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Find a Chamber Business:

Come join us
at our Visitor's Center
located at:
320 Main Street
Sultan, WA 98294

 

Mailing Address:
PO Box 46 
Sultan, WA 98294
Hours:
10-4 Mon-Fri, 10-1 Sat
Phone: 360-793-0983
Fax: 360-793-3241
E-mail: 
debbie@skyvalleyvic.net

Chamber Membership:

The Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is not a tax supported organization. We spend everything we generate on keeping the Visitor Center open and to support our business community. Our amazing group of volunteers make this possible! Please help us work to build a stronger business community and to become a liaison representing the Sky ValleyThanks to everyone who has renewed! We appreciate your support! We would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone else to join the Sky Valley Chamber and Visitor Center. We pledge to promote your business and the entire Sky Valley to the best of our abilities!

Sky Valley Chamber of CommerceAnnual Membership Report

December, 2016

The Sky Valley Chamber had a great year and 2017 is looking even better for our area.   We have a lot to be grateful for! The economy is continuing to pick up according to our 176 members. We are currently working on our annual membership drive. We have a special rate for citizen members who want to support our work and be involved in building the Sky Valley economy. Last year we had 18 citizen members.

First thing I’d like to say is “Thank You” to our Annual Sponsors: Monroe Parts House-NAPA, Republic Services, and Wagley Creek Automotive. Your sponsorship allowed us the opportunity to continue the work we are doing without the constant worry about money. Thank you for believing in the work we are doing in the Sky Valley! We are truly grateful!

We started two major projects with Snohomish County, the first one centered around developing a Rural Marketing Plan for promoting the Skykomish/Snohomish River Valleys. It involved a broad cross section of the community and was facilitated by Pandion Consulting. Each person had a unique perspective but we also had a lot of common themes. Developing outdoor recreation based tourism was a common theme with the added challenge/goal of protecting the environment and the culture of the area.

The other partner project is the Sky To Sound Water trails map. This river system is unique and most of the Sky Valley borders the river which gives us the ability to work on a plan to create a ‘Trails Towns’ concept that will connect our business communities to the activities that are happening on the river. In June the WA. Association of Landscape Architects, Snohomish County Tourism and National Parks will be conducting a pilot project in Sultan that will focus on possible designs for connecting the Skykomish River to Sultan downtown. We can use these ideas to create a plan for each town in the Valley. 

The arts and culture aspect of the Rural Tourism Marketing plan is moving forward through our partnerships with the Sky Valley Arts Council and Snohomish County Tourism. This group is working with a great group of volunteers from around the area. The Arts Council is continuing to make progress on the Startup Event Center. This effort will eventually create another venue that can be used to support tourism in the Valley. All of the old siding has been replaced, windows repaired and now we are working inside on electrical and plumbing. Landscaping the park will be happening next spring. This will help area lodging, retail, catering and dining businesses

We’ve sold a record number of Hunting, Fishing and Parking Passes to recreational guests this year. All of these customers had access to member, community and special event information.

The Event Guide Magazine was a big success! It was placed at businesses and VIC’s all around the Puget Sound and around the Cascade Loop. The three main locations locally are the Visitor Center in Sultan, the Stevens Pass Resort, and the Sultan Bakery who both have kiosks for promoting the Sky Valley.  

Tourism, especially outdoor recreation and special events are really showing signs of growth. The partnerships all around Snohomish County and the Cascade Loop have gotten stronger which really helps promote our assets.

Just a few of the assets we’re working to promote and/or build out:

  •    *Wallace Falls is one of the most popular State Parks in Washington. Closing the road   
  •      parking has hurt local businesses and we are working with the City of Gold Bar, Senator     
  •     Pearson and State Parks to find safe solutions.
  •    *The Index Wall—People come from all over the world to climb here.
  •    *Heybrook Ridge County Park—Major improvements are coming with the new trailhead.
  •    *Osprey & River Park Trail System
  •    *New Equestrian Trailhead near Reiter in Gold Bar
  •    *Steelhead County Park—a new campground that’s scheduled to be built near Sultan.
  •    *New trails at the Reiter Foothills Off Road Area.
  •    *Sultan Shooting Sports Park.-Planned for up the Sultan Basin Road.
  •    *Promoting Bouldering through the book “Western Washington Bouldering” that features
  •      Gold Bar, Index and the Miller River area near Skykomish.
  •    *Partnering with the Sky Valley Arts to Save the Startup Gym (Event Center)
  •    *Partnered with the Sky Valley Arts Council to restore the Firefighters Mural in Sultan.
  •    *Partnering with the Arts Council to save the Black Bear Sign on the Kiss the Sky Book Store

Visitor Information Center

We currently have a dedicated group of 7 volunteers who work a regular shift at the Center. They are wonderful ambassadors for the Sky Valley. Our guest numbers reflect a very busy place. We have also noted an upturn in the number of people looking to relocate to the Sky Valley.

Other Important Aareas That We Are Working On!

