At the Annual Meeting held at the Centennial Hotel on February 28, the Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) and Business Improvement District (BID) will celebrate the 2019 recipients of the Downtown Legacy Award and Impact Award.
2019 in downtown will be the year of “Reimagination” as the downtown association embarks on a 20 year update to the Downtown Plan, reimaging a new future for Spokane’s urban center.
Legacy Award | Don Kardong
The Legacy Award is awarded to a company, organization, or individual who has left a mark on our city by creating positive and sustainable transformation in downtown over a long period of time. Recipients represent visionary and creative problem-solving solutions accomplished through grassroots efforts, strong partnerships and innovation. Recipients exemplify exceptional contribution to the business, civic, or human vitality of downtown Spokane, often becoming the catalyst for other development in the community.
This year the Legacy award will be presented to Don Kardong, Founder and Race Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run. Following 42 years at the helm, the 2019 race will mark Kardong’s final race as director. What started as a “fun run” to capitalize on the rejuvenation of downtown for Expo 74 is now a part of the DNA that is the City of Spokane. From a little more than 1,000 participants in the inaugural 1977 race to a peak of just over 61,000 participants in 1996, there are few Spokane citizens who haven’t participated in Bloomsday as a runner, jogger, walker, volunteer, supporter, booster band member, or costumed vulture. The success of Bloomsday has put Spokane on the map as one of the top five largest timed races in the nation, and inspired multiple street festivals that take place in the heart of the city.
Impact Award | Walt and Karen Worthy
The Impact Award is awarded to a company, organization, or individual who has made an impact on the downtown core in recent years. Recipients are renegades and risk takers, often finding potential in an underutilized property, or lending credibility to outrageous ideas. Recipients look at the community as a whole, bringing together partners to revolutionize the way business is done and serve as a role model for others in the business community.
The 2019 Impact Award will be presented to Walt and Karen Worthy for the restoration of the Historic Davenport Hotel, which ushered in a new age of elegance to downtown Spokane. Providing four star visitor experiences, spending the night in downtown, or hosting an event in the Grand Pennington Ballroom has revived Spokane’s tourism industry and brought the world to downtown. The daunting project of returning the Davenport Hotel to its original magnificence was almost too overwhelming to be possible. Without the vision and determination of the Worthy’s it’s hard to imagine what downtown would look like today without this historic investment.