City of Bellingham seeking an exciting new signature event

Request for Proposals due Feb. 13th for new tourism event

December 01, 2014 - by Shannon Taysi

The City of Bellingham, Washington is seeking proposals for a new signature event to help encourage commerce, maximize national and regional exposure and enhance the existing quality of life for residents. The City will contract with one or more qualified entities, providing seed money required to operate, promote and grow another regional event for Bellingham and the Pacific Northwest.

“Establishing another signature event in Bellingham will not only build excitement for its residents and business owners but continue to establish a brand for Bellingham as an exciting destination,” Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said. “Giving people the chance to visit our City for multiple reasons throughout the year will only have a positive impact on our economy.  Being the central point between two large cities, we have a real opportunity to explore events that differ from what the larger cities offer and to encourage visitors to seek out Bellingham for something unique.”

Bellingham is fortunate to have many wonderful activities and events throughout the year.  Events such as “Ski to Sea”, “Annual Festival of Music” and “Savor Whatcom Food & Farms” currently draw tourists and locals.  Like these events, the City seeks to enhance and expand the visitor experience with something new that highlights Bellingham's brand as a great place for recreation, outdoors, food, arts and culture.  Duplication of local or regional events is not encouraged.

“Bellingham’s expanded room inventory, which includes several hotel facilities recently opened as well as additional properties either under construction or planned, puts the Bellingham area in a unique position to embrace events and activities during peak and off season to generate in-fill visitor stays,” said Loni Rahm, executive director of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

Successful proponents will demonstrate a history of success in implementing events and attracting a large number of tourists, as well as prove the event will have a positive benefit to the local residents and economy. 

“Bellingham is a wonderful city both for residents and visitors, with exciting seasonal events and year-round cultural and artistic attractions, to say nothing of our beautiful surroundings.  Creating a new signature event or a new anchor institution could add to our strengths or create a new area of strength,” said Michael Lilliquist, Lodging Tax Advisory Committee Chair and City Council Member.

All proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on February 13, 2015. To take advantage of this exciting opportunity and for details regarding this request for proposals and submittal requirements see

Media Contact

​Shannon Taysi
Planning and Community Development Department
City of Bellingham
(360) 778-8360

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