Convention Center Plaza Wins Award

Earlier this week the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce presented the Fall 2010 Y.E.S. Awards (Yakima Extra Special) at a membership luncheon.

The Yakima Convention Center’s new Outdoor Plaza received the award for the Non Profit Category. The Y.E.S. Awards recognize businesses and organizations who have visually enhanced the surrounding community by their construction project, renovation, or remodel, thus improving the overall look of an area.  Accepting the award on behalf of the City of Yakima  and Yakima Convention Center was City Manager Dick Zais.

Since opening last October, the plaza has become a popular location for outdoor gatherings and celebrations by meeting planners and local residents. To book the Plaza contact the convention center staff at (509) 576-6370.

Tourism Awards Presented

At their annual lunch today, the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau presented their Encore! Awards of excellence. Recognizing their contributions to the tourism industry, the White Pass Ski Area was presented Tourism Business of the Year for their recent expansion of the ski resort. The Clean and Safe Ambassadors of the Committee for Downtown Yakima were awarded Tourism Persons of the Year for their efforts to keep the city center clean and safe.  The Chair’s Award was presented to City of Yakima City Manager Dick Zais for his more than 30 years of service to the travel and tourism industry and the many projects he was involved in during his career to enhance Yakima as a visitor destination.

A highlight of the program was a motivational program presented by former host of KING  5 Evening Magazine John Curley. More than 200 industry and community leaders attended the event at the Yakima Convention Center.

The mission of the Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau is to stimulate economic development by marketing the Yakima Valley for conventions, groups and leisure travel.

Photo With Share Your Washington Sign

You may have heard about the Share Your Washington campaign to attract visitors to the state, and have wondered, ‘where can I get my picture with that sign’?  Come to the sunny side of the state in the Yakima Valley and we’ll set you up!

Stop in at the Yakima Visitors Information Center just off I-82 in Yakima (visit website for directions and hours of operation). The friendly staff there will help you pose with the sign in our beautiful Tuscan themed visitors center.

The Share Your Washington promotion encourages everyone to invite their loved ones to visit Washington, while also entering into a sweepstakes for the chance to win airfare on Alaska Airlines.

Entering is simple. Visit to send electronic postcards to friends outside the state, which automatically enters the sender into the sweepstakes.  The Share Your Washington postcard will also include special deals and discounts for the visitor, such as chances to win a local getaway, shopping discounts or special rates at local hotels. One of the postcards is of wine vineyards in the Yakima Valley.

Take the fun a step further and post your Share Your Washington pictures to the official Facebook page and be sure to follow them on Twitter @shareyourwa.

Help create new jobs and build our local economies. Invite your friends and family to visit.

Legends Casino Hotel Groundbreaking

Responding to increasing competition and a long-held dream, Yakama Nation officials broke ground today on their $90 million expansion to expand Legends Casino.  Construction is slated to begin in July and is expected to be complete by September 2012

Plans include a 200-room hotel, convention and banquet hall, new parking garage, restaurant,  swimming pool, spa, additional slot machines plus a bingo hall. Tribal officials expect the new addition will create at least 150 permanent new jobs, not including construction.

Opened 13 years ago, Legends Casino currently employs 670 people.

“This addition will greatly enhance more employment opportunities for the members of the Yakama Nation while giving our visitors a new and exciting attraction,” stated John Cooper, President and CEO of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. “We look forward to working with the Nation to make this venture a great success.”

Tourism Survivor- Annual Lunch

With the state of the economy lately, it’s like a jungle out there.  As with any industry, everyone has had to work harder, be stronger and maneuver around the competition to survive… but survivors we are!

The Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau will host our Annual Lunch and Encore! awards on May 19, 2011. This year we are going with a Tourism Survivor theme.  Be transported to Tourism Island, and find out how the tribe has spoken for the 2011 Encore! award recipients, including Tourism Person of the Year and Tourism Business of the Year.

Special Guest speaker is John Curley, former anchor of Evening Magazine in Seattle.  John swears he doesn’t deserve the life that he has, and believe that if karma does exist he will be coming back in the next time around as a dung beetle.  Before that happens John has much work to do. He hosts his radio show on KIRO 97 point 3 weeknights from 7 to 10 pm. He serve as an elected official in the city of Sammamish as a city councilman.   In his spare time Curley competes in International Ironman competitions and travels the country as a motivational speaker.  He wears many hats and has many titles but likes best when two very small people, that look a little bit like him call him dad.  His presentation starts with Mr. Curley being thrown off a 700 foot building and ends with the attendees super charged and ready to take on new challenges.

When: May 19, 2011

Where: Yakima Convention Center, 10 North 8th Street Downtown Yakima

Registration: 11:45 am

Lunch & Awards: 12:00 pm

Ticket: $25 / person or $250 per table

             $30 at the door

Purchase Your Tickets by May 17th

Call (509) 575-3010 or email Barbara. 

Be there…the tribe has spoken!

Sponsors: Fairfield Inn & Suites, Yakima Federal Savings and Loan; Oxford Suites; Terril, Lewis & Wilke Insurance; Horizon Distribution Inc.  and Allied Insurance.

Official Yakima Valley Visitors Guide

The recognized Visitors Guide for the Yakima Valley and Yakima County has hit the streets and is doing its job. Since the guide came out a couple of months ago the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau has been busy getting it in the hands of visitors, convention attendees, relocation parties and locals. We utilize an extensive distribution service throughout Washington State and into Oregon Visitor Information Centers, Chambers of Commerce, attractions, etc.

Guides are sent as fulfillment for direct inquiries from the Internet, telephone, walk in, advertising, email and regular mail. To date, 9,520 guides have been mailed all over the U.S., plus have been shipped to AAA offices in Washington, Oregon and Canada.  Likewise, we take the guides to all the trade and consumer shows we attend.

Locally, the Guide is available at hotels, motels, restaurants, attractions, member businesses plus is available for download on the VCB’s website.

So stop on by the Yakima Visitors Center for your copy and discover the Yakima Valley!