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The Chronicle • Nov. 23, 2011 •

www.omakchronicle.com

News • C1

Chronicle readers’ picks for the best businesses, services, entertainment and recreation spots in Okanogan Country.

Cream rises to the top for ‘Best of’ The Chronicle OMAK — The cream of Okanogan Country businesses rose to the top in The Chronicle’s annual “Best of” awards. Readers were invited in October to vote for their favorites in dozens of categories. Many of the winners were repeats from years past, though several new businesses, clubs, organizations and locations were named. Okanogan Country was divided into north and south areas, with Shellrock Point between Omak and Okanogan as the dividing line. Each winner received a certificate. North Okanogan Country Best business – 1, Riverside Grocery, Riverside. 2, The Breadline Cafe, Omak. Best customer service – 1, Riverside Grocery, Riverside. 2, Ace Hardware, Omak. Entertainment venue – 1, Omak Stampede Arena. 2, Tonasket Rodeo Grounds. Fishing/hunting location – 1, Conconully. 2, Curlew Lake. Camping location – 1, Conconully State Park. 2, Bonaparte Lake Resort. ATV, hiking, biking and snowmobile trails – 1, Conconully area. 2, Similkameen Trail, Oroville. Skiing/snowboarding area – 1, Sitzmark Ski Hill, Havillah. 2, Highlands SnoPark, Havillah. Playground/park – 1, East Side Park, Omak. 2, Pioneer Park, Tonasket. Community festival – 1, Omak Stampede. 2, Okanogan Family Faire (barter faire), Tonasket. Golf course – 1, Oroville Golf Club. 2, Sheridan Greens, Republic. Museum – 1, Molson. 2, Stonerose Interpretive Center and Eocene Fossil Site, Republic. Scenic view – 1, Sherman Pass. 2, Okanogan Highlands. Fireworks display – 1, Lake Osoyoos. 2, Conconully. Accommodations – 1, Best Western Peppertree Inn, Omak. 2, Omak Inn. Automotive service – 1, Fletcher’s Automotive, Omak. 2, Top Notch, Omak. Financial institution – 1, NCNB, Omak. 2, Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union. Real estate company – 1, Re/Max Welcome Home, Omak. 2, Scheel Realty, Omak. Photography – 1, Jennifer Tollefson Photography, Omak. 2, The Chronicle, Omak.

Pet sitting/care – 1, Joey’s Bark and Bath, Omak. 2, Okanogan Valley Pet Resort, Omak. Beauty, hair, etc. – 1, Hair Designz by Lisa, Crumbacher. 2, Studio Off Main, Omak. Floral shop – 1, Wild Rose Floral Design, Tonasket. 2, A Cut Above, Omak. Law practice – 1, Steve Graham, Republic. 2, Callaway and DeTro, Omak. Remodeling, contracting, construction – 1, Brent Yusi Construction, Okanogan. 2, Allways Plumbing, Omak. School district – 1, Tonasket. 2, Omak. Fire departments – 1, Omak. 2, Riverside. Community/civic organization – 1, OmakOkanogan Civic League. 2, Tonasket Community Cultural Center. Government agency – 1, City of Omak. 2, WorkSource. Grocery – 1, Safeway. 2, Gene’s Harvest Foods, Omak. Convenience store – 1, The Junction, Tonasket. 2, Riverside Grocery, Riverside. Clothing – 2, J.C. Penney Co., Omak. 2, On the Avenue Fashions, Omak. Gift shop/jewelry – 1, Grandma’s Attic, Omak. 2, Highlandia Jewelers, Tonasket. Furniture – 1, Cramer’s Home Furnishings, Omak. 2, Prince’s Center, Oroville. Antique/second hand – 1, Riverside Grocery, Riverside. 2, Aussie Antiques, Tonasket. Farm, feed, etc. – 1, Omak Feed and Supply, Omak. 2, Tonasket and Supply, Tonasket. Gun/pawn – 1, Dave’s Gun and Pawn, Riverside. 2, Al Rise Guns, Oroville. Hardware/lumber – 1, Ace Hardware, Omak. 2, Midway Building, Supply, Tonasket. Electronics/Internet – 1, Computer Nut Hut, Omak. 2, N.C.I. Data, Omak. Car dealership – 1, Sunrise Chevrolet, Omak. 2, Damskov Auto Sales, Omak. Recreational vehicles – 1, Choice Auto and RV, Omak. 2, Omak Marine, Omak. Medical facility – 1, Omak Clinic. 2, North Valley Hospital, Tonasket. Dentist – 1, Grillo Family Dentistry, Omak. 2, Gary A. Bramer, DDS, Omak. Optometrist – 1, Dr. Ugo Bartell, Omak Clinic. 2, Eye and Ear Clinic, Omak. Veterinarian – 1, Alpine Veterinary Clinic, Omak. 2, Tonasket Veterinary Clinic, Tonasket. Pharmacy – 1, Rite Aid, Omak. 2, Roy’s Pharmacy, Tonasket.

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Zachary Van Brunt/The Chronicle

A visitor chips away at rock at Stonerose Interpretive Center and Eocene Fossil Site, Republic, second-place winner in the north for best museum. Burgers/pizza – 1, Hometown Pizza, Omak. 2, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Omak. Restaurant – 1, The Breadline Cafe, Omak. 2, Rancho Chico, Tonasket. Winery/brewery – 1, RockWall Cellars, Omak. 2, Esther Bricques Winery and Vineyard, Oroville. Bar/tavern – 1, Sit’n Bull Saloon, Conconully. 2, North Country Pub, Omak. Coffee/espresso – 1, Pumphouse Coffee Co., Omak. 2, Starbucks Coffee Co., Omak. South Okanogan Country Best business – 1, Rawson’s Department Store, Okanogan. 2, Sweet River Bakery, Pateros. Best customer service – 1, Rawson’s Department Store, Okanogan. 2, D&D Auto Body, Okanogan. Entertainment venue – 1, Okanogan County Fairgrounds, Okanogan. 2, Sweet River Bakery, Pateros. Fishing/hunting location – 1, Lake Rufus Woods, Bridgeport. 2, Leader Lake, Okanogan. Camping location – 1, Alta Lake State Park, Pateros. 2, Bridgeport State Park. ATV, hiking, biking and snowmobile trails – 1, Hart’s Pass. 2, Loup Loup Ski Bowl. Skiing/snowboarding area – 1, Loup Loup Ski Bowl. 2, Methow Valley Sport Trails

Association trail system, Mazama. Playground/park – 1, Pateros Memorial Park. 2, The Plex, Okanogan. Community festival – 1, Apple Pie Jamboree/Jet Ski Races, Pateros. 2, Okanogan County Fair, Okanogan. Golf course – 1, Okanogan Valley Golf Club, Omak. 2, Alta Lake Golf Course, Pateros. Museum – 1, Okanogan County Historical Museum, Okanogan. 2, Pateros Museum. Scenic view – 1, Washington Pass/North Cascades Highway. 2, Pateros/Columbia River. Fireworks display – 1, Brewster. 2, Grand Coulee Festival of America. Accommodations – 1, Sun Mountain Lodge, Winthrop. 2, Pateros Lakeshore Inn, Pateros. Automotive service – 1, D&D. Auto Body, Okanogan. 2, OK Tire Factory, Okanogan. Financial institution – 1, NCNB, Twisp. 2, NCNB, Okanogan. Real estate company – 1, The Land Co., Brewster. 2, Century 21 Trophay, Pateros. Photography – 1, Tim

Patrick Photography, Okanogan. 2, Al Camp, Okