor recreation opportunities in the state. We know tourism and visitor spending will bring immediate economic benefit to the communities recovering from the slide,” said Gov. Inslee.
The Department of Commerce requested the funding in direct response to the economic losses the area incurred from the SR530 slide, and to help combat public perception that it is difficult to get to the region for commerce and tourism.
“Many tourism initiatives have been included in the region’s recovery plan,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “An effort of this nature involves a tremendous amount of coordination between partners - from the city and county, to state, natural resources and U.S. Forest Service programs.”
The funds will go to the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County and Snohomish County Economic Development who will work with qualified applicants to promote businesses and attractions accessible by Highway 20 and other scenic roads. Darrington’s Timberbowl Rodeo, Summer Meltdown and Bluegrass Festival are annual favorites that attract crowds and support retail, lodging, restaurants and other businesses in the area. Efforts are expected to target Puget Sound and Vancouver, BC residents in particular.