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Ski
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PostMon Sep 03, 2018 4:25 pm 
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^ Excellent find. Thank you.

Friends of Leavenworth wrote:
Leavenworth Tourism has reached a point where both residents and tourists are rapidly becoming dissatisfied with the experience.

And that is the point at which (a) the destination becomes not as desirable to prospective customers and (b) provides the impetus for an exodus by local residents.

From that document, it sounds like the city government of Leavenworth is a bit out of touch with the local residents, which seems a little bizarre considering how small the population is.

On the bright side, Leavenworth's over-saturation creates an opportunity for less crowded communities to increase their market share of the tourism dollars by creating and developing more appealing alternatives.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Downhill
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PostMon Sep 03, 2018 5:46 pm 
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Ski wrote:
^ Excellent find. Thank you.

Friends of Leavenworth wrote:
Leavenworth Tourism has reached a point where both residents and tourists are rapidly becoming dissatisfied with the experience.

And that is the point at which (a) the destination becomes not as desirable to prospective customers and (b) provides the impetus for an exodus by local residents.

From that document, it sounds like the city government of Leavenworth is a bit out of touch with the local residents, which seems a little bizarre considering how small the population is.

On the bright side, Leavenworth's over-saturation creates an opportunity for less crowded communities to increase their market share of the tourism dollars by creating and developing more appealing alternatives.

"Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."  - Yogi Berra
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PostMon Sep 03, 2018 10:24 pm 
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Runnin' those big you-drink-we-drive party busses up and back eight mile during those octoberfets

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i ALWAYS camp at the upper lake!
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Downhill
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PostTue Sep 04, 2018 5:51 pm 
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Addressing the OP's comments and questions (rhetorical?) from the point of view of someone who lives here.  My comments are anecdotal, not based on big-data, Moneyball analytics or approved by the L'worth City Council.

I actually think the reverse effect is the current phenomenon, that the popularity of Leavenworth, the tourism, is having the greatest impact on the "Enchantments", especially Colchuck lake.  I've been to the lake 4 times this summer and have seen an unbelievable number of people who appeared to be on their first (and for many, their last) hike.  They seem to have been sent to this trail by online sources, merchant recommendations, "what to do when in L'worth" guides, etc.  Most of these day-hikers were hiking to Colchuck only because they were in L'worth as the primary destination for their weekend/holiday and decided to take a day trip.  I met a pair of middle-aged women in designer sneakers each carrying Metropolitan Market shopping bags in each hand, containing what I presumed was an incredibly delicious picnic lunch.  The well-coiffed ladies had, somehow, made it to within about 0.75 mi below the lake but were "done" and ready to turn back.  I encouraged them that if they'd made it this far, they had to push through to the lake.  Although I was on my descent, I was tempted to escort them to the lake and share the delicacies.  On one side, I'm sad to see Colchuck runover by the masses, but if some of these first-timers are converted to becoming supporters of the wilderness, conservation, preservation, and vote and contribute to the protection of our Alpine areas, then some good can come from all this exposure.

My dad's grandparents settled in the upper Wenatchee River Valley in the late 1890s.  He was a ski jumper on the L'worth hill in the post-WWII years.  My grandmother owned a building on Front Street in the 60's when the theme was put into law.  I was born and raised in Chelan County and I can remember very clearly what L'worth was like before it became bavarianized.  The town was clearly in a state of decline.  The Great Northern RR had pulled out and the timber industry was also suffering (contrary to what a previous poster wrote, L'Worth *was* a timber town, not just RR).  The move to make Leavenworth a tourist town most clearly saved the economy creating jobs and business opportunities.  You only have to look to the opposite side of Stevens Pass, to Skykomish, to see how Leavenworth might have ended up without this transformation.

In the early days of L'worth's Bavarian life, tourism seemed concentrated at opposite ends of the demographic range, young families, and the AARP set, combing the shops for T-shirt deals and ice cream cone bargains.  While there are still many retired folks and families visiting, it seems that in the past 10-15 years there are is also a significant percentage of 20-somethings and 30-somethings in the mix.  Personally, I like this change, as a local there is a lot more for me to do in town (have too many T-shirts).  There are more breweries, wine-tasting venues, quality bars and restaurants and even a couple distilleries.  That said, it has become ever more congested and expensive.  I try to avoid town on the weekends, and if I do need to come in I know the places to park and how to get in and out avoiding Front Steet and Highway 2.

