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Naches has big plans for Cleman’s View Sports
A conservative but forward thinking town, says chamber president
By JIM FLINT
Naches Chamber of Commerce President Randy Juette pronounces his
name "Jewitt," even though the French pronunciation is
"Ju-ay," he said.
That's the way it is in Naches. Just plain folk who appreciate
the quality of life a small town offers, who love the closeness
of the mountains, and work together to build business and plan events.
You get the sense of a town where the pace is relaxed. But behind
the scenes, people are rolling up their sleeves making things happen.
"We're up for a Grant from the Forest Service," Juette
said. "One of our main pushes is to put in an amphitheater."
2003 Jeff Ranger applied for and received a $50,000 Rural Community
Assistance grant from the Forest Service for the Naches Depot, trail
design and engineering. Naches has also received a Community Action
Plan grant from the Forest Service for $25,000.]
Juette quickly explained that it won't be so much an amphitheater
as a performance venue. "It'll be in Mount Cleman's Sports
Park," he said. Mount Cleman forms the backdrop for this Upper
Valley town, which is nestled at the base of the mountain as the
gateway to the Cascades.
Cleman's View Sports Park has considerable development already.
It has three little league ball parks, one junior league park, a
concession stand, and an events hall. And there are dugouts for
the ball fields.
"Jeff Ranger practically built it himself," Juette said
of the Naches city administrator.
"Now we want to add a nice stage for concerts and other events,"
he said. "And we plan to add soccer fields to the west."
Juette said it's important to have infrastructure in place –
electricity and water, "places we can plug in people."
And that's all part of the Cleman's View Sports Park comprehensive
He said the complex draws teams and tournaments from all over the
Valley, particularly, of course, from the Selah-Naches area and
Another big weekend in Naches is the annual Sportsman's Days. It's
held at the school grounds and Juette said they'd eventually like
to move it to Cleman's Sports Park. It's held the second weekend
"With the new performance facility in place, we hope to have
three or four major events a year–spring, summer and fall,"
"Like a jazz festival, for instance."
Naches on the route to both Chinook Pass and White Pass, there is
considerable traffic through town in both directions. Tapping into
that traffic is part of what drives commerce in Naches, but they'd
like to capture more business from travelers and tourists.
That's why Juette and other Naches business people feel it's important
to develop more activities and events.
"We have a lot of rafters up here for Flip Flop, and there's
nothing for them to do," he said.
Flip Flop refers to when the water is released from Rimrock in
September and October and flows down the Naches River.
The improvements at Cleman's Park are part of that strategy. Juette
would also like to see the town develop park and ride services to
the rafting areas, the White Pass Ski Area, to the other points
And near the elk feeding at the Oak Park Station there is a big
horn sheep feeding station, too.
"When they ride back through town, we would hope they'd say,
hey, there's a nice restaurant, or let's check out some of these
Another project is in the downtown area. "Jeff Ranger is trying
to set aside money and obtain grants to restore the train depot.
"Part of that project would be to build a big public restroom
facility behind the station and RV parking."
Signage on the highway would point the way to the facility.
The chamber is developing a website; you can find it at. www.nachesvalleychamber.com.
"We'll have an events calendar, a relocation page, links to
members, businesses, the Forest Service, and the city. We want to
get us much information on it as possible and keep it fresh,"
A relocation page refers to information people need who might like
to relocate to Naches. The owner of RJ’s Tire & Auto Center,
Juette built a new facility for his business in 2002. Others like
him are investing in their city.
The town has a relatively new event it started in 2001, the Harvest
Dinner and Pie Auction.
"It's surprising at how much the pies go for," he said.
"One I sold for $95." The the chamber also invites an
auctioneer who also plays the guitar to the event. The committee
figured it was a bargain to get an auctioneer and entertainment
in one body.
After accepting the gig, the guy failed to show up both times.
"The first time it was snow. He lives in Cle Elum," Juette
said. "The second time he had to work late in Seattle and got
hung up in traffic, but he was afraid to call my secretary and tell
her after not showing up the year before," Juette laughed.
Juette did the auctioneering, but doesn't know how to play the
guitar, so they went without entertainment.
Juette thinks Naches has a lot going for it.
"We're close to great fishing and hunting, a premier ski area,
we have blue ribbon schools. We're a conservative but forward thinking
town," he said. For more information about Naches, you can
contact one of the following:
Randy Juette, Naches Chamber of Commerce president, at 509-653-2165
Jeff Ranger, city administrator email: email@example.com
Charles Ross, mayor at 509-653-2647 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Yakima Valley Business Journal, December, 2004
Selah Naches Community Profile
A Business Journal Focus Series on the Business Climate of Yakima
Valley Cities and Towns
Used with permission.
For more information, contact Jim Flint at email@example.com
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