September 23, 2020
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism provides this Tourism Talk e-news to provide ongoing information to our local businesses. We have also added tourism industry resources to for access anytime.
We are here to help all our members navigate these uncertain times.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Bids Fond Farewell to Annette Bagley
After 15 years with Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, Director of Marketing Annette Bagley will depart the organization in October to join the City of Bellingham as Head of Community Relations for the Bellingham Public Library.

During her time with BWCT, Annette represented Bellingham and Whatcom County to national and international travel media and tour operators, hosted media tours, designed and placed advertising campaigns, redesigned and maintained website content, oversaw all social media activity, organized collaborative and cooperative campaigns for outdoor recreation and cultural heritage tourism, partnered with statewide DMOs and represented the entire NW region of Washington State on a statewide tourism PR Council. She also coordinated and led the countywide Cultural Heritage Tourism Strategic Plan process and its implementation and supported and encouraged arts organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic to work together through online and virtual events on the Whatcom Arts Project amplified on In addition, she served on the Blaine Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and further supported the outdoor recreation industry during her tenure and, during COVID-19, represented tourism as a participant in the Recreate Responsibly Coalition.

“We will be forever grateful for the contributions Annette made to our organization and to the Whatcom County tourism industry. She will be genuinely missed,” said Keith Coleman, General Manager the Marriott SpringHill Suites and Townplace Suites in Bellingham, Chair of the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Board and founding President of the Bellingham Whatcom County Lodging Association. “We wish her the very best of success in her new role with the City of Bellingham.” 

"It has been an honor to serve our tourism community in this role for so long, and I intend to stay involved through my new position," said Annette. "I am deeply appreciative and supportive of the dedicated team at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism that works so hard every day for the benefit of our entire local economy."
Our Tourism Superheroes
Due to statewide compliance with mask wearing and social distancing, a recent report from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) shows an overall decline in COVID-19 cases in western Washington and a plateau in eastern Washington. However, the decreases have slowed in Whatcom County. "It is clear we cannot let our guard down,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman.

We continue to applaud our local tourism and hospitality businesses for your excellent leadership in the fight against the virus by proudly wearing wearing masks and following guidelines to keep our guests safe. Keep up the great work!
Bellewood Farms
Bellewood Farms
Bellewood Farms
Bellewood Farms
The Whatcom County Health Department reports the number of COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County is not trending in the right direction. Whatcom County has seen an increase of new cases over the last two weeks, defying a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases statewide. It’s more important than ever to continue to practice prevention behaviors as the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains high. 
2020 Washington State Tourism Conference
Register Today for the 2020 State Tourism Conference!
October 8, 2020 8am-4pm

Register now for the 2020 State Tourism Conference. This virtual event will bring together Washington State tourism industry members and feature a line-up of national, state, and local speakers and panelists in addition to industry breakout sessions.
Program Highlights
  • Welcome and State of the Industry 
  • Travel & Tourism Industry and Forecast by Adam Sacks, the CEO of Tourism Economics 
  • Panel discussion on the Future of Outdoor Based Tourism 
  • Panel discussion on U.S.-Canada Cross-Border Tourism 
  • Keynote Address by Roger Dow, The CEO and President of the US Travel Association
  • Panel discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Implications and Opportunities for the Travel Industry
  • Panel discussion with Small Business Owners Who Have Successfully Adapted to Covid-19
  • Panel discussion on Planning for Industry Recovery with State Government and Industry Leaders
  • Opportunities to network with people in your sector and region

Cost: $25 for WTA members, $35 for non-members, and $8 for students. Click here for sponsorship opportunities.
We look forward to reuniting as an industry in October!
As it has several other times during the pandemic, research by Destination Analysts offers a deeper look into the mindset of American travelers.
If you regularly feel an abundance of stress right now, you are among many other Americans: 47% feel a high degree of stress in their daily lives. Be it from managing distance learning for children to navigating extreme weather, Americans are a little likelier to be keeping themselves up at night and feeling tired than they were a few months ago.

Although stress is up, Americans are slightly less likely to feel their leisure travel will be dampened by the current state of things. This week, 56.8% agreed that if they were to travel now for leisure, they would not be able to fully enjoy it, down from 60.5% at the end of July. And now just 43.1% have some agreement with the statement “I have lost my interest in/taste for traveling for the time being,” down from 49.5%.
Fairhaven Village Inn Winter Hiatus
During the next few months, The Fairhaven Village Inn will be closed for a winter hiatus, reopening on April 1, 2021. In the spring, the same charm and warm hospitality will welcome the return of our guests.
Reservations can be made for stays starting April 1 through, contacting the Inn directly at 360-733-1311, or using other online reservation systems like, Expedia, or Trip Advisor. 

