Take the survey! Rural Restructuring & Comprehensive Economic Study

North Cascades Highway DedicationWe need to hear from you! Since the opening of Highway 20 in 1972 and the creation of the North Cascades National Park and neighboring wilderness areas, the Methow Valley has been quietly restructuring from a sleepy, resource-dependent community at the end of the road, to a thriving bedroom community for second homeowners and outdoor recreationalists. New data on population trends, the number of homes built, and Covid-19 in-migration suggests that the Methow is in a state of flux.

As part of our mission to increase the economic and cultural vitality of the Methow Valley, TwispWorks is compiling data on the Methow Valley as part of a comprehensive economic study. The study aims to demonstrate how much tourism and second home ownership contribute to the economy. We need to know, for example, how many days on average second homeowners spend in the Methow to calculate their financial contribution to the economy. Likewise, we need to know how many remote workers we have in the Methow to understand their impact on the economy. Click here to participate in the survey

The structural changes occurring today will have a lasting impact on the Methow. We want to understand these changes so we can plan for a sustainable future. The results of this study will be open to the public and any organization making strategic plans. For those who’ve recently moved here and for those who grew up here, please take the survey this week. As we all saw in the recent elections, every voice really does matter.
If you have questions or comments regarding these surveys, email Julie Tate-Libby, Director of Programming at TwispWorks.

Valley Goods Finds A Permanent Home on the TwispWorks Campus!

Valley Goods and Methow Made

photo courtesy of Mitchell Images

Methow Made is excited to announce the expansion of its popular retail store, Valley Goods, from a holiday pop-up to a permanent destination on the TwispWorks campus for all things local!

Opening in time for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, Valley Goods will feature all your favorite local artists and makers from around Okanogan County. It’s new, larger location, in the space formerly occupied by the OSB Taproom, means more space for safe shopping, more space for new vendors and more opportunities to discover something new! Come shop, explore, visit – inspired gift giving is easy at Valley Goods!

Just like in years past finding the time to shop local is easy at Valley Goods. The store is open every day through December 24th. Featuring hand-made and one of a kind items from over sixty local vendors and staffed by local artists, Valley Goods is sure to make ticking off your holiday gift list a treat this season!

Valley Goods is brought to you by Methow Made, a marketing program that gives Methow Valley artists, makers, producers and micro-manufacturers exposure to customers who love the Methow Valley and want to support our local economy. For more information on Valley Goods or the Methow Made program visit www.twispworks.org

Learn more about the Methow Made program here.

Broadband in the Methow

Broadband Community UpdateThe Methow Valley Broadband Action Team (BAT) has been meeting since early 2018 to plan for the Broadband needs of the Methow Valley in a way that preserves the unique culture of the Valley while providing equitable access to all residents and visitors. In order to help us make a case for expanded Broadband access in the Methow Valley, the BAT invites you to complete the Washington State Broadband Office’s speed test and mapping survey. The State will use data to identify underserved areas, prioritizing resources for infrastructure development in order to meet Washington’s goal of universal broadband access by 2024.

In July 2019, the Twisp Public Development Authority (PDA) was awarded a Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) grant to conduct a broadband study that will conclude in 2020. TwispWorks was contracted by the Twisp PDA to convene the BAT, coordinate the meetings and administer the grant. Tilson Tech was retained to conduct the study under the advisement of the BAT and you can read their reports here or review this four point summary:

1. The key to broadband infrastructure expansion in the Methow Valley is finding supplemental capital funding to enable deployment.
2. There is no business case to be made for a for profit entity to invest the full cost to deploy fiber to the premise infrastructure, the only infrastructure capable of meeting the state’s broadband policy goal of symmetrical 150 Mbps service to all residents by 2028.
3. The capability and reach of Internet access networks that can be financed entirely by private investment, with no public contribution, is already on display in the Methow Valley.
4. Additional broadband infrastructure with greater capabilities reaching a much greater population will require the infusion of supplemental funding that could come from state and federal grants, subsidies, private investment, and funding from special assessment districts.

Get more information on our rural broadband work here.

ILC Expands Footprint & Programming at TwispWorks

ILC Expansion: The Tree HouseThe MVSD, working in partnership with TwispWorks recently completed the renovation of the home located at 408 Lincoln Street. Located on the TwispWorks campus, the renovated home adjoining the “Bunkhouse,” will now serve as a new schoolhouse to ILC students and staff. Affectionately referred to by ILC students as the “Treehouse,” it will provide the additional space necessary to accommodate the ILC’s steady growth in enrollment.

ILC New ClassroomIn addition to the expansion of classroom spaces, ILC students are currently engaged in the research, design, and renovation of the antiquated shop located next to the Treehouse. With the intent of launching the district’s new Automotive Tech Program later this fall, interested students are working under the guidance of Trent Whatley, MVSD CTE instructor, through all phases of the design and construction process.

Anticipating high levels of student interest in the Automotive Tech Program looking forward, interested ILC students are working with local architects to research and develop a long-range plan that includes the construction of a larger facility able to accommodate more student enrollment in the program.

ILC Garage Construction TwispWorks and the Methow Valley School District would like to thank those amazing community members whose generous support have helped make these long-held dreams a reality!

TWISPWORKS AWARDS FOURTH ROUND OF EMERGENCY BUSINESS GRANTS

Small Business Emergency Grant - Winthrop Ice RinkTwispWorks and the Methow Valley Long Term Recovery Organization are pleased to announce the fourth round of funding to 11 recipients of the Small Business Emergency Grant program. The program provides $1,500 to Methow-Valley based small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and can be used to pay rent, utilities and other fixed business expenses as well as to help business become more resilient in the future. This grant cycle focused on businesses who are vital to our community and sense of place.

Small Business Emergency Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Mount Gardner Massage * La Fonda Lopez * eqpd * Winthrop Gallery * Methow Valley Community Center * Methow Valley Jewelry Collective * Barnyard Cinema * Winthrop Rink * Methow Valley Interpretive Center * Nectar Skin Care * The Merc Playhouse

The Small Business Emergency Grant program is made possible thanks to tremendous generosity of our local community and business owners, the Methow Valley Long Term Recovery Organization, and the towns of Twisp and Winthrop, and the mighty Twisp Washington and Winthrop Washington Chambers of Commerce.