Still not really a local but having lived in North Bend for some 20-plus years, I feel educated enough to speak to the disruption that occurs when Mountain Meadows Farm operates its summer carnivals for various corporations like Boeing, Microsoft, etc.
This last Sunday was without a doubt one of the largest events that I recall in recent years. Returning from Issaquah via exit 27 along Southeast North Bend Way, I observed the backup of cars in both eastbound lanes exceeded well beyond 394th Place Southeast where the railroad tracks cross over highway.
It was immediately obvious to me, as well as all those not attending the event, that an alternate route should be sought if one wanted to get into town or return to their homes in a timely manner. I chose to backtrack through Snoqualmie and over to Reinig Road. While this offered a better solution, it was also strewn with traffic, charter buses and event goers.
My purpose in writing is to encourage the Valley Record to share with the community more about the George Brown family operation at Mountain Meadows Farm. I commend Mr. Brown in his success with his carnivals, but question what is given back to the community as a result of these summer weekend disruptions.
I suppose the city must benefit from some kind of tax revenue as well as a few shop owners getting benefits, but from my experience most of these party goers travel from point A to point B under the supervision of the off-duty sheriff deputies who benefit from the available work. There may be some long-term benefits as these visitors may have never been to North Bend and may return at a later time to spend their money at our various businesses in the area. And, of course, I am aware that many youth are able to obtain a part-time job to support the events.
However, with that said, these things are merely operational costs in seeking a business profit for the farm. It would be encouraging to know if the farm, in some way, pays back the community as a result of the impacts its carnival operation creates or is there just an expectation that we live with it each summer.
Anyone who has been around here for even just a few years knows of the generosity of the George Wyrsch family who has historically shelled out thousands of dollars each year for a fabulous fireworks display during Alpine Days. It is their way of thanking the community for the support of their business.
Perhaps Mountain Meadows Farm contributes in some way as well and if that is the case I, as well as others, would rest easier knowing that in some way our patience is helping our community.