Pin It
Favorite

First Impressions 

The city of Spokane could do a better job welcoming its visitors.

click to enlarge What\'s right with this image?
  • What\'s right with this image?

The eye-catcher on the corner of Main Avenue and Browne Street is the Main Market Co-op. Set on a brilliant yellow wall, its mural boasts wine bottles, a cheese wheel, chickens, goats and a sandwich. The air outside in the parking lot smells delicious, like the lunch that’s eluded you all week. A sign in the front window reads “Everyone Welcome.”

“Isn’t it gorgeous, all those big graphics, doesn’t it make you want to go in and buy vegetables?” asks Judy Randall, president of Randall Travel Marketing, Inc. Last week, the company released a study, commissioned by Visit Spokane, on how to improve tourism in Spokane.

Randall contrasted the co-op with the “brown box” across the way, its offset entrance guarded by a stone wall seemingly holding a grass moat: the Spokane Visitor’s Information Center.

“They make you want to go in and buy vegetables, something that people normally don’t really like,” Randall says, referring to the co-op. “Over here, we’re giving away fun and entertainment and can’t get them to come in. What’s wrong with this picture?” Getting a unified visitor center — there are currently two, on opposite ends of town — closer to the highway and more welcoming is one of the study’s recommendations.

But Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart says a center is a tough pitch. The building sits on city property, where rent is inexpensive, according to Stuckart. And finding suitable land closer to the highway might be a challenge.

Randall also advocates for better highway signs and more welcoming “gateways,” the places through which visitors enter the city.

Stuckart agrees with this and thinks it’s doable. “Everybody recognizes that we need better gateways,” he says. Like the experience of pulling off I-90 northbound onto Division Street:

“It’s not the prettiest thing.”

There, you glide down the exit ramp before rounding the bend through a homeless encampment beneath the highway. You sit at the Third Avenue stoplight next to the chicken wire fence of a rental car lot and round-the-clock shifts of panhandlers.

It happens so fast you might not even notice the sign in the shadow of the underpass, a depiction of buildings bearing the words, “Welcome to Spokane.”

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Recall and Response
  • Recall and Response

    The attempt to remove Spokane Mayor David Condon from office may be a long shot, but he isn't taking any chances
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Shades of Black Lives
  • Shades of Black Lives

    A Spokane County detective's Facebook post about Black Lives Matter sparks debate among local law enforcement
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Fires Hit Home
  • Fires Hit Home

    Tens of thousands of acres burn around Spokane on Sunday and Monday; plus, DOJ weighs in on concerns over bail system
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • More »

Comments (15)

Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-15 of 15

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion

Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion @ Mobius Science Center

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Joe O'Sullivan

  • R.I.P. Spokane
  • R.I.P. Spokane

    Exploring the Spokane of South Dakota — left for dead long ago
    • Jun 11, 2013
  • Beating On
  • Beating On

    Ska and new wave legends the English Beat land in Spokane
    • Mar 26, 2013
  • Green Water
  • Green Water

    Will Congress say yes to more hydropower?
    • Feb 27, 2013
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • 'Unreasonable Threat to Life and Property'

    Spokane's rental housing has problems, but landlord and tenant groups are split on a solution
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • 'End of Story'

    Condon administration aims to close the controversial Frank Straub chapter — but last week's scathing report has irrevocably changed the narrative
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


election 2016


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Where School Bonds Go to Die
  • Where School Bonds Go to Die

    Central Valley School District's bond and levy package wouldn't increase property taxes a dime — but don't tell that to Duane Alton
    • Feb 5, 2015
  • Ryan's Last Ride
  • Ryan's Last Ride

    Ryan Holyk's family is still searching for answers in the bicycle accident that cost him his life
    • Apr 15, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation