Spokane Valley City Council members agreed unanimously Tuesday to pull up a seat at the table for the Crave! NW four-day food festival planned for Father’s Day weekend.
The council agreed to sponsor the event – which will be held at CenterPlace -- to the tune of $50,000. In turn, the city hopes to reap the rewards of tourism dollars and overnight stays in local hotels.
“We hope to draw tourists to our area, who will spend money at our various shopping venues, as well,” said John Hohman, deputy city manager.
Adam Hegsted, a local chef-owner of area restaurants and the contracted catering company of CenterPlace, is partnering with Tom Stebbins, owner of Vision Marketing of Newman Lake to put on a food-wine-beer-tasting festival that could one day rival similar events held in Portland and Miami.
The event – scheduled for June 15-18 – will also include multi-course meals, chef demonstrations, cooking classes, workshops and more.
City staffers have been tasked since 2015 to develop tourism attractions that are Spokane Valley specific and that would generate the “heads in beds” in hotels and motels that raise crucial lodging tax dollars, which could eventually be used to offset sponsorship costs.
The city is contracted to contribute $50,000 annually for five years, which will include the city’s logo on various marketing materials and a website. However, the city will conduct performance reviews of the festival and safeguards are put in place that the city could withdraw if deemed necessary.
“There is a lot of protection for us,” Hohman said. “We believe there are significant controls in the contract.”
The funds for the first year will come from already budgeted city marketing funds.