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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pandemic hammers Spokane hotel industry

With coronavirus cases continuing to climb, one of the hardest hit industries in the Spokane region has again begun to shed employees who are not needed for empty rooms, unused ballrooms and canceled events that are no longer bringing visitors to the Lilac City. 

Davenport hotel closures leave hundreds without jobs; Northern Quest shuts down after visitor tests positive for COVID-19

Hotelier Walt Worthy announced Monday he has closed four of his five hotels in Spokane because of a lack of business and will be redirecting all of his patrons to stay in The Davenport Grand Hotel. Meanwhile, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians announced it was closing Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Airway Heights, after a visitor tested positive for COVID-19.

Mission accomplished, Friends of the Davenport Hotel disband

Last week a group called Friends of the Davenport disbanded. Thirty-one years have come and gone since the group was created. Years marked by cutthroat business competition, some of most divisive political battles the city of Spokane has ever experienced, and, in the end, a triumph – a victory not just for a much-loved building, but also for the spirit of a community, a city of people who each considered the Davenport Hotel to be theirs. More on the Davenport Hotel, including historic and new photos, can be found in The Spokesman-Review’s

Worthy testing waters on possible Davenport sale

A national commercial real estate website is soliciting bids for a possible sale of the Davenport Hotels. Real Capital Markets listed the hotels as represented by a brokerage in Scottsdale, Arizona.

City of Spokane creates incentive program for new development

Cities are responsible for roads, pipes and cops, generally speaking. With the creation of a new program aimed at encouraging development, the city of Spokane is hoping to get involved in “jump-starting private investment” within its borders.

Spokane forming incentive program for developers

Seeking to quell any more criticism over the handling of city money going toward the Davenport Grand Hotel, Spokane Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart announced Monday the creation of a program that would offer city incentives to developers in a “uniform and transparent way.” Condon noted that discussion for such a program has been happening at the city for a couple of years, but the issue came to the fore when the City Council pushed back against Condon’s informal agreement in 2013 offering Walt Worthy up to $2 million for environmental cleanup at his new hotel. Earlier this year, Worthy asked for $318,000 for pollution mitigation.

City Council rejects paying $300,000 for soil cleanup at Grand Hotel

A proposal to use city funds to pay for more than $300,000 in environmental cleanup at the Davenport Grand Hotel was shot down this week by Spokane City Council members, who argued that doing so would be unconstitutional and set a bad precedent for other polluted properties the city has previously owned. Mayor David Condon, who made an informal commitment for the soil remediation to Walt Worthy, the hotel’s developer and owner, said the city could still be responsible for any polluted soil on the land because the city is in the “chain of custody” for the property. He added that the Worthy hotel mitigation was part of his administration’s larger effort to clean up developable lands across the city.

Shawn Vestal: On big projects and incentives like Grand Hotel, city needs to get it right

The Davenport Grand Hotel will open before controversy closes over city contributions to the project. That’s simply backward, no matter how good the project is for downtown – and there is every reason to think it will be very good indeed. As Mayor David Condon, the City Council and even hotel developer Walt Worthy debate just how it is that the city is on the hook for $318,000 the council has not yet approved, one point of agreement has emerged: The city needs a clear, clean, consistent plan for how and when it offers incentives to developers and businesses.

Jan Quintrall resigns from city of Spokane

Jan Quintrall, the embattled head of Spokane’s Business and Developer Services division, announced her resignation from the city Tuesday, saying she had “broken the public’s trust, and I can’t repair that.” In a letter to her employees, Quintrall said the city’s “ongoing progress is continually being sidelined by the negative attention on me, with the focus being directed away from all the good staff is doing here.”

Quintrall announces resignation

The Spokane administrator who led Spokane’s engineering, streets, business and other departments, announced Tuesday that she was resigning her position.

Worthys want their new hotel to ‘wow’ visitors

Like their other projects in Spokane, the Davenport Grand Hotel – soon to be the largest in Spokane – is a personal expression of owners Walt and Karen Worthy. During the planning, for example, the two were captivated by a brightly colored wool carpet they saw in the Encore at Wynn hotel in Las Vegas.

Worthys’ Davenport Grand nears completion, workers set final roof panels

The last of some 4,500 pieces of precast concrete was hoisted by crane Monday to top off Walt and Karen Worthy’s new 17-story convention hotel at Spokane Falls Boulevard and Bernard Street. The concrete panel was decorated with an American flag and potted tree and then signed by Worthy and others.

Scott Chesney remains mum on specific reasons for ouster

Scott Chesney, Spokane’s planning director who was abruptly ousted from his position last week, said Wednesday he was taking the “high road” and ending his role at the city. Chesney did not give details on why he was forced to resign, but his silence is in line with that of Mayor David Condon and Jan Quintrall, head of the city’s Business and Development Services and Chesney’s supervisor, who both said they could not comment on the matter because of personnel confidentiality.

Ousted Scott Chesney gains support of Spokane developers

Within a day of being ousted as Spokane’s planning director, Scott Chesney gained influential supporters both within and outside City Hall. Walt Worthy, developer of the Grand Hotel Spokane being built downtown, and Dave Black, who brought Target to the South Hill, said separately that Chesney’s dismissal was unneeded and called for his reinstatement. Their support comes on the heels of that from Jim Frank, president of Greenstone Corp., which is developing Kendall Yards, and Ron Wells, who is renovating the Ridpath Hotel.