Promotions & Special Events

Promotion takes many forms, but the goal is to create a positive image that will rekindle community pride, improve consumer and investor confidence in our area. Promotions communicate the area’s unique characteristics, business establishments, and activities to shoppers, investors, potential business and property owners, and visitors.  To that end we support the Sultan Shindig, Gold Dust Days Festival, Return of the Salmon, Sky Valley Farm Festival, Skykomish Music Festival, Index Arts Festival, Gold Bar and Skykomish Farmers Markets and many other community events.

GROW Washington is continuing to expand. They currently have stores in Downtown Everett, 1st Street in Snohomish and Highway 2 in Sultan. Grow WA is a business incubator that helps small business get off the ground by providing training, guidance and store front exposure. If you are interested contact Carolyn Eslick at 425-327-2093.

Skykomish is planning an outdoor market the 2nd Saturday of every month beginning in May. The Skykomish Open Air Market is a market working to provide opportunities to local artists & crafters. If you’d like to take the scenic trip to Skykomish once a month contact Madelle at 360-677-2135 or ma5quiring@frontier.com.

Gold Bar Farmers Market: Rosalyn Santerre did a fantastic job of creating and growing the Market. She worked with the Chamber and the City of Gold Bar to create a wonderful location for local growers and crafters to sell their wares. Many of us missed Mott’s Fresh Fruits so Rosalyn added them to the market providing fresh cherries, peaches, apricots, herbs, plums, etc. Another great opportunity for small businesses. 

Building Stronger Partnerships With:

  • Stevens Pass Mountain Resort—We have created a kiosk to market the Sky Valley at the Mountain. This will expose our businesses to over 400,000 skiers/snowboarders and to over 10,000 mountain bikers/disk golfers annually. We have created specific rack cards to use at the Mountain highlighting our recreational assets & activities, food & drink, lodging.
  • Sultan Bakery: The Bakery has allowed us to install an information kiosk promoting the Sky Valley. This has turned into our most popular location. We have gone through almost 2000 Sky Valley Event Guide magazines plus several cases of Cascade Loop guides and other Snohomish County Tourism promotional info.
  • Cascade LoopTraveler’s on the Loop are looking to fully explore the area’s they are traveling through, not just heading to Leavenworth. These are the people we want to attract. We are working closely with the Loop to find even better ways to share our story with the over 200,000 travelers annually. New wayfinding signs have been placed all the way around the Loop so that travelers feel safe and know that they are still on the right path. The next step will be to decide how to enhance the travelers experience by producing interpretive markers that help tell the unique story of each of the 9 sections of Washington included in the Loop.

Snohomish County Tourism and Snohomish County Economic Development

A tour was organized to share some of the amazing recreational/educational assets available in the Sky Valley with the States Director of Outdoor Recreation & Economic Development, Jon Snyder.

Snohomish County tourism bureau is updating its 5 year comprehensive plan. This is a very important document that will guide their efforts for the next 5 years.   Several new promotional pieces have been developed by Snohomish County Tourism to help tell the SkyValley story better.

Snohomish County Parks

I continue to serve on the County Parks advisory board. We are working very hard to develop County assets in East County. Steelhead County Park, Sultan Basin Sportsman’s Shooting Park, Heybrook Ridge County Park. The new equestrian trailhead in Gold Bar near Wallace Falls is moving ahead.

Sky Valley Recreation & Planning Group

This group represents the stakeholders and managers of the public lands in the Sky Valley. We meet every other month. The group shares info about projects they are working on and how we can help each other. Improving communications and building relationships between the members has improved access to public lands in this area. The Reiter Foothills ORV area near Gold Bar is one project. The group represents: State Parks, US Forest Service, DNR, State Fish & Wildlife, County Parks, City Parks, conservations groups, specific user groups, area recreation based businesses, etc.

We scored a big Federal victory for building an outdoor recreation based economy!

The United States Senate has passed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act in a unanimous and bipartisan vote. The Outdoor REC Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives two weeks ago, also with unanimous, bipartisan support.

The bill’s passage is groundbreaking for thousands of outdoor businesses across the country, and for anyone who hikes, bikes, hunts, skis, snowmobiles, paddles, boats, surfs, or climbs. Please contact me for more detailed info.

Commercial/Industrial Property Marketing

We are working on ways to decide exactly what assets the Sky Valley has that are ready to be developed for manufacturing. We are also working to figure out what businesses we can support that we currently have openings for. Would we have opportunities for businesses who specialize in outdoor recreation? Which ones? The goal is to create jobs. When people work here they will shop here.  

In conclusion, we’d like to thank everyone who volunteered to serve on a committee, helped at events, volunteered in the office or sponsored events. Your support in greatly valued! And thank you VERY much to our Annual Sponsors Monroe Parts House-NAPA, Republic Services and Wagley Creek Automotive for your support!

– Debbie Copple, Director

Sky Valley Chamber Board:

Dr. Brian Copple
Laura Koenig
Nancy Breuer
Janet Prichard
Bill & Blair Corson
Henry Sladek
Davi Martin

Sky Valley Chamber & Visitor Center
Debbie Copple
PO Box 46 | 320 Main Street Sultan, WA 98294
360-793-0983
debbie@skyvalleyvic.net