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Urine for a treat with Sea-Tac Airport’s newly renovated restrooms

(Photo courtesy Sea-Tac Airport)

If you’re flying out of the N Gate at Sea-Tac Airport, urine luck. The terminal’s new restrooms have been nominated for a prestigious award and it’s nothing to poo poo! The updated restrooms are part of the North Satellite Terminal Modernization Project and they are one of 10 finalists in the 2019 America’s Best Restroom contest, hosted by business support company Cintas.

“I’m working on the puns here,” joked Sea-Tac spokesman Perry Cooper. “We’re flushed with pride!”

Cooper says the N Gate was one of the oldest parts of the airport, finished back in 1973. Dark with low ceilings, it was one of the most complained about areas in the airport. But the new N Gate boasts new dining areas, a new Alaska lounge, a nursing suite, and new, modern restrooms with touchless automatic flush, sinks, soap dispensers and hand dryers.

“I think one of the first things you see as you walk in is lights around the edges of tall standing mirrors,” said Cooper. “You’ve got much more light around the mirrors at the sinks as well. The sinks are all one piece, quartz, which makes it looks sleeker and more modern, not to mention it helps us clean them because things don’t get stuck in the cracks. There is more added space in each of the stalls, even to the point that there’s a baggage shelf behind the toilet fixture. So instead of having your bag at your feet, you can actually put your bag up on a strong shelf right behind you.”

Bright rooms, white walls, good lighting … did they purposefully build an Instagrammable bathroom? The Portland, Oregon airport is famous for its loud, flashy carpet selfies. Will Sea-Tac restroom selfies be the next phenomenon?

“That might be an opportunity!” Cooper laughed. “Who knows! That may be something that catches on.”

But don’t start thinking the new restrooms are just a pretty face. They’re also environmentally sound.

“We are expecting to save about 750,000 gallons per year because the flush is going to be operated with rain water we collect from the roof of the north satellite.”

Cooper says the modern updates are the new standard for Sea-Tac and all of the airport’s restrooms will eventually be updated. It would be hard to find a reason to criticize the new features, but movie buffs may be disappointed to lose the original N7 gate.

“People may remember we had Sleepless in Seattle, a scene was shot there,” said Cooper. “That’s where Meg Ryan’s character was first seen by Tom Hanks’ character when she came off the plane. Oddly enough we had fanatics that would come out to the north satellite just to take some pictures there at the N7 gate. We actually did a little goodbye to N7 a couple weeks ago and worked with the video company that still owns the rights to the movie and handed out some DVDs. But N7 will be back again, it will just look greatly different when it opens up again. It won’t look like the movie anymore.”

Sea-Tac’s new restrooms are competing against a couple other airports, the Nashville zoo, a museum in New York City, a couple restaurants and a hotel in Portland. Click here to vote for your favorite.

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