At every Bellingham Wins interview we ask the same question: What does Bellingham need?
The answers vary, but they are always interesting to hear how community leaders perceive opportunity in town. But a 3 answers seem to pop up over and over.
A Boutique Hotel—Several of our interview subjects mentioned the opportunity to open a new hotel in downtown citing the number of tourists that Bellingham receives from neighboring Vancouver and Seattle. With several entrepreneurs already thinking about it, this void may not exist for much longer. In fact, the recently proposed Balefire Development includes plans for a hotel.
More Fine Dining Options, especially late—On the lunch hour, Bellingham is bustling. Railroad, State, and Holly Street are filled with great restaurants that serve tremendous food in an excellent atmosphere. On Saturdays during the warmer months, the farmer’s market attracts many hundreds of hungry shoppers who enjoy the variety of trucks and stands. But it’s a different story after 7pm. There are a few great Bellingham standbys, but the options are not as plentiful. Aspiring restaurateurs take note! Bellingham is itching for more exotic fine dining options over the dinner hour.
More Tech Businesses—Communities everywhere are lauding the benefits of a technology business sector–high-skill, high-wage jobs that make little to no environmental impact. And Bellingham’s tech sector is just starting to mature. Both Western Washington University and Whatcom Community College are blazing new trails in tech education and more tech businesses are making their home in Bellingham. But many anticipate the day when we attract 2-3 medium sized tech businesses to downtown and a peer network of programmers is born.