Until then, Fairhaven Village itself remains a year round unique spot full of opportunity to explore. Day trip to Fairhaven over the next few months for a day filled with small town charm...check out the new website for ideas. Galloways Cocktail Bar located in the Fairhaven Village Inn building will remain open.
In March, enforcement of time-limited parking was put on hold due to the emerging pandemic. With the return of people to Downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven districts to shop, dine and access services the City will be re-instituting time-limited parking enforcement on October 1, 2020.
All users of the Samish-Maple-Ellis-York street corridors – pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers – will see significant traffic impacts in fall 2020 as construction begins along ¾ mile of the Samish-Maple-Ellis corridor from Bill McDonald Parkway to Lakeway Drive. Later this fall the construction will continue north of Lakeway to York Street. This project is intended to improve transportation access for all users by improving street crossings and adding buffered bike lanes, improving the visibility of non-motorized commuters and reducing the potential for collisions.
Introducing fall classes at Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth. BAAY’s team is committed to meeting the emotional and creative needs of young people by fostering connection, play, and relationship building in the Bellingham community. Through online courses like Green Eggs & Ham and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, students will learn how to perform for the camera and help make these famous stories into movies. BAAY’s fall season also includes classes in play devising, vocal performance, dance, acting, costuming, theatre tech, make-up and special effects, and more. There are discounted bundles available for students who want to explore multiple classes. 
Looking for inspiration during this time at home? Whatcom County Library System’s Read & Share has the solution. For its second annual countywide reading program, WCLS staff selected thru-hiking legend Heather “Anish” Anderson’s memoir of adventure and discovery, Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home. Check out the book at local libraries. It’s also available as a downloadable eBook or eAudiobook from the WCLS catalog. Then, join the author’s inspiring presentations and community conversations via Zoom, Oct. 1-10, 2020. Find more information, including how to register, at
Whatcom Land Trust will host a virtual live-stream event and award the Bob Keller Business Conservation Leadership Award to Alcoa Intalco Works on Wednesday, October 7 from 8:00-8:30 a.m. Everyone is invited to this free event, which is also a fundraising event to support the Trust’s mission and current initiatives in Whatcom County. Pre-registration is required and reservations may be made at
The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Whatcom Community College more than $1.2 million for a new TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant. Over the next five years, the grant will build student support capacity by expanding the College’s coaching program, identify financial aid opportunities and financial aid literacy, and provide comprehensive, inclusive support and engagement opportunities for diverse students.
Hotel Bellwether has named Ben and Amy Wheeler for “Community Hero of the Week” Award for the week of September 14th for their selflessness and compassion of fostering three children during the pandemic.The Hotel Bellwether is continuing their new program of honoring those within Bellingham with their ‘Community Hero of the Week‘ to recognize those that make a difference through their work or volunteer efforts. These nominees understand the importance of community and that a single person can make a difference. Our Local Community Hero contributes in creating an atmosphere that makes Bellingham an amazing place to call home.
Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen is happy to announce that the 2019 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Bronze Medal Fest Bier is now available in bottles. Golden and super drinkable this modern rendition of Oktoberfest lager is a sure crowd pleaser. Chuckanut Fest emphasizes malts with a biscuit bent for a smooth, quaffable lager golden in color the style currently brewed for Oktoberfest in Bavaria, Germany. The aroma and flavor is lightly sweet with a hint of Nobel hops. Fest Bier in bottles will be available in selected stores around the Northwest and Chuckanut’s two locations (Bellingham and Burlington in Skagit Valley).
The Whatcom Housing Alliance announces the fourth annual Whatcom Housing Week, October 12 – 16. Housing Week aims to build awareness and support for innovative housing solutions that create diverse, vibrant, and healthy homes for all. With the global COVID-19 pandemic and increasing unrest over racial injustice in America, having a safe, equitable, and affordable home is more important than ever. Whatcom Housing Week 2020 will be a mix of virtual events and socially- distanced activities for housing enthusiasts and the broader community alike.
Hotel Bellwether has named Erika Wendal as their fifth recipient of their Community Hero of the Week Award for her commitment to the Hospice House. The Hotel Bellwether is continuing their new program of honoring those within Bellingham with their ‘Community Hero of the Week‘ to recognize those that make a difference through their work or volunteer efforts. These nominees understand the importance of community and that a single person can make a difference. Our Local Community Hero contributes in creating an atmosphere that makes Bellingham an amazing place to call home.
by Lorin
If you love great food, boutique shopping, an amazing art scene and getting outside in a small town, you will love Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven District. One of my favorite things about the Village is the fact that everything is local and can only be found here in Whatcom County.
by Hilary
The folks at the North Cascades Institute are brimming with excitement to welcome the public back to its campus on the shores of Diablo Lake starting Sept. 25, 2020.

“It will be the first time we’ve been open since March, and we’re really excited,” said Christian Martin, the institute’s marketing and communications manager.
by Lorin
Bellewood Farms, in Lynden, has been a Whatcom County favorite for years, especially in the fall when the air is crisp and apples are ready to be picked. With so many challenges and changes this year, Bellewood decided what Whatcom needed was a free community experience outside.
by Brandon
As of August 2020, beachgoers in Birch Bay now have easy access to craft beer — right at the beach. Owned and operated by Bellingham beer industry partners Jake Gobeille and Darin Hamm, Beach Cat Brewing is Birch Bay’s first brewery. I visited this scrappy little nanobrewery during its first month of operation to meet Jake and taste some beach-brewed beer. Here’s what to expect from Beach Cat Brewing.
During these times of physical distancing, it is important that our community works to remain socially connected. The events calendar serves as a hub for Whatcom County businesses, restaurants, stores and other organizations to share their events and online activities.

September 24
September 23-27

Time: Noon
September 24-30
September 25

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
$3 Donation
October 1-31

Time: All Day
$5 per device
October 2-30

Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
$50 per household
September & October 2020
Our region is full of beauty! Send us your scenic photos from all around the county and enter them in our latest contest for a chance at a prize! Yes, members can enter. Members can also donate prizes. Enter here.
Questions? We are happy to answer them for you.
Give us a call at 360-671-3990, email us or visit our website at

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229