Spokane Journal of Business

Prominent Pullman hotel set to nearly double in size

Project will add 56 rooms, new lounge, dining area to 59-room Hilltop Inn

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Prominent Pullman hotel set to nearly double in size
-—Rendering courtesy of Mueller & Associates
The $7.6 million expansion at Hilltop Inn is well under way. Two months ago, the iconic Hilltop Inn Restaurant was torn down to make way for the expansion.

Barbara and Ron Wachter, owners of the Hilltop Inn, in Pullman, Wash., have launched a $7.6 million expansion of the 59-room hotel that will nearly double the number of guest rooms it offers.

The project will include construction of a 56-room addition and a new lounge and dining area that will offer sweeping views of Pullman and the Washington State University campus, says project spokesman Frank Kirkbride.

Kirkbride, of The Kirkbride Group in Lacey, Wash., is the project's for-fee developer, providing project planning and management services to the Wachters for the expansion. He also is a WSU alum and university foundation trustee.

The Hilltop Inn is located at 928 Olsen Street, just off Davis Way, which is the downward-sloping, main northern entrance to Pullman from state Route 195. Constructed in 1996, it is a popular lodging choice for WSU alumni, parents of WSU and University of Idaho students, and business travelers, Kirkbride says.

"There's a labor of love here, and the Wachters are terrific people," he says, noting that he and his wife are among the alumni who have stayed at the hotel.

The framing of the floors and walls of the new addition got under way last week, following the installation of underground utilities and other site work, Kirkbride says. The iconic Hilltop Inn Restaurant, which operated on part of the site for a number of decades, was torn down about two months ago to make room for the expansion, he says.

A 21-unit motor inn was located on the hotel site before the Wachters developed the current hotel there 16 years ago, Kirkbride says. He says they acquired the property in the 1970s.

Kathy Schilb, of Mueller & Associates, in Seattle, is the architect on the project, and Foushee & Associates, of Bellevue, Wash., is the general contractor, but Kirkbride says Foushee is using entirely Inland Northwest subcontractors.

The downtown Spokane branch of Banner Bank is providing construction funding, and Numerica Credit Union and the Northwest Business Development Association, both of Spokane Valley, are providing permanent funding for the project, Kirkbride says.

Kim Crompton
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Editor Kim Crompton has worked for the Journal of Business since 1989. A motorcycling and wine enthusiast who also hits the links regularly, Kim grew up in a family that owned and operated community newspapers in southern Idaho.

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