• Flashback: Smith Tower is a Seattle Icon

     
    POSTED July 30, 2019
     

    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

On July 4, 105 years ago, Seattle’s Smith Tower first opened to the public. On that day, more than 4,000 people paid 25 cents to ride the elevator to the 35th-floor observatory (in the same Otis elevator in operation today, by the way). The tower included 540 offices, six stores, two telegraph offices and a public telephone station.

Today, Smith Tower offers a historical backdrop for private events of up to 80 guests. Choose from two spaces: the 35th-floor bar named The Observatory (of course), or the 22nd-floor Lookout Lounge and deck. On the 35th floor, you’ll also find the tower’s famed “Wishing Chair,” which was rumored to have been gifted to the tower’s original owner and namesake, L.C. Smith, by China’s Empress Dowager Cixi. Legend has it that if you sit in the chair and you’re single, you’ll be married within the year.

The tower can also be a fun afternoon excursion for your group through its Talking Tower Tours. Seeing as its past includes connections to infamous rum-running radio hosts and a one-armed parachuting stuntman, there’s plenty for your guests to talk about long after the tour has ended.

For more than 300 years, ranching has been a way of life—and business—in Texas. The uniquely Texan ranch experience has captured the imagination of the world, and ranches have served as uncredited “stars” for some of Hollywood’s most iconic productions: from Reata, the fictitious ranch depicted in the classic movie “Giant,” to the glamorous Southfork Ranch, home of the primetime soap opera “Dallas.” Longhorns, horses, cowboys, rodeos, 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots: There is an alluring mystique surrounding Texas ranches.

 

In November, Dallas-based Todd Interests opened Thompson Dallas, part of hospitality brand Thompson Hotels. Thompson Dallas features 219 rooms, including 52 suites, two penthouse suites, and two culinary destinations.

 

After a year filled with uncertainty and countless projects and proposals put on hold, growth in any sector of the hospitality industry is always welcome news. But a statewide slew of brand-new hotels? That’s something to celebrate. Here, we spotlight just a few of the new properties offering planners and guests new spots to meet, refresh and recharge.