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The Blog - What's Fresh in the Valley

2016 was a record-setting year for sports tourism spending in the Wenatchee Valley. Bolstered by economic impact in a wide variety of categories, an estimated $8.35 million was spent here by visitors participating in or attending tournaments and events, according to analysis compiled by Wenatchee Valley Sports. This is up 9.7% over the previous high, set in 2015. Sports impact has been measured in the Wenatchee Valley annually since 2007. Youth baseball/softball led the way at $1.17m, followed by adult softball at $1.06m. Next, in order, are Special Olympics Winter Games, ski racing at Mission Ridge, running, and youth basketball.

Overall numbers were bolstered by the US Figure Skating Regionals in October at Town Toyota Center, State Gymnastics competition in April, and strong showings by swimming, youth hockey and cycling. The largest single event in terms of economic impact was the Washington Winter Games Special Olympics in March, generating an estimated $616,937. They will return for their 26th year here March 3-5. It’s important to note that these figures include spending only by visitors, not locals, and for tournaments and events, not general recreation.

Two popular local entities that provide strong overall economic impact are the Wenatchee Wild and Wenatchee AppleSox. Those teams and others such as the Rams and Wenatchee FC were heavily dependent on spending by locals…very important in terms of overall economic impact, but not so on the tourism side of the equation. A number of business categories reap the benefits of sports tourism, most notably lodging and food. It is estimated these events drove 27,676 room nights in 2016, also a record, and an increase of 2,000+ over the previous year. This contributed to the success lodging in the Wenatchee Valley experienced in 2016, which realized a 2.1% overall increase in occupancy for the year.

Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center celebrates First Friday on February 3rd from 10am to 8pm with free admission.  This marks the beginning of the end for the popular “Beacon of Friendship” exhibit, which closes February 11th.

“Beacon of Friendship has been extremely successful,” Exhibits Curator Kasey Koski explains. “There has been great interest in the many tokens and treasures brought back from our sister city in Misawa, Japan.”

According to Koski, it’s been nearly 30 years since the 17th century Ronin prints were on display, as well. “Having such a large, important collection of prints is a real coupe for a museum of our size. I’m glad we were able to showcase them as a part of this exhibit.”

There is still time to come sit in the stylized tea house, make your own origami creation, practice your calligraphy or write a haiku. Plan for a full hour and watch the entire “Upside Down Pang” video. Come enjoy the beauty of the many kimonos and banners brought back from numerous sister city exchanges.

Up next in the featured gallery will be the annual high school art show. The 38th Annual Regional High School Art Show is sponsored by the museum in cooperation with the North Central Educational Service District and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction each year. Look for it’s opening on Friday, March 3rd.

RunWenatchee will host three world-renowned ultrarunners this spring in conjunction with its events.

Max King, Krissy Moehl and Jeff Browning will hold question-and-answer sessions and participate in other activities during separate visits to Wenatchee. The Q&A presentations will be free and open to the public.

“Our goal with RunWenatchee has been to not only put on great events, but also to educate and energize our running and outdoor communities,” said Joel Rhyner of RunWenatchee. “With guest speakers like Max, Krissy and Jeff, we definitely have some of the best runners in the country coming to Wenatchee to do just that. All runners and outdoor athletes will benefit from their expertise in training, nutrition, racing and injury prevention.”

“Their appearances also will cast a spotlight on the amazing trails we have in the Wenatchee Foothills and Chelan County for trail running,” added Steve Maher of RunWenatchee.

Here is the lineup:

March 16, 6:30 p.m., Pybus Event Center: King, a Bend, Ore., resident dubbed “running’s renaissance man,” will hold a Q&A and a Salomon shoe demo. King’s appearance will take place following RunWenatchee’s St. Paddy’s Day club run event that same night at Pybus.

King, 36, won the 2014 IAU 100-Kilometer World Championships and the 2011 World Mountain Running Championships. In 2016, he earned the bronze medal at the 2016 NACAC Cross County Championships. He also has won several national titles at distances ranging from the half- marathon to various ultramarathons.

For more on King: https://www.facebook.com/max.king.9828/?fref=ts

March 24, 6 p.m., Numerica Performing Arts Center: Moehl of Bellingham will hold a Q & A

and sign copies of her book, “Running Your First Ultra,” during the Trails In Motion Film Festival. Moehl’s appearance will occur prior to the 7 p.m. film fest’s start.

In 2005, Moehl became the first woman to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning — which recognizes those who complete four of the oldest 100-mile trail runs in the United States. In 2007, she set the woman’s record for the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run. She has won several ultramarathons, including the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc in 2003 and 2009, the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2004, and the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji in 2013. Moehl also is the race director of the Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven.

For more on Moehl: http://krissymoehl.com

May 19, 6 p.m., Pybus Public Market: Browning of Bend, Ore., will do a Q&A following packet pickup for the Red Devil Challenge Trail Runs. The following day, Browning will participate in the Red Devil 25K Trail Run, put on by RunWenatchee in the Wenatchee National Forest south of Cashmere.

