Northwest NEWS

January 28, 2002


Woodinville needs a center piece

I'm confused. I had to reread the newspaper's front page notice several times about the city of Woodinville wanting to hear from the public concerning the future of the downtown. Did I miss something? Have the stock portfolios of the city's movers and shakers been falling since they invested in the last remodeling of Woodinville? Didn't we get what the city planners wanted? I mean, we have another grocery store, more coffee shops, fast food places and all kinds of other mall type businesses. We also have gummy traffic, a bottle neck at the train tracks, and we have thousands of sightseers coming to see Woodinville's art galleries, museums, expansive gardens and old-fashioned architecture. Whoops, sorry, I got carried away there, that last stuff was about other towns.
   I'm not one to complain about the new Woodinville since the old Woodinville was sort of vague but so far, having a vision hasn't been part of what we've gotten. At least with the new Woodinville, which I guess is now the old Woodinville, lots of local teenagers have jobs and we do have a movie theater.
   But we need a real center piece, something that's like a pitchman hustling "As Seen On TV" products. We need something that's so extraordinary, drivers stuck in I-405 traffic will just be wetting their pants to get to Woodinville.
   Here's what I propose (before the smart guys who really run things decide what's best for us and give us what they want us to want): a regional theme park, sort of a Knotts Berry Farm Northwest a giant miniature golf course, complete with dragons, castles and moats; a reproduction of the Taj Mahal and make it a giant bingo parlor; a horse racing track; a summer musical theater like the kind that's been successful in Sacramento for ther past 50 years; an Olympic training facility patterned after Lake Placid or Colorado Springs. By the way, Lake Placid businesses are still making a killing on T-shirts commemorating the 1980 Olympics. Here's a clever thought. Seattle can't seem to figure out fish, that is, other than throwing them, so why not have a tourist-attracting aquarium. Just look at the success of Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, Baltimore's National Aquarium, San Francisco's Steinhart's Aquarium or the Monterey Aquarium? I do hope a passionate visionary comes along with fresh and creative ideas. So far, the only visionaries we've had have been merchants and investors, and they haven't shown much creativity. Please, no more mall stores or grocery stores, coffee shops, phone stores, auto parts stores, stationary stores or franchised fast food places.
   Bill Stankus, Woodinville