If you plan to attend the 63rd International Auctioneers Conference and Show in Spokane, Wash., on July 17-21 at the Spokane Convention Center, you’ll find there’s almost as much to do outside the conference as there is at the show itself.
Downtown Spokane is packed with attractions within walking distance of the two conference hotels — the DoubleTree and the Red Lion at the Park.
“We have a very walkable, safe downtown,” says Dana Haynes, Communications Director for Visit Spokane.
From the hotels, you can easily walk to at least 60 restaurants and 14 wine-tasting rooms, she says.
Both hotels are on the banks of the cascading Spokane River, which flows through downtown Spokane. You can enjoy a relaxing walk through the paved Centennial Trail along the riverbank or take the SkyRide over Spokane Falls.
At 100-acre Riverfront Park, just a few steps from the hotels, you can ride on the 100-year-old Looff carousel or visit the I-Max Theater.
Spokane is a major shopping hub, with a large downtown mall and numerous boutiques, Haynes says.
And the city has a vibrant arts scene with a performing arts center and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, where the “really fascinating” Smithsonian Dig It! The Secrets of Soil exhibit will be on display, Haynes says.
Hikers can walk along the 37-mile Centennial Trail, which stretches from Riverfront Park into Idaho. And Riverside State Park’s hiking and biking trails are within 10 minutes of downtown.
If you’re an amusement aficionado, consider the Silverwood theme park, just north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, less than 50 miles from Spokane. It’s billed as the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme park and has more than 65 rides and attractions, with three roller coasters, including a vintage wooden ride and a water park, Haynes says.
Spokane is known for its superb wines, and guided tours are available of the 20 wineries in the region.
The weather should be just right during Conference and Show. The average high temperature during July is a comfortable 83 degrees.
The hotels are only a 10- to 15-minute drive from Spokane International Airport. Both hotels have courtesy shuttles available. A cab ride downtown costs about $20.
The airport is served by several major airlines, including Alaska, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United and U.S. Airways. It has eight restaurants, free Wi-Fi and eight on-site rental car companies, says Todd Woodard, the airport’s Director of Business Development and Public Affairs.
To make your stay extra enjoyable, a couple of Northwest Auctioneers are planning some special activities for visiting National Auctioneers Association members.
At the Welcome Party, attendees will be treated to a Pacific Northwest barbecue.
Merle Booker, CAI, GPPA, of Booker Auction Co., Eltopia, Wash., and some of his agricultural clients, including Easterday Farms, Brad Boersma Farms and Sunny Farms, plan to treat visitors to some “Pacific Northwest hospitality” in the form of barbecued beef, lamb and pork along with a few surprises, Booker says.
The menu hasn’t been finalized, but Booker says one thing is certain: “It will be something more than just a hot dog or hamburger you’d get at a restaurant.”
He’s also planning a tasting event with wines from three or four local wineries.
And some top-notch entertainment has been called in.
Scott Musser, CAI, BAS, of Musser Bros. Inc., Pasco, Wash., has booked an appearance by the Chris Ward Band.
The six-piece group specializes in classic country and classic rock and plans to perform at the Welcome Party barbecue.
Booker also is working on some additional activities for later in the week.
He hopes to arrange a visit to Spokane’s DAA Northwest auto auction, and he’s planning a trip on the Snake River through Hell’s Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge, on Sunday afternoon after Conference and Show.
“It’s a very historic, wild and scenic river,” he says.
Musser says golfers will enjoy playing a round on the Coeur d’Alene Golf Course with its famous floating green.
There should be even more to do in Spokane than there was at Conference and Show in Boise, Idaho, Booker says.
“I’m excited about my auction family coming to see me,” he says.
Plus, Don’t miss your opportunity to win BIG prizes and learn about the auction industry’s latest products and services during this year’s trade show. The Conference and Show schedule features trade show time that does not compete with educational sessions, providing every attendee an opportunity to visit with vendors and participate in prize drawings.
Similar to the past two years, prize drawings will again take place every day on the trade show floor. There will be several drawings Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 4:45 p.m. On Friday, prizes ranging in value from $100 to $500 will be drawn about every 15 minutes, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
LUNCH IS ON US
Conference and Show registrants who stay at one of the event’s two host hotels, the Red Lion at the Park or the DoubleTree, will receive $45 in complimentary lunch vouchers. The vouchers are available only to Full Pack and Supersaver 1 registrants.