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cambajamba
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 3:23 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
a lot of people out there would be happier to never have anyone visit

Happy to oblige! Went out to Forks recently after having stayed away for about 20 years to see if it would improve from the days of the spotted owl crisis - nope! Not in the least!
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treeswarper
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 3:54 pm 
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"Improvement" is not always a good thing and your vision might not be their vision.  I had never been to Forks before and it seemed a lot nicer than I had thought it would be.  It was a sunny day, but still..they had a nice grocery store and the people were nice.  No worries.

Remember tourist jobs are low pay while in the same area, housing is expensive.  That's not a good thing for the residents, and I've heard of a long time Leavenworth folks moving away as their property taxes climb.  Guess they can make a killling on selling their houses right now, but it isn't cheap in Wenatchee, either so they'll have to move out of the area to escape.

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Ski
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 6:55 pm 
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kiliki wrote:
"...someplace like Forks..."

You mean they're not still milking the "Twilight" thing out there? lol.gif

There's a whole lot of "someplaces like Forks" all over the Northwest: Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Raymond, South Bend, Longview, Kelso, and another umpty-eleven I won't even bother to list. They all at one time had booming timber economies, but those industries are long gone and they're never coming back, any more than those jobs in huge steel mills in the rust belt or coal mining jobs in Appalachia.
Those that adapt survive and thrive. Those that continue to wallow in the pity pot waiting for the messiah to arrive with those well-paying mill jobs will just produce more unemployed and unemployable young men who can't manage to do much more than breed more like themselves.

So more power to Leavenworth for doing what they needed to do to maintain a vibrant local economy.
If the rest of those living in the hinterlands would realize that their continually bad-mouthing Starbucks and the "west side" and "Seattle" tourists is the economic equivalent to shooting themselves in the foot, maybe they could figure out a way to get a little piece of the pie too.

May 2018 Unemployment Rates:

King 3.4%
Snohomish 3.6%
Pierce 5.2%
Grays Harbor 6.5%
Cowlitz 5.8%
Clallam (home of Forks) 6.2%
Chelan (home of Leavenworth) 4.8%

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Bootpathguy
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 7:11 pm 
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Ski wrote:
There's a whole lot of "someplaces like Forks" all over the Northwest: Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Raymond, South Bend, Longview, Kelso, and another umpty-eleven I won't even bother to list. They all at one time had booming timber economies, but those industries are long gone and they're never coming back, any more than those jobs in huge steel mills in the rust belt or coal mining jobs in Appalachia.
Those that adapt survive and thrive. Those that continue to wallow in the pity pot waiting for the messiah to arrive with those well-paying mill jobs will just produce more unemployed and unemployable young men who can't manage to do much more than breed more like themselves.

So more power to Leavenworth for doing what they needed to do to maintain a vibrant local economy.


You've got to admit that geography ( geographic location ) has alot to do with it. Leavenworth could be a "Smurf Village", "Wizard Of Oz" theme. They chose a Swiss Alps tone. Area is absolutely beautiful.

Swiss theme helpful? Yes.

But try that in PeEll. Paul Bunyan & Babe The Big Blue Ox theme. Maybe. But I tell you what. John Henry theme village would have worked just as successful as the Swiss Alps theme in Leavenworth. Why? Stunning geography & main artery west to east

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Riverside Laker
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 7:34 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
Somebody showed me a hiking game for Android phones.  She said the scenery is nice and the game is relaxing.

Isn't NWhikers a hiking game?
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Ski
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 8:25 pm 
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Bootpathguy wrote:
"...geography has alot to do with it...."

True, and that goes back to the old adage about "location, location, location."

Forks has the disadvantages of (1) being out in the middle of nowhere and (2) having really crappy rainy weather most of the year and (3) not really having a heck of a lot to offer in the way of "tourist attractions".
There were guides and outfitters eking out a living there, but with the precipitous declines of anadromous salmonid runs, the viability of that industry is tenuous at best. (Consider that Westport, Washington used to sell itself as "The Salmon Fishing Capital of the World" and during the 1960's you had to wait in line to get on a charter boat in the over-crowded harbor.)

But being out in the middle of nowhere and having crappy rainy weather most of the year doesn't necessarily equate to not being able to milk the tourists for their dollars. Consider that the cabins at Kalaloch are booked year-round and they don't rent out cheap.

Like Forks, Pe Ell doesn't have a heck of a lot to offer, but then neither does Trees of Mystery other than a gigantic statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox (although it looks like they've recently added a new "Sky Trail" gondola ride.)
It would be pretty difficult to argue that you could get much farther out into the middle of nowhere than "Trees of Mystery" - as I recall there's not a damn thing along that highway for miles in either direction.

