• Two of South Sound's biggest promoters are combining forces

    By: Kevin McCarty


    TACOMA, Wash. - Two of the south sound's biggest promoters are combining forces as Tacoma and Pierce County experience a surge of growth and tourism.

    Travel Tacoma and the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission have merged with a focus on bringing events and tourists to Tacoma and Pierce County.

    “We’re very (much) sister agencies in our work,” said new Travel Tacoma president and CEO Dean Burke.

    The merger comes as Chambers Bay was selected to host another major sporting event. In late 2020 the site of the 2015 US Open will host the NCAA Division One Western regional cross country competition. Runners who frequent the trails at the course said it's a great location to hold the races.

    “I think it’s awesome,” said Mark Dahlby after completing a run around the trails. “It’s tough and challenging and when you get to that level of competition I think it requires a tough and challenging course.”

    It's the latest good news for the south sound as the area grows in national stature and it's the result of efforts by local agencies getting the word out about the south sound as a venue.  

    Burke said Pierce County has seen phenomenal growth and success since the great recession 10 years ago. A new hotel is under construction at the city's convention center.

    Down the street the long-awaited McMenamin's hotel and restaurant is nearing completion. Tacoma and Pierce County are growing and getting noticed.

    “Just in the last couple years tourism as a while in Pierce County broke a billion dollars in revenue,” said Burke. “Sports tourism on its side was way up in the tens of millions as well.”

    In late 2019, Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood will play host to USA Cycling’s Cyclocross National Championships.

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