Business

National hotel coming to North Bend

NORTH BEND _ Valley visitors and highway travelers will soon


gain another lodging choice.


A 148-room Hampton Inn is scheduled to break ground at the


end of this summer at the southwest corner of Mount Si Boulevard and


412th Avenue Southeast, next to the


Jesus Christ Church of Latter-day Saints and just south of the Mountain


Valley Shopping Center.


The national chain's addition pleases many city officials and


residents, who believe North Bend needs additional accommodations.


"There definitely is a shortage of hotel and motel rooms in this


area," Valley resident Don Oster said, explaining how sales


representatives who visited his former auto parts


business always had to stay in Issaquah when calling on North Bend.


"We're dying for more hotel and conference rooms," said


Susan Hankins, director of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of


Commerce. "We get many calls during the year for (groups wanting to


have) events, and we have to turn them away. And it means that money is


leaving the Valley because we don't have adequate accommodations."


There are approximately 176 hotel and motel rooms in Snoqualmie


and North Bend, most of which are full during busy periods.


The four-story hotel will be built in two phases, with the first


consisting of 78 guest rooms, one to three conference rooms, a swimming


pool and 165 parking spaces. Phase 2 will add 70 rooms and could be


started sometime within the next three years.


Phase 1 construction is slated to begin in August or September


and should be finished by March, according to Paul Clark, an architect


working on the inn's design.


The 2.6-acre project is expected to move forward once final approval


is granted. City officials have recently determined that the development


will not adversely affect the environment, if mitigation requirements are


met. Laurence Stockton, director of North Bend's Community Services


Department, is currently reviewing the hotel's plans. A grading permit could be


issued as soon as mid-August.


Project applicants Dr. George and Linda Oh are Tacoma residents


who also own the Hampton Inn at Sea-Tac and one in Los Angeles.


George Oh said he is looking forward to the new hotel's


construction and hopes business will be good.


Members of the city's Business and Economic Development


Commission (EDC) see the hotel as a tool for capturing tourist dollars.


EDC Chairman Art Skolnik said North Bend has always needed a


destination that can accommodate businesspeople, skiers and tourists.


"We want (visitors) to eat in our restaurants, go to our movie


theater and shop in our stores," he said.


Skolnik added that because a hotel and motel tax was adopted last


year, Hampton Inn's tax dollars will contribute to the city's revitalization.


"For those who want to preserve the rural character of our city, it's


a win-win situation," he explained. "And it's is going to be creating some


job opportunities that we hope local residents will able to take advantage of."


The hotel will employ 12 people.

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