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Mayors, tribe administrator talk hotels, shared resources

Snoqualmie Tribe Administrator Matt Mattson, center, discusses educational opportunities during a session with Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, left, and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing, right, at a Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce marketing session. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Snoqualmie Tribe Administrator Matt Mattson, center, discusses educational opportunities during a session with Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, left, and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing, right, at a Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce marketing session.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing and Snoqualmie Tribe Administrator Matt Mattson had a chance to get detailed in their visions for the Valley's future, during a sit-down session with the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber's "Wake up and Smell the Coffee" marketing group, Wednesday morning, June 10, at Snoqualmie Casino.

The trio were on the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce's hot seat for the second time this spring, following a similar chat with the general chamber membership in March.

This time around, Larson, Hearing and Mattson had more time to talk about how their organizations can work together and share resources.

"It makes no sense for both cities to have a road grader that's used twice a week," Hearing said. The tribe is developing a composting effort that North Bend would love to share.

The cities and the tribe meet quarterly as part of the Snoqualmie Valley Government's Association. That connection is unique in the state, Mattson said.

The cities and tribe are also in a race to build a new hotel in the Valley. Efforts to allow a new hotel near North Bend are underway, and Snoqualmie's city council recently voted to allow a hotel on the Snoqualmie Ridge and is looking at an expansion of the Salish Lodge. Meanwhile, building a hotel at the Snoqualmie Casino is a tribe priority.

The quest for new Valley hotels raises questions of how much capacity the Valley has for hotels, , and where a hotel is placed determines which city or tribe benefits from revenues and taxes.

"Those are questions we have to answer," Larson said.

Larson also discussed development potential at the former Weyerhaeuser Mill site. While the city has not finalized its vision for the site, it is working with Quadrant and the Weyerhaeuser real estate development company on what mix of housing, business or industry would work there.

The acreage at the former mill site is a "blank slate," Larson said.

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