Spokane is growing — rapidly. The development and renovation of River Park Square, Davenport Hotel, Convention Center and U-District have helped build momentum and drive energy into a flourishing Spokane. But now, Betsy Cowles, Chairman of Cowles Company, has her sights set on a new focus for Spokane.
“We really need a living element to make [Spokane] a twenty-four seven city,” says Cowles.
If you’ve seen construction on Main St., you’ve seen the start of “The M” project—a project hoping to make a dent in the demand of downtown housing. This project is the renovation of the old Macy’s and Bon Marche building. The bottom two floors will be for retail, while the top eight floors will be apartments.
“A lot has changed,” reflects Cowles. “When I was in college, Spokane was the place to get out of. There wasn’t much of a night life scene or hip atmosphere… But now there’s so much within walking distance of variety, style and creativity.”
Part of that variety includes the strides Spokane has taken in the sciences.
“The medical school Washington State University has and the joint venture with Gonzaga and the University of Washington is really powerful stuff. The kind of research that those three institutions will conduct in the next years will be phenomenal,” says Cowles.
While the growth of the sciences is taking off, another piece of Spokane’s arsenal — unsurprisingly — includes sports.
“We have these big events like Bloomsday and Hoopfest. Big cities can’t pull that off. And that just feeds the excitement and momentum of what’s next.”
“What’s next” is a question Hoopfest is constantly and continually asking. However, in looking back at the progress Hoopfest has made since its birth speaks volumes about the entrepreneurial spirit of Spokane.
“It’s this culture of basketball that’s just phenomenal,” says Cowles. “Hoopfest makes it visible for young kids to play the game and be active. The money that goes back to building courts and schools keeps that dream going for kids that wouldn’t otherwise have those opportunities.”
“Hoopfest has always been about the elevation and mobilization of a community,” says Hoopfest Executive Director Matt Santangelo. “As the city of Spokane continues to develop, Hoopfest aims to be a significant piece of the identity, creativity, ingenuity and pride of the region.”
Cowles says that if we want to continue this trend, Spokane has to keep thinking of itself and how it fits in with the rest of the world.
“We’re a city capable of hosting world-class stuff — whether it’s anything from arts to sports to business. We have the potential and it’s a beautiful place.”
Check out this link if you’re interested in partnering with us as we look to continue the advancement of not just Hoopfest but Spokane as well!