Spokane Journal of Business

The Journal’s Most Read Stories of 2022

Restaurant, retail news dominates list this year

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The Journal’s readers appeared to be hungry for entertainment after government-mandated pandemic-era restrictions were lifted

Or maybe they were just hungry. 

Three of the top 10 Most Read Stories of 2022 involve news about new restaurants, and a fourth involves a new adventure park that’s expected to open next year. 

The Most Read stories list is based on online page-views data generated by Google Analytics, and that data tends to skew toward business-to-consumer news. Even so, we haven’t seen it skew this far that way in recent years. 

All that said, the most read story of the year involved the health care industry and its grapple with soaring costs. In October, reporter Virginia Thomas wrote a piece titled Travel Nurses Sent Packing that took an in-depth look at how hospitals were weaning themselves off the costly use of temporary staff—often known as travel nurses. The story must have struck a chord within the industry and beyond, as the story quickly became the most read of the year. 

That story was followed by two restaurant stories: Restaurateurs hope to strike gold in old Prospector’s space and Six new restaurants planned, underway in Spokane. Published in August and June, respectively, they were meat-and-potatoes (no pun intended) articles about restaurant openings that clearly popped up first—or toward the top—when people Googled the restaurants names. That’s how we want it to work, but still, it’s unclear why these stories performed so much better than other articles about eateries. 

In February, reporter Erica Bullock found out a New York company bought NorthTown Mall, and we were able to get the scoop on it. If I hadn’t been monitoring the numbers and you asked me to guess which story would be the most read this year, I probably would have guessed this one. So, a fourth-place showing isn’t a surprise. 

When news broke in April that The Spokane Club sold its Spokane Valley facility, it wasn’t a shocker, as it had been on the market previously. The buyer, real estate developer Jordan Tampien, was a bit of a surprise twist. The story about the transaction came in fifth, in terms of page views. 

The rest of the top 10 is as follows

6. Flight 509 indoor amusement park to land in Spokane Valley: Published in May, the story about the envisioned aeronautical-themed adventure park captured the attention of many readers. As last reported, the facility is scheduled to open next spring. 

7. So Val, So Good: When I suggested this story to Erica in April, I wondered if I was being a bit biased. I live in South Valley—So Val, as some say—and had noticed a lot of development occurring in a condensed area. She checked into it, and it turned out to be about 1,000 living units planned or underway. That made for a good story—and clearly, a popular one. 

8. Greenstone envisions Liberty Lake town center: The Journal’s first story about the NoLL development was published in January, and the only surprise is that it isn’t higher on the list. It will be interesting to see how this Greenstone Corp. development fills out in the coming years. 

9. Cantarito to bring Mexican cuisine to Indian Trail: The last of the restaurant stories to make the list, the story of Cantarito appears to have hit home with people on the North Side, presumably those who live in the Indian Trail neighborhood, where there aren’t a ton of dining-out options. 

10. 504-unit apartment complex planned on North Side: The Journal wrote lots of stories this year about large apartment-complex projects, but few, if any, were larger in scale than Magnesium Village. News of that big project on a large, mostly vacant site near the corner of Nevada Street and Magnesium Road spread quickly, likely as people tried to figure out what’s going on there. 

One final note: This list only includes articles that were published in 2022. If it included all articles, a contributed column that Spokane financial adviser Rick Biel wrote way back in June 2020 would have finished eighth. Titled Lessons from the Great Depression are relevant now, the piece likely emerged as a go-to resource as people tried to make sense of the turbulent investment market. 

Linn  Parish
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Editor Linn Parish has worked for newspapers and magazines since 1996, with the bulk of that time being at the Journal. A Montana boy who has called Spokane home for some time now, Linn likes Northwest trails, Deep South foods, and lead changes in the ninth inning.

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