In both 2005 and 2006, Browning captured the Big Horn 100 Mile Wild and Scenic Trail Runs in Wyoming. Closer to home, he has won the Cascade Crest 100-Mile Endurance Run.

For more on Browning: https://www.gobroncobilly.com

For tickets to the March 24 Trails In Motion Film Festival:  click here

For more RunWenatchee’s runs, events and news.

Families and individuals in the Wenatchee Valley interested in connecting with local youth sports organizations will once again have that opportunity Saturday, January 21st. The Wenatchee Valley Youth Sports & Activities Fair will take place in the lower level of the Wenatchee Convention Center from 10am-2pm. Last year, over 30 organizations were on hand with an opportunity to explain details ranging from what is needed for equipment, the expectation of commitment, such as time requirements, and in some cases, the possibility of registering on the spot. The idea is ‘1-stop shopping’ for families to gain exposure to many of the opportunities available for area youth in a wide range of sports and activities.

Besides dozens of information booths, there will be a number of actual demonstrations taking place, giving an insight into the benefits of specific organizations. Some examples of demos or interaction include basketball, karate, and the Wenatchee Youth Circus. There is no admission charge for the public. Proceeds from booth sales benefit the Wenatchee Valley Sports Foundation Youth Scholarship Participation Fund, helping kids from needy families have the opportunity to afford to participate in sports and activities.

The Youth Sports & Activities Fair is held in conjunction with the Wenatchee Downtown Bundle-Up Festival. In the lower parking lot behind the Convention Center, at the entrance to the Fair, will be other fun activities, including a petting zoo, hay rides and s’mores. Also, the popular Bundle-Up Run will have the start & finish line in the same area. The Kid’s 1K Run begins at 11:30, with the Adult 5K starting at noon. The Apple Capital Loop Trail provides a majority of the course. The run this year is sponsored the Wenatchee Schools Cross Country Program.

It all adds up to a few hours of information and activities for all ages to enjoy!

January 16, 2017- Wenatchee, WA: Art, music, theatre, puppetry, singing, dancing, and comedy in a one-of-a-kind, world traveling show – ARTRAGEOUS is coming to the Numerica Performing Arts Center February 8. Artrageous pays tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons, and musical genres culminating in a gallery of fabulous finished paintings, sponsored by Van Doren Sales.

A long time ago (1980’s) in a land far away (Vancouver, Canada) a “troupe of misfits” decided they wanted to see the world together. Together they formed “All and Everything Theater”, a non-profit Children’s Theater which focused on children’s entertainment, street theater, and life-size bunraku puppetry. When their building burnt to the ground, they took to the streets as The Pink Flamingos to perform for the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Steve Forbes, General Colin Powell, and in venues all over the world from India to Thailand and Paris to Wenatchee.

As people who live and breathe the arts, creativity, community, and inspiration, they decided to go back to their roots and share their passion with the world as Artrageous – a show that focuses on all the things they believe in and got them to this place. Founding members Daniel Moyer and Deborah Noble now perform with over 20 different artists – many of who have at least 20 years of experience with Artrageous.

Imagine witnessing the creativity of an artist creating a masterpiece before your eyes in mere moments. Combined with captivating vocals, intricate choreography, and exciting music, Artrageous takes you on a visual journey and a high energy ride of inspiration, creativity, and engagement supported by LittleSoapShoppe.com and media sponsor NCW Media.

Tickets to Artrageous are $25-$29 with discounts for seniors ($21-$25) and youth ($19-$23) and increased prices on showday. For tickets and information, call 509-663-ARTS, go to www.numericapac.org, or visit the Box Office at the Stanley Civic Center, 123 N Wenatchee Avenue.

The Numerica Performing Arts Center at the Stanley Civic Center is a non-profit organization and naming partner with Numerica Credit Union.

On Saturday, January 21 from 11am to 4pm in the concourse at Pybus Market, join the Chelan-Douglas Community Action Council and your friends and neighbors in painting a bowl to help fight hunger.

“Empty Bowls Wenatchee” simultaneously builds community and calls attention to the hunger still existent in our own valley. With a $10 dollar donation to the North Central Washington Food Distribution Center, anyone can receive a blank bowl that they will be given all the materials and instruction needed to personalize it with paint. For $35 a family can paint up to 5 bowls. Your bowl then gets a final layer of glaze and is fired into a finished masterpiece. Your donation includes admission into our dinner at Wenatchee High School on March 11, where we gather around a simple soup dinner and bread to work against hunger in our community.

“No bowl should go empty, but too often they do,” said Michael McGrath, AmeriCorps volunteer coordinating this event. “ We know that food security is a real issue in our community and this event is a way for local residents to help in a meaningful and fun way,” added McGrath.

Local businesses work with local contractors to become more energy-efficient, with help from Chelan PUD. What’s not to like?

