Best of the Northwest League – Top Hotels
It may be nine months late, but finally the fourth of five installments of the Best of the Northwest League. A survey among the eight broadcasters in the Northwest League in 2010 has revealed their thoughts on the best team hotel in the league.
1. Spokane – The Top-3 hotels were all separated by just six voter points in the poll, but the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center took the top mark. For years, teams stayed downtown Spokane and the historic Ridpath Hotel – which was nice for downtown access, but you cannot beat the Mirabeau Park – a great hotel, a great late-night menu, and a location that has endless eateries within walking distance. One broadcaster mentioned – “Best hotel in the league, bar none.” (Here is a look outside the hotel – http://www.youtube.com/user/msafford34#p/u/74/Yey-T_nPU8o)
2. Boise – A close second was the Owyhee Plaza hotel, located in downtown Boise. Recently renovated, the Owyhee Plaza has a prime location for Northwest League teams, located in the heart of downtown – with countless eateries and local pubs within walking distance. Two of the broadcasters noted the same thing – “There may be better hotels in the league, but there is so much within four blocks of the Owyhee Plaza Hotel.”
3. Eugene – It has been a carousel of hotels over the last few years for the Ems, bouncing from different properties in Eugene and Springfield, but returning to the Valley River Inn along the Willamette River in 2010. One of the larger hotels in the NWL, it is adjacent to the Valley River Mall – which is a bonus for the players, while for me, the proximity to the Willamette River and its miles of walking trails, is outstanding. One broadcaster said, “What a nice part of the world,” while another said, “What a scenic location, with a great mall and movie theater closeby.”
4. Vancouver – A surprising fourth to me is the Accent Inn in Richmond, B.C. – although not the best hotel in the loop, it is in the biggest metro area in the NWL. A full-scale casino with a free shuttle from the hotel, which also is a stop for the Canada Line SkyTrain to downtown Vancouver is a plus for the hotel. The hotel is basic, but has good internet access and there are restaurants nearby – but not many fast-food options for the players. One broadcaster said, “World Class city,” while another mentioned, “Best surrounding area if you want to pay for a cab ride.”
5. Tri-City – Another hotel that has plenty of eating options within walking distance, although it will take a couple of blocks to get there. The Red Lion Columbia Center has a nice pool, large rooms – but the restaurant is not open late, and options after the game are limited to a Shari’s or an Applebee’s (if the game is completed in time). One broadcaster said, “Near a mall and the lounge is open after weekend games.” (A look at the room at the Red Lion Columbia Center – http://www.youtube.com/user/msafford34#p/u/70/qrq-1B_KF5U).
6. Everett – For years, teams stayed at a Best Western in Everett, but the last few seasons, teams have stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown in Everett. Good continental breakfast in the morning and nice rooms – though multiple broadcasters mentioned that not having ESPN on the TV listing was a negative. I like the Hunan Village restaurant across the street and the Buzz Inn Steakhouse has great late-night meals. Another broadcaster mentioned, “Not much around the hotel, but nice rooms.”
7. Salem-Keizer – One of the better hotels in the NWL is the Comfort Suites in Salem in terms of a hotel, but the location for a baseball team is awful. Rooms are spacious, comfy beds, good breakfast – but outside of a Denny’s a half-mile down the road, there are no eating options within a mile and a half or more. One broadcaster said, “There is truly nothing around the hotel, nothing,” while another said, “In my years in the league, it is the worst hotel in terms of hospitality (nothing around it unless you have a ride, which we don’t).” Here is a look at the walk to the eating options in Salem – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4XLsgLBw6M.
8. Yakima – I think the folks at the Best Western Ahtanum Inn in Yakima have the best hospitality in the NWL, they are so friendly and have been helpful to my family when they have accompanied us on trips. A warm pool and the snacks in the room are a plus, as is the continental breakfast. Others do not agree, feeling that there isn’t much in Yakima – “The Outback Steakhouse next door is the biggest tease in the league, since it is open 4-10 p.m.” Another said, a half mile walk to a half-filled mall is the only entertainment.”