Business

Snoqualmie, North Bend join Eastside tourism site

Eastside tourism promoter Jim Pearman wants Seattle residents to do something crazy.

"Drive across the bridge," said Pearman, whose Outside Seattle Web site will promote tourism in Snoqualmie, North Bend, Fall City and Carnation when it goes live in about a week.

During its regular meeting on Monday, Aug. 24, the Snoqualmie City Council approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Issaquah forming a Tourist Promotion Area to pay for the Web site. Hotels in Snoqualmie and Issaquah will make an assessment of $1.25 per room per night to fund the Outside Seattle site.

Briefing the Snoqualmie City Council, Pearman explained that Outside Seattle will link to attractions in all cities.

"The whole idea of this Web site is 'two clicks to anywhere," he said.

Each community has a brand on the site. Snoqualmie's brand emphasizes the historic railroad, while North Bend's features hiking and other outdoor activities. Carnation features patriotic bunting reminiscent of that city's Fourth of July parade, and farmer's market produce, while Fall City features a treehouse for the Treehouse Point retreat. Snoqualmie Pass features skiing.

When the site opens, it will be geared toward fall activities, such as skiing or the Northwest Railway Museum's Santa Train rides.

"Attractions drive the marketing," Pearman said. "This is what makes people care."

Businesses featured on the site must be tourist-oriented such as bike rentals or fly fishing shops — no hair salons or real estate, Pearman said.

"It will never have real estate, things that are not tourist-related," he added. "That's what chamber Web sites are for."

An interactive map also connects to lodging pages, where visitors can book rooms.

"I love our spot on the map — smack in the middle," commented Snoqualmie Councilwoman Maria Henriksen.

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