This week’s Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon featured State of City addresses from Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing. During Larson’s address, he offered a first glimpse of the planned Salish Lodge & Spa expansion project that will bring nearly 200 new hotel rooms to the city.
It’s been almost 15 years since a developer agreement was approved by the Snoqualmie city council, allowing the expansion of the iconic Salish Lodge, including up to 250 rooms, a restaurant, meeting, conference and event facilities, and recreation facilities. The agreement also allows a future housing development of up to 175 units.
That developer agreement was updated after the Muckleshoot Tribe bought the Salish in 2007 and most of the land that will hold the hotel expansion – about 50 acres located across SR 202 and behind the Snoqualmie Falls upper parking lot – was annexed by the city in 2008.
Since that time things seemed to stall …. until three summers ago when construction began on the Tokul Roundabout, which was needed to help with traffic from this development project and for the future Mill Site development.
Earlier this month, the Muckleshoot Tribe submitted the Salish Lodge & Spa Expansion Master Plan, showing their vision for the new, large hotel complex.
The project itself has a long way to go before there are bulldozers on site and construction begins. Currently the city’s Community Development Department is conducting the first step which is reviewing the master plan for completeness.
All required development review processes will be followed for the multi-year, phased-in Salish expansion project, including planning commission review and public hearings. City Administrator Bob Larson said this could take months, estimating it could be next year before construction on phase 1 begins.
Proposed Salish Lodge Expansion Plan
[NOTE: This is the development proposal. Elements could change as it goes through city review, as many projects do.]
The project proposes 182 guest rooms and suites in a phased-in approach. It includes approximately 25,700 sq. ft. of meeting and event space and 15,000 sq. ft. of outdoor event space, although concerts and loud music will not be permitted per the plan. In phase 2 a 16,600 sq. ft. “destination” spa and fitness center (which includes a pool) will be built for use by guests, residents and locals. Phase 3 will include another hotel wing and managed residential units (i.e. condos) in separate building.
The project also includes a future housing development that will have about 150 home sites for varying housing types (single and multifamily, townhome, etc.) 15% of those homes will be affordable housing. That home development was not included in the plans submitted to the city earlier this month.
The hotel portion will encompass about 20 acres of the project’s total 50-acre site. The future housing development will be situated on the remaining 30 acres. 12.5 acres of the hotel site – or 63% – will be open space. There will also be a buffer of trees so that the hotel is not visible from Snoqualmie Falls Park. A drone was used in design planning to ensure this component. [Some rooms at the original Salish Lodge would be able to see the new hotel, though.] Per the plans, the project site will also include soft surface and ADA accessible trails and a public park.
The first phase of the project will build a 93-guest room wing and the event/ meeting space building. The hotel is proposed to be 4-stories and not exceed 55 feet. The event/meeting space is anticipated to be used for business conferences/meetings (45%), weddings (30%) and the rest by events, receptions, etc.
The second phase will construct the large spa and fitness center. The third phase will include an 89-guest room wing and the managed residential component that includes about 30 townhome-style condos to be managed by and have full access to the hotel.
According to the plan, the hotel will be “comfortable, yet refined and sophisticated.” All components are anticipated to feature outdoor orientation and offer territorial views.
The hotel’s proposed architecture will use “colors, materials and textures of the Pacific Northwest.” The cultural influence of tribal communities is planned to be reflected inside and outside and utilize the talents tribal artists.
The plans says efforts will be made to site buildings within and be framed by the existing Douglas firs, some which are up to 150 feet tall. Where possible they hope to design buildings so guests have views through the understory of the tree canopy. A significant feature of the project will be a central, integrated natural meadow area which all hotel buildings will be built around.
According to the plans, they hope to have phase 1 complete in fall 2020; phase 2 in spring 2021; and phase 3 in 2022, but recognized that those projected opening dates can change due to a myriad of factors that can’t be identified this early into the project.
At build out it is estimated the hotel facility will be just over 208,000 sq. ft. The entrance will be located off Tokul Road.
Initial conceptual renderings below. NOTE: these are conceptual NOT final designs. (Click to enlarge photos)