For Immediate Release

Contact: Katherine Kertzman, Director of Marketing & Tourism

Cellphone: (206) 931-5992

Office: (206) 575-2489

Fax: (206) 575-2529

Tukwila, Wash. -- For a city that has been widely known for Southcenter Mall, the City of Tukwila is now earning new attention as tourists are attracted by its easy access, central location and affordable accommodations.

The small, southwest King County city sits conveniently astride the interchange of Interstates 5 and 405 and just five minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The city is centrally located fifteen minutes south of downtown Seattle and 25 minutes north of Tacoma. Tukwila is a bright spot for tourists and big things are happening this summer.

In 1998 the city instituted a 1% lodging tax to fund a tourism program and hired tourism-marketing director, Katherine Kertzman, to head the program. As a result, in 2000 the city experienced a 15% growth in lodging tax revenues while the county averaged a 6% growth—more than doubling the county average.

To fuel this new economic trend, the city launched a branding campaign to tout its local hotels, restaurants, and family entertainment venues to local and regional business and leisure travelers.

“It’s an exciting time for the city,” according to Steve Mullet, Tukwila City Mayor. “After a few years of steady growth, Tukwila is now really on the move.”

One-third of all hotel space.

Surprising statistics indicate that Tukwila and neighboring SeaTac combined have approximately one-third of all hotel space in King County. Furthermore, an 80% lodging occupancy rate has fed a recent building boom that will add 300 new or planned units to the 2,500 Tukwila hotel rooms already in existence. City officials point to Tukwila’s access to SeaTac International Airport and value pricing of its hotel properties as two reasons for high occupancy rates. Local

Tukwila hotel rooms are regularly priced 20 to 30% less than Downtown Seattle hostelries.

Over sixty restaurants.

New national and regional chain restaurants are sprouting along Southcenter Parkway, which was once home to a preponderance of furniture stores. Recent openings count Stanford’s, Newport Bay, and Claim Jumper added to nearly sixty full-service restaurants and fast food establishments already in town.

In addition, the fast growing Minnesota-based Rainforest Café restaurant chain opened a glitzy, $5 million jungle-themed restaurant in Southcenter Mall in July – 1999, its only location in the Pacific Northwest.

Plenty to do in Tukwila.

More entertainment development is underway with the planned expansion at the world-class Museum of Flight located on the north side of the city.

“Tukwila has finally arrived,” said Alan Doerschel, Tukwila City Finance Director, “with many interesting and family things to do.”

In addition to four casinos, several movie theaters, 5 million square feet of shopping malls which include nearly all major department stores, hotel nightlife, the world-class Museum of Flight, and the Family Fun Center, Tukwila boasts a municipal golf course, community center, miles of walking, jogging, and biking trails plus a variety of developed city and county parks. Tukwila is on a fast track after all.

Tukwila’s Visitor Information Services

16400 Southcenter Parkway, Suite 210

Tukwila, WA 98188

Fax: (206) 575-2529

Phone (206) 575-2489

Toll Free: 1-877-TUKWILA