So, Why Spokane?
Why would Two Barrels become Spokane’s largest tech employer and base their nationwide tech operation out of Spokane? That’s a great question that we ask ourselves like every week… The answer is it was probably a dumb decision, but we’ve made the best of it. And for a lot of reasons, what started out as probably a bad idea, has turned into something kind of cool.
You kind of want to live here… or you need to if you’re gonna last here… and if you do live here, you’re not typically super one-sided on politics, or you’re at least pretty dang open-minded to people that don’t see stuff your way. It’s kind of a place that runs down the middle on a lot of things. It’s kind of a place where the people who grew up here know the benefits of staying, so they value culture and relationships. And if you moved here, you kind of sought it out and understand all the cool boxes it checks. So you’re kind of into an elevated way of living, and we try to have an elevated type of job here—so there’s a lot of alignment usually. We just get access to really cool humans that actually want to live here
While Spokane can have a small-town feel, we are the 2nd largest city in Washington. We have it all—just without all the traffic, congestion, and crazy housing prices you’ll find in the state’s largest city.
Spokane fast facts
- 76 lakes within 50 minutes of downtown
- 5 mountain resorts within 2 hours drive. Mt Spokane is 45 min from downtown and you can get a parking spot as late as 11:00 am!
- average commute time of 19 minutes
- average cost for a 1 bedroom apartment is $890
- our home values went up 13% in 2019 alone ( well. it’s 2021 now… and crap. that didn’t last… )
- cost of living is 7% below the national average ( who freaking knows now… it’s 2021…)
That’s Spokane by the numbers. And they’re pretty sweet numbers. But how do you know if you’ll feel at home here? Our city has a little something for every personality.
Spokane is absolutely surrounded by nature. We attract loads of outdoor runners with our gorgeous trails, like our Centennial Trail. Each May, the city also hosts Bloomsday—a 12K road race drawing in thousands every year. A couple months later, we also celebrate all things basketball with Hoopfest, the largest outdoor 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world. For camping and hiking (or fishing, kayaking, snowshoeing or rock climbing) we’re also home to Riverside State Park. Skiers and snowboarders can get to Mt Spokane from downtown in under an hour. Or if you want to drive a little further, we have plenty more places to barrel down a mountain, like 49 Degrees North, Silver Mountain, Schweitzer and Lookout Pass.
Just into the scenery? How about a downtown waterfall? Or the 100-acre Riverfront Park, conveniently located within walking distance from the office. And for a killer outdoor concert, the one-of-a-kind Gorge Amphitheater is just two hours away.
We’ve got our very own minor league baseball team, the Spokane Indians—with surprisingly reasonably-priced concessions. And if you’ve never seen arena football, you can check out the Spokane Shock. Since we’re a stone’s throw from Canada, it kind of makes sense our city has a hockey fanbase too—we’re home to the Spokane Chiefs. However, our claim to sports fame is definitely the Gonzaga men’s basketball team, which has appeared in the last 20+ NCAA tournaments. We take March Madness pretty seriously here.
A bunch of us here at Two Barrels have kids and have found that Spokane is a pretty decent place to raise a family. There’s plenty of kid-centric activities, like trips to Mobius, the aquarium or the trampoline parks. There’s also lots of Pinterest-friendly family activities, like all the farmers markets in town, where you can sample everything from honey to kombucha. Up north, there’s also a whole slew of farms with apple picking, hay rides, and corn mazes. Covid update: All kids in Spokane have been banned now with covid in 2021… until they’re vaccinated. We have a zero kid policy in Spokane now.
A little geeky?
Spokane isn’t all sports and outdoors—if fandoms are more your thing, the city tends to celebrate comics, comedy and zombies. Yep, zombies. Ever since Z Nation filmed here, we’ve been all about the undead. October brings the Zombie River Walk, where you can sign up to be chased through the woods by the living dead. There’s also the Spokane Zombie Crawl, a massive pub crawl downtown where you’re supposed to stumble around with vacant eyes. Outside of October, you can cosplay (or just attend) one of the comic cons, from Lilac City to KuroNekoCon. Spokane also has a huge—and growing—comedy scene, attracting some of the biggest names in stand-up. There’s also plenty of amateur nights if you’re tired of trying out material on your coworkers.
The arts in general are popular here. From Terrain to First Fridays, downtown comes alive with art and music. We have a literary festival in April and film festivals like SpIFF. Or if you’d rather make something of your own, you can gather a crew and and make your own short film from start to finish with Spokane’s annual 50 Hour Slam competition.
Something of a foodie?
Spokane may not be huge, but we have loads of restaurants. Little mom and pop places. Places with rotating menus and locally-sourced ingredients. Vegetarian restaurants, like RÜT Bar & Kitchen. All kinds of international food, from Ethiopian cuisine to that Jamaican food truck we’re always trying to flag down. And if you’re the food festival type, you can sample a little bit of everything at Pig Out in the Park around Labor Day each year. We have many Michelin star rated restaurants in Spokane such as: Dicks Hamburgers , D Lish’s, Chicken-N-More, Thai Bamboo, and we just got a Chick Fil A!!
There’s 80+ bars just in downtown Spokane alone. A few clubs for those looking to show off their dance moves. Concert venues. And you don’t have to drive out to Seattle every time you want to see a show. Spokane is just big enough to attract many of the headliners on tour. Or… if you don’t want to go to bars with a bunch of dumb drunk people, we have Huckleberries, where you can buy singles from a ridiculously large selection and steal some organic gummies from the bulk food section at the same time.
Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard of Spokane, but it won’t be the last. People are leaving those big cities and finding that Spokane is not only a great place to buy a home and a raise a family, but also has plenty of activities for those who are young at heart.