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Spokane mayor wants disgruntled Seattleites to head east

Sometimes when a NBA player is unhappy with their team, numerous other cities will pull out all the stops in an effort to court them. The same thing is currently happening with disillusioned Seattleities, but on a much, much smaller scale.

Spokane Mayor David Condon is hoping to position the city as one such destination for disgruntled Seattleites, and joined The Candy, Mike and Todd Show to discuss the Hacking Washington campaign.

“We call it ‘Hacking Washington,’ because to hack Washington you need to choose Spokane,” he said. “You can have a 19-minute commute, you can buy a house for $270,000.”

The taglines on the Hacking Washington site are certainly less than subtle.

“You used to think you could have it all in Washington. We still do.”

Another says, “Welcome to the 12-minute commute” and “Your employees should be able to live where they work.”

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The campaign is also looking to shore up Spokane’s burgeoning tech scene. Not only are tech companies from outside of Washington viewing Spokane as a potential destination, but those in Seattle are considering the move as well, reports Geekwire.

For instance, Seattle startup GoToTags recently decided to pull up stakes and head east because employees were finding Seattle rent difficult.

“The tech scene is pretty good here. There are venture capital deals that are happening, and then also companies like McKinstry have a huge presence here in Spokane,” Mayor Condon said.

Of course, since Seattle was gradually changed by the tech migration from Silicon Valley, Spokane could see a similar transformation and have some of the same negative consequences. But Mayor Condon says they’re working to mitigate that.

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“The key is the smart growth and how do you how do you grow in a way that allows that. What’s exciting especially are these smaller tech companies where the numbers are good, but you’re not tens of thousands,” he said.

KIRO Radio’s Todd Herman, who grew up in Spokane, is particularly concerned that the changes could impact the charm he remembers from his adolescence.

“There was a great charm to overeating at Dick’s and then throwing up in that parking lot between Dick’s and Frankie Doodle’s and then cruising and drag racing and having keggers in the hills, and to me, that was a real charming way to grow up,” he said. “So do you have any intention of bringing that stuff back? Because that’s my memories, mayor.”

“Well,” Mayor Condon joked, “You can you can still eat at Dick’s and if you decide to throw up in the Frankie Doodle’s parking lot, yes both of those institutions are there.”

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