I'm so excited...Skate America is only 34 days away and I'm getting pumped! I used to live in Seattle so the whole Everett, Seattle, Bothell area is very familiar to me and it will be good to visit family, visit old friends, and oh yeah, see the best Grand Prix lineup of all six events!
The City of Everett is not blind to the international attention the city will be getting. Taking a page out of Spokane's playbook, the city is gearing up for the warmest figure skating welcome ever! City crews are applying fresh paint to downtown lampposts, sprucing up flower baskets and preparing to hang welcome banners along Hewitt Avenue, one of the main roads through the downtown area. Hotels are lining up French, German, Chinese and Japanese translators to accommodate guests, and downtown restaurants are expanding business hours and streamlining menus to prepare for a rush of patrons.
"It's really important that we roll out the red carpet for all of the guests who will be at the event," said Amy Spain, executive director of Snohomish County Tourism Bureau. Matt Jensen, director of marketing for the luxury hotel, said hosting a successful event required a lot of coordination and attention to detail. "The international aspect of Skate America is a lot like having an Olympic event in your area," he said.
Promoters expect the event to draw 30,000 visitors who will collectively spend a few million dollars. And they're anticipating a worldwide television audience of 2.4 million people. In just 34 days, the cameras of NBC Sports, Canada's CBC Television and Japan's TV Asahi will be focused on Everett.
Okay...I'm super pumped now!