The Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) announced the election of Christopher Varallo, partner with Kutak Rock LLP, as its new board chair during its annual meeting on February 22, 2024. In the meeting, Bryn West, Vice President with Cowles Real Estate, was also elected chair of the Downtown Spokane Business Improvement District (BID) Ratepayer Advisory Board by BID Ratepayers.

“Chris and Bryn bring tremendous experience and commitment that will help us to further our mission to create a dynamic and vibrant downtown Spokane,” said Emilie Cameron, President & CEO of the DSP. “For nearly three decades, the DSP has been on the forefront of revitalizing downtown Spokane and creating a dynamic, vibrant, livable and sustainable place to power the Spokane region.”

Varallo succeeds Stephanie Curran, CEO of Spokane Public Facilities District, who served as chair in 2023. With over 25 years of experience practicing law in downtown Spokane, Varallo has been an integral part of the DSP Executive Committee since 2022, serving as Vice Chair in 2023.

“The DSP is refocusing to enhance our programs, services and initiatives,” Varallo said in his address at the DSP’s Annual Meeting. “Downtown was disproportionately affected [by the pandemic] and today continues to be ground-zero for challenges we know too well, but also opportunities…I’m thrilled to chair this organization and with you, roll up our sleeves to continue to champion our great downtown.”

As the Vice President of Leasing & Operations for Cowles Real Estate, West has worked in downtown Spokane for over 15 years. Serving her third term on the BID Ratepayer Advisory Board, West succeeds downtown resident Jack Johnson as chair.

“I look forward to helping make downtown Spokane a welcoming and vibrant place for residents, businesses and stakeholders alike,” said West from a pre-recorded video played during the Annual Meeting.”As we move forward, I will continue to emphasize the three pillars the BID is founded on and strives to maintain—a clean, safe, and vibrant downtown.”

More than 150 downtown business leaders, BID Ratepayers and DSP members attended the 2024 Downtown Spokane Annual Meeting along with area residents, Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown, Councilmember Jonathan Bingle and Councilmember Michael Cathcart. During the program, Ratepayers and Members celebrated the winners of the second annual “Best In BID” awards and confirmed the 2024 DSP board of directors and BID Ratepayer Advisory Board members, including:

Downtown Spokane Partnership Board

  • Christopher Varallo | Kutak Rock I Chair
  • Alicia Barbieri | Goodale & Barbieri I Vice Chair
  • Stephanie Curran | Spokane PFD I Past Chair
  • Stacie Maier | Avista I Secretary
  • Jamie Hudson | Wheatland Bank | Treasurer
  • Katy Bruya | Washington Trust Bank I Executive Committee
  • Betsy Cowles | Cowles Co. | Executive Committee
  • Rae-Lynn Barden I VOA | Executive Committee
  • Bryn West | Business Improvement District | BID Chair
  • Council Member Michael Cathcart City of Spokane | Community Interest
  • Mayor Lisa Brown I City of Spokane I Local Government Interest
  • Susan Meyer | Spokane Transit I Authority Transportation Interest
  • Chancellor Daryll DeWald | WSU Spokane | Education/U District Interest
  • Chris Batten I RenCorp | Housing Interest
  • Chief Justin Lundgren | Spokane Police Dept. | Public Safety Interest
  • Comm. Al French | Spokane County
  • Christopher Bell | NAI Black
  • Clint Gillum | Columbia Bank
  • Peter Mounsey | Wonder Spokane, LLC
  • Dania Duke | Davenport Hotels
  • Mike Whitmore | HMA
  • Sara Desautel | Bank of America
  • Dana Harbaugh I NAC Architecture
  • Alisha Benson I Greater Spokane Inc. I Ex-Officio
  • Rose Noble I Visit Spokane I Ex-Officio

Downtown Business Improvement District Ratepayer Advisory Board

  • City of Spokane | Council Member Jonathan Bingle | City of Spokane
  • School District No. 81 | Mark Anderson Spokane Public Schools
  • Professional 1 | Bryn West | Cowles Real Estate |Chair
  • Professional 2 | Engineering | Jack Schneider | NAC Architecture
  • Professional 4 | Accounting | Carrie Kennedy | Moss Adams
  • Large Retail | Wendy Goshey |Nordstrom
  • Small Retail | Jessica Atkinson | Sweet Frostings Blissful Bakeshop |Secretary
  • Large Business | Clayton McFarland | Goodale & Barbieri
  • Small Business | Andrea Williams |The Woodshop
  • Nonprofit | Guy Ottersen | Canopy Credit Union
  • Zone 1 | Bobby Enslow | Indaba Coffee
  • Zone 2 | Andrew Leeper | ALSC Architects |Vice Chair
  • Zone 3A | Terra Coulter | Studio One
  • Zone 3B | Doug Kapelke | STCU |Treasurer
  • Zone 3C | Nick Czapla | Stone Group
  • Residential | Jack Johnson | 809 Condos
  • Residential | Mark Howard |Railroad Condos
  • Safety/Ex-officio | Cpt. Steve Wohl | Spokane Police Dept.

2023 By the Numbers

The DSP manages BID service programs that provide supplemental clean and safe services, champions projects that improve the quality of life and advance economic growth, produces events that activate downtown, and amplifies the marketing of events and businesses that make downtown a vibrant place.

  • 9,020 Merchant & Business Contacts by DSP Ambassadors
  • 1,700 Calls for Service Responded to by DSP Ambassadors
  • 5,000+ miles patrolled on e-bike by DSP Ambassadors
  • 2,613 welfare contacts by DSP Ambassadors
  • 3,446 bags of trash collected by DSP Clean Team Members
  • 4,020 graffiti tags removed by DSP Clean Team Members
  • 25 miles of sidewalk power washed and 23,040 total blocks cleaned by DSP Clean Team Members
  • 200+ garden planters & hanging baskets maintained by DSP Clean Team Members
  • 740,000 cumulative foot traffic at major downtown events
  • 11.3 million total downtown visits
  • 31 retail/ground floor businesses opened

2024 Best in BID Winners

The second annual Best in BID Awards are a celebration of exceptional businesses and organizations within the BID selected by community nomination and vote.

  • Friendliest staff: First Avenue Coffee
  • Most unique menu: Indigenous Eats (River Park Square)
  • Best new business in 2023: House of Brunch
  • Best place to check out art: Entropy
  • Best hidden gem: Chicken-N-Mo
  • Most Instagrammable spot: Emma Rue’s
  • Best family-friendly spot: Riverfront Spokane
  • Most community-involved: Auntie’s Bookstore
  • Best breakfast: Satellite Diner
  • Best late-night hangout spot: Durkin’s Liquor Bar

Click here to view a video of the 2024 class of Best in BID winners:

Best in BID Winners

For photos from the event and the DSP’s 2023 annual report, click here:

Photos and docs