Chelan PUD’s new EnergySmart Business program aims to help business owners reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of shops and buildings. It relies on local contractors to provide guidance and equipment, and on PUD funding to cover a significant part of the investment.

Scott Stanford, PUD commercial energy adviser, says most businesses can lower their energy bills by up to 30 percent with a few no- or low-cost upgrades. But business owners sometimes don’t know where to start. The EnergySmart Business program points the way with:

  • A free review of facilities to identify energy-saving opportunities
  • Recommendations on energy efficiency retrofits or upgrades
  • Estimates on possible yearly savings, project costs and payback periods
  • Installation of equipment that saves energy and reduces maintenance
  • Incentives that cover up to 75 percent of the cost of energy-efficient equipment and retrofits

Several local businesses have already taken advantage of PUD funding. One example: a downtown Wenatchee retailer paid only $4,200 for $17,000 worth of new lighting, thanks to   PUD incentives.

Projects range from lighting and window retrofits to installation of energy-efficient equipment such as ductless heat pumps, smart thermostats, power strips and HVAC controls.

How to participate in EnergySmart Business? Business owners can get more information by calling (855) 496-3857 or emailing energysmartbusiness@clearesult.com. (CLEAResult, a national company with expertise in business energy efficiency programs, is helping administer EnergySmart Business for Chelan PUD.) Contractors interested in providing services to local businesses can get information through those same channels.




Pybus Market announces its slate of Winter quarter classes every Tuesday night at 7:00pm from January 10 through March 28, 2017 on unique topics for the general public. Classes are free, unless otherwise indicated. Class size is generally limited to 30 people per class. Classes are generally located in front of the Cashmere Valley Bank Community Kitchen. Classes are taught by local volunteers with an interest and aptitude in the subject. The public is invited to register for as many — or as few — classes as they like.

To register for any of the twelve (12) classes, simply complete the online registration form on the home page of:  www.pybusmarket.org

Classes start promptly at 7:00pm every Tuesday night. The first class is January 10 and runs every Tuesday through March 28.

“This idea came from one of our volunteer ambassadors, Jennifer Burke, who selects the topics and recruits all instructors, said Steve Robinson, executive director of Pybus Market. “Prior classes have proven to be a fun and informative way to continue the learning process,” said Jennifer Burke, a former educator herself. “I really believe in the saying “learning is a life-long adventure,” so that’s the intent of Pybus University,” added Burke.

U.S. employees take more than 488 million business trips every year – an average of 1.3 million trips every day. And they’re traveling all over – from major hubs like New York and San Francisco to smaller cities and towns across the country. Projected spending on business travel for 2016 was $318.9 billion.

Traveling for work can be stressful – you’re in a new city where you might not know anyone, and you probably don’t know your way around. But being in a area that’s great for business travelers can make business trips simple – and even fun.

We ranked nearly 400 metro- and micropolitan areas across the U.S. to determine just where the best places for business travelers are. We evaluated each area on metrics like amenities, commute time, number of businesses and more. And we found that great destinations for business travelers span the entire country – large areas and small, East Coast and West, and everywhere in between. More

GWATA partners with Tech Alliance in Bellingham to bring Tech Predictions to local community

January 13th  GWATA will live stream Mark Anderson’s 2017 Predictions from Bellingham. This is GWATA’s third year partnering with TAG to broadcast this event to our local community.

Mark Anderson is the publisher of the SNS Global Report, a 20 year running predictive report on technology and the global economy with a 94.7 % independently scored accuracy rate. SNS is read by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Vint Cerf, Michael Dell, Paul Allen, Paul Jacobs, Bill Janeway, Robert Hormats, and other technology executives and investors worldwide.

Mark is also the founder and chair of the Future in Review (FiRe) Conference, named “the best technology conference in the world” by The Economist.

Each year Mark Anderson generates his top economic developments and top 10 technology predictions for the year. These are inspired, instructive, and useful to your business. Sample predictions from years past include: the fall of the Chinese Yen, the rise of the quantified self, calling of the financial crash (Great Recession), and the fall of oil prices.

This event is on Friday, January 13th at the Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee from 11:30am – 1:00pm. Mark’s predictions will be live streamed from 12:00 – 1:00pm. This event is free for GWATA Members and $10.00 for the public. You can bring your own lunch or reserve lunch for $10. Call 509-661-9000 or visit www.gwata.org to register.


GWATA is a 501(c)3 founded in 2000 to promote a vibrant technology based economy benefiting the citizens and communities of North Central Washington. GWATA’s mission is to support technology, entrepreneurship and STEM education. To learn more about GWATA, visit www.gwata.org or call509.661.9000.

About TAG

The Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAG) was formed in 1999 as the Bellingham/Whatcom Technology Alliance Group to address the needs of a growing technology industry in Whatcom County. As the industry evolved, membership grew and TAG’s mission to promote, educate, and advocate for Northwest Washington technology businesses positively impacted an increasing number of companies. To learn more about TAG, visit http://www.tagnw.org/