But more important than location is attitude and the willingness to adapt and change. In the early 1990s, when the NWFP was being cooked up, my sales territory included the entire Olympic Peninsula, and all of Western Washington from the Cascade Crest to the Pacific Ocean, and from I-90 south to the Columbia River. My client base was small independently-owned businesses.
I attended City Council meetings, read all the local papers, communicated with local news reporters, and talked with locals.
Overall, there was not much willingness to adapt and change. The predominant tone was displayed visually with things like the gigantic can of "Cream of Spotted Owl Soup" proudly displayed on the top of the counter at the "Raymond Café".
Westport lost most of its salmon fleet, and those who remained started selling "bottom fishing charters" or "whale watching trips".
The City of Raymond appropriated funding to erect locally-made (and in some cases brilliant) bare steel one-dimensional sculptures all over town just to get the tourists' attention as they drove through on their way to Long Beach or Ilwaco.
But most of them languished and grumbled about "those damn tree-huggers" and stubbornly refused to accept the reality that the old status quo was not returning.
Some made incredibly idiotic moves, like the City of Aberdeen effectively giving away prime commercial riverfront real estate to Walmart, which subsequently put almost all of the local independent retailers out of business.

Granted, Leavenworth has the advantage of a scenic location and decent weather most of the time, but it was the foresight and willingness to change and adapt that made it a success.
Unfortunately, those in charge of the City and County governments in Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, and Pacific Counties seem to be sorely lacking that foresight and willingness to change and adapt, and it's been that way for at least the last few decades.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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treeswarper
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Ahh, but there can only be so many Bavarian Villages to Wilkommen folks.  Otherwise they'd be too common and be declared passe by the Seattle hipsters.

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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Yeah... so you gotta think up another angle.

When Ian Anderson realized that he'd never make the big time as another British rock-and-roll guitar player, he picked up a flute and the rest is history.

Howard Schultz figured out a way to get people to stand in line and wait to pay $5 bucks for a cup of coffee.

"Can't" is just a lack of creativity and willingness.

I worked for a guy for a while as an independent sales rep selling fuzzy dice and key fobs.
The biggest purchase order I wrote up for the key fobs was $3600.00 (at a factory net price of 63 cents per unit, freight prepaid, terms net 30 days.) (go ahead - do the math. the guy even ordered "Opel" and "Rolls Royce".)
When I worked up in Yelm (1977-1981) the only curbs in Yelm ran from the intersection of Yelm Avenue and Main down to just past the True Value Hardware store (roughly about a block-and-a-half.) I sold more "curb feelers" out of the Yelm store than all 8 of our other stores combined.
Don't tell me it can't be done.
There's always a way. Just gotta know how to sell the idea.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Jul 12, 2018 11:52 pm 
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Unless the Hoh River moves, there's gonna be quite a few tourists from both somewhat locally and also way out of the area passing through Forks for the foreseeable future.  Depends on if you come from the north or south though.  LaPush and the beaches within Olympic National Park probably aren't going to disappear either.  Another reason one might pass through Forks.  Seems like it's actually in a decent location as far as that goes.  I grab food in Leavenworth all the time when I'm over.  Forks not so much, nothing there really jumps out at me.
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PostFri Jul 13, 2018 1:15 am 
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^ Inarguably true. The volume of tourist traffic on the Hwy 101 Olympic Loop is mind boggling.

I've watched people pull in at Kalaloch Beach #1 with plates on rental cars from Florida, Connecticut, and every other place you can imagine.

They stop and drop their money where it's clean and inviting and where the locals are friendly.

Too many business owners sit and watch that money drive by every day.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Randito
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PostFri Jul 13, 2018 7:37 am 
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I've had plenty of out of town visitors express interest in visiting the Washington coast and Olympic peninsula.  That interest often fades when they look at travel times and realize that visiting La Push, Hurricane Ridge and watching the Mariners at Safeco don't easily fit in a single day.
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PostFri Jul 13, 2018 8:07 am 
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^ the same could be said of Crater Lake or the Grand Canyon.

Again, while working on the trails or visiting up at Kalaloch, while standing next to my truck up in the parking areas taking a break or eating lunch, I've watched the tourist traffic come and go and noted the plates on the rental cars.
What I always found puzzling was that after having driven all the way across the continent and arriving at what is arguably one of the more scenic stretches of the Pacific Coast, their visit times in many cases were less than 20 minutes; the amount of time it took them to get out of the car, walk down the trails to the beach, take a couple snapshots, and then walk back up to the car and take off.

Hurry hurry hurry.  huh.gif

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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JonnyQuest
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PostFri Jul 13, 2018 9:11 am 
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Ski wrote:
The City of Raymond appropriated funding to erect locally-made (and in some cases brilliant) bare steel one-dimensional sculptures all over town

Many of those are actually quite beautiful.  One of our dogs barks his arse off at those sculptures every time we drive through.
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cambajamba
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PostFri Jul 13, 2018 9:38 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
Otherwise they'd be too common and be declared passe by the Seattle hipsters.

Didn't you JUST make the observation in another thread that it's easy to poke fun at something when you're separated from it by a mountain range?! I have to deal with these G-D hipsters every day of my life, at least you only have to deal with them on the weekends!
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Cyclopath
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PostFri Jul 13, 2018 9:58 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
I've had plenty of out of town visitors express interest in visiting the Washington coast and Olympic peninsula.  That interest often fades when they look at travel times and realize that visiting La Push, Hurricane Ridge and watching the Mariners at Safeco don't easily fit in a single day.

It's not just travel times, though.  Look how busy Winthrop is.  That's 4 hours from Seattle in the summertime, 6 hours in winter.
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