In the past two years, the City of Issaquah’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) has invested $40,000 in a new tourism web site, discoveroutsideseattle.com, which features a number of cities clustered around Interstate 90 and State Route 202, east of Seattle.
LTAC is responsible for deciding how the money raised by a 1 percent tax on hotels and motels in the city is spent, with the aim being to promote tourism in the city.
Joining Issaquah on the new web site are the cities of Cle Elum, Roslyn, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Fall City, Carnation, Duvall, Preston and Woodinville.
These cities have funded their involvement through a mixture of Lodging Tax and general budget funds, with contributions too from the Snoqualmie tribe, the Snoqualmie Summit ski area, and 4Culture, a cultural-services agency for King County.
One of the features of the site is that it does not feature the traditional big-players, Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue, with a clear effort being by the web site’s promoters to emphasize rural attractions, and cultural and outdoor activities, rather than just shopping.
The Issaquah page of discoveroutsideseattle.com features Village Theatre, the Salmon Hatchery, the Tiger Mountain paragliding club, historic downtown Issaquah and the Tiger Mountain zoo, with links to local accommodations and restaurants.
According to the City of Issaquah’s Economic Development Manager, Dan Trimble, who is on the board of Outside Seattle, the group behind the web site, it has been three and a half years in the making.
Trimble said that although the site’s development will require further cash contributions from the city, it had not been determined how much that would be.
discoveroutsideseattle.com also links to the Chamber of Commerce’s new web site, discoverissaquah.com, which is not fully functional at this time.