Aside from the casual "sidewalk tourists", the incredible growth within the sports of mountain biking, climbing, bouldering, rafting, kayaking, hiking, fishing and Nordic skiing have contributed to the popularity of L'Worth as a destination.  Go big all day on the rocks/water and celebrate with beer and brats by night!  Sure, the popularity of the Enchantments is among these attractions, but a relatively small contributor (IMO).

So what do the locals think about it?  Again, this is just one person's view, but I think the sentiments are mixed among locals.  For the natives, they like the strength of the economy, the business and job opportunities.  For those employed in service industry jobs, it's a double-edged sword.  They like having a robust job market while hate being priced out of the housing market (just like Puget Sound).  Most "natives" like the growth of tourism/development, even if they will bitch about it.  For the non-native outdoor warriors, the GoPro heroes, the climbing "bums" (used with affection), boatbums, skibums.....I believe they like having a reliable income source tending bar or swinging a hammer, that allows them to stay outside doing what they love to do. Unlike many other places, L'Worth doesn't really have an off-season, it stays busy for about 49 weeks a year - that's a positive for the Dharma Bums.  From what I can see and hear, most of the anti-growth/development opinions coming from locals is from the transplants, those who made their wealth elsewhere, moved here with enough money can afford to pay Seattle prices for real estate and once they have a slice of nirvana, don't want to see it change.  They are less dependant on the job market and economic growth to fund their cash flow or retirement nest eggs.  This is a generalization, of course, there are exceptions on all sides of this topic.

High-priced, bad traffic/parking, crowded (especially weekends and festivals)? - yeah, probably.  But it's not really any different than Bondi Beach, Moab, Zermatt, Cortina, Chamonix, Everest base camp.....  But there are so many cool things to do in the area surrounding L'Worth and it's easy to lose the crowds if you want solitude - just be resourceful and venture off the beaten path a little.

Sure, I miss how unknown and rarely-visited the Enchantments used to be, but I'm okay with it.  My hope is that the growth in popularity coincides with a growth in advocacy, support and protection for special places like this.
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DadFly
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PostTue Sep 04, 2018 8:14 pm 
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Downhill wrote:
Sure, I miss how unknown and rarely-visited the Enchantments used to be, but I'm okay with it. My hope is that the growth in popularity coincides with a growth in advocacy, support and protection for special places like this.

This is the bottom line for me with regards to the Enchantments and any other "wilderness" area.
We have passed the point at which laissez-faire politics and management can protect and area and promote its kind. Everything these days requires a large resource based lobbying groups and the big dog wins.

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CC
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PostMon Sep 10, 2018 3:30 pm 
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DadFly wrote:
Downhill wrote:
Sure, I miss how unknown and rarely-visited the Enchantments used to be, but I'm okay with it. My hope is that the growth in popularity coincides with a growth in advocacy, support and protection for special places like this.

This is the bottom line for me with regards to the Enchantments and any other "wilderness" area.
We have passed the point at which laissez-faire politics and management can protect and area and promote its kind. Everything these days requires a large resource based lobbying groups and the big dog wins.

Recent piece on Enchantment overcrowding from our local (509) PBS affiliate: https://www.nwpb.org/2018/09/08/our-favorite-mountains-are-under-siege-blame-your-selfie/

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Downhill
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PostMon Sep 10, 2018 6:21 pm 
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I was up in the Chatter Creek/Lady Lakes region midweek last.  I encountered 2-3 parties (about 50% of all people I saw) who were hiking the Chatter Creek - Frost Creek loop, having been sent there by USFS rangers in Leavenworth.  Each of these parties had gone to the ranger station with hopes of winning the morning-of Enchantments lottery but lost.  Being geared up with nowhere else to go, and evidently unfamiliar with the options in the region, they were given a photocopied, hand-drawn map of the ALWA from the rangers, with the Lady Lakes highlighted as their consolation prize.

It seems like this might be the USFS's default response to parties set on the Enchantments but who lack an overnight permit.  If that's the case, the Lady Lakes are, if not already, going to be experiencing much higher numbers and resulting impact.  Am I just late to this party, has this been going on for a while now, have others seen/heard of this??

I'm thinking of trolling the rangers in town to see how they respond to me posing as a disappointed "Core Loser".
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PostMon Sep 10, 2018 8:01 pm 
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Get Out and Go wrote:
Rhein Haus, has opened a Leavenworth location.

My brother and his wife live up the Icicle and our daughter and son-in-law live in Leavenworth proper (not far from Get Out and Go). So we go up there a lot to visit them. This past weekend we decided we would try the new eats place (Rhein Haus) without investigating what it was first. Our daughter was in charge of doing that first, but it turns out she had never heard of the place and didn't know where it was. In short, it is a beer and brat place similar to several others in town. But...since we were coming from three different directions and agreed to meet there we stayed and ate. I ordered the pork schnitzel with summer greens instead of apple slaw. It came with slaw. The schnitzel was dry and tough, which would have been ok if it had tasted good. It was so tasteless I spent most of the time dumping salt, mustard, etc on it to make it palatable but left most uneaten. The fires were actually ok. My point, typical mass tourist food (at least that place). To be fair, several in our party did not complain about the food. It was a good outing even though there are very few handicapped parking spots in town and my wife had to walk a long ways with her cane.
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Merlin
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 11:11 am 
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It depends on who you talk to in there. I was recommended this hike because I asked for ' an area comparable to the Enchantments nearby that does not require a permit' and assume that is what other folks who are not successful in getting a permit are asking about.
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Downhill wrote:
I'm thinking of trolling the rangers in town to see how they respond to me posing as a disappointed "Core Loser".

Hopefully the rangers will be helpful and courteous. I mean, that's their job, after all.

Earlier this summer I spoke with USFS and NPS rangers in an effort to come up with a back-up plan after fire closures were unexpectedly extended to cover my intended destination. They had some great ideas that I might not have come up with on my own, which I truly appreciated. I would expect anyone else to get the same treatment.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 12:40 pm 
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I've had a bit of a mixed bag over the years when interacting with USFS or NPS employees at Ranger Stations, either over the phone or in person.  I think all have been friendly.  There were clearly cases where they did not have updated info but provided it as if it was current.  I learned a long time ago to take it with a grain of salt.  Most of the time I don't consult with a Ranger Station to gain info.  I did make a number of calls in the days leading up to doing the Spider Gap/Buck Creek Pass loop.  This was during the time the Wolverine Fire was going, so I kept calling to make sure the trails were open.  Seemed like there was a bit of confusion over whether Chelan or Leavenworth was the office I should be calling, but they were helpful and kept reassuring me the proposed trip was a go.
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PostTue Sep 11, 2018 2:35 pm 
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After following a few links provided and some of the links within.... The nausea inducing instagramming/social blogging of visits to Lworth (gluten free perfection on a plate or ten, 'gram worthy wine poses, etc) and the insanity now perpetuated in the 'chants by the viral growth of day trippers makes me simultaneously glad I got my fill before the insanity, and sad that insanity and it's handmaiden, rationing and restrictions, will never allow others to enjoy what I and other old timers of the region enjoyed when we didn't know how good we had it...especially compared to what would follow. Back in the day if you could make it through Apple Blossom till about early july, and then get through the Xmas schmaltz in December, life was pretty simple. Now it looks like there is no off season.

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PostThu Jun 27, 2019 9:02 pm 
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Get Out and Go wrote:
. I appreciate that Friends of Leavenworth is shining light on development and traffic issues. up.gif

I thought this was dead and buried

http://www.ifiberone.com/news/foes-of-leavenworth-adventure-park-file-suit-to-stop-development/article_d4c52828-990e-11e9-895d-df9dcbf55db1.html

I guess not

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Slugman
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PostThu Jun 27, 2019 9:42 pm 
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"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but nature more..."  Childe Harold
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PostThu Jun 27, 2019 10:23 pm 
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Bootpathguy wrote:
Get Out and Go wrote:
. I appreciate that Friends of Leavenworth is shining light on development and traffic issues. up.gif

I thought this was dead and buried

http://www.ifiberone.com/news/foes-of-leavenworth-adventure-park-file-suit-to-stop-development/article_d4c52828-990e-11e9-895d-df9dcbf55db1.html

I guess not

What locals are concerned about corrupting Leavenworth's authenticity?    rolleyes.gif
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