Calhoun Road Tulips. Photo by Pam Headridge, Courtesy of Visit Skagit Valley
Calhoun Road Tulips. Photo by Pam Headridge, Courtesy of Visit Skagit Valley
FeaturedMember Highlight

Skagit Tourism Bureau


From the sparkling Salish Sea to the craggy North Cascade mountains, the diversity of
the Skagit County is awe-inspiring. Over the years, the Skagit Valley has been
recognized as having some of the most agriculturally productive and valuable farmland
in the world—ranked in the top 2 percent of soils. More than 80 different crops plus
livestock and dairy products are produced here. The Skagit River is a priceless resource
which connects our communities together and is home to all 5 species of Pacific
Salmon. Some of the best hiking and biking opportunities are found here. The Skagit
Valley provides a home to numerous species of whales and migrating birds.

A flock of Snow Geese wintering in the Skagit Valley. Photo by Cedarbrook Studio.

The Skagit Tourism Bureau officially gained its 501-C6 status in January 2022,
emerging from its incubation with EDASC since the initiation of Tourism Promotion Area
(TPA) funds collection in January 2020. Operating under an annual contract, the Bureau
diligently executes tourism workplans, approved by the TPA Advisory Committee and
the Board of County Commissioners. With a clear objective of enticing more overnight
visitors to this distinct locale, the Bureau, under the leadership of Kristen Keltz as Chief
Executive Officer, passionately champions Skagit Valley as a premier travel destination.
Drawing from over three decades of expertise in the tourism and hospitality sector,
Kristen exudes enthusiasm for facilitating unforgettable experiences for visitors, eagerly
anticipating the unfolding wonders the year holds for the #MagicSkagit.

Kristen Keltz, CEO of Skagit Tourism Bureau
Kristen Keltz, CEO of the Skagit Tourism Bureau

In a recent conversation with Kristen, she unveiled an array of exciting initiatives
underway at the Bureau. First among them are the newly launched ‘Treat Them Right’
training videos, now available on the website, offering complimentary access to all
Skagit County businesses. These videos equip employees with essential skills,
culminating in certificates upon successful completion, recognizing the pivotal role
frontline teams play in shaping guests’ experiences, thereby enhancing the community’s

Additionally, the introduction of the Skagit Food Trail, Skagit Farm to Pint, and Skagit
Valley Tulip passports stands as a testament to the Bureau’s commitment to fostering
curated experiences that unveil the enchantment of Skagit Valley while offering
opportunities to earn rewards for both visitors and residents alike.

Excitement peaks with news of an imminent rebrand, poised to unveil a fresh logo and
creative assets as part of an extensive marketing and advertising campaign, all
meticulously designed to narrate the story of Skagit Valley in a sustainable manner.
Anticipate the unveiling of a user-friendly website this fall, inviting exploration of the
Valley’s treasures. The Bureau has also receive grants from the State of Washington
Tourism and Port of Seattle to curate their photo library and increase advertising in
certain markets as well as have representation on billboards at SeaTac airport.
Follow the journey on Visit Skagit Valley’s website, Facebook, and Instagram pages to
stay updated on the unfolding adventures.

As we always do, we asked Kristen what her favorite Skagit grown crop was. She
enthusiastically said, “My favorite are tulips. They symbolize a spring renewal and their
colorful beauty helps to showcase our valley to people all over the world.”

We’re grateful for Visit Skagit Valley‘s support here in Skagit County, helping to
showcase Skagit County’s natural beauty and quality of life. Thank you Skagit Tourism
Bureau, for supporting the Genuine Skagit Valley program and for allowing us to
highlight you as this week’s GSV Member Monday feature!

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