Yakima Has Largest Hotel Occupancy Growth Rate in State - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Has Largest Hotel Occupancy Growth Rate in State

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YAKIMA, WA. -- More people are visiting 'The Palm Springs of Washington.'

That's just one piece of good news that was shared with the Yakima City Council at their meeting Tuesday night.

According to the numbers, 2014 was a very successful year for tourism in Yakima. Occupancy rates at local hotels grew by 7% last year. That was the highest growth rate in the entire state of Washington. 

The president made his State of the Union Address Tuesday. Well similarly, John Cooper, the President of Yakima Valley Tourism gave his state of the tourism address to the city council. 

Cooper says overall, conventions led to $11 million in direct spending in the local economy. Spending from sporting events was up 15% and the Yakima Valley Tourism website was visited 16% more than the year before.

Cooper says promoting wine, sports and events at the Yakima Convention Center is paying off and bringing bigger crowds to area. 

"I would say 2014 was a banner year," Cooper says. "Most sectors saw very good growth and a lot of visitors. And I think that's going to continue in 2015."

The city council also changed it's dangerous dog ordinance. According to the city attorney, the changes simply made the law less confusing and cleared up some inconsistencies. 

Some of you have been asking about the state bill that would ban local dog ordinances and overturn Yakima's pit bull ban. That bill has yet to be discussed by the state legislature and has not been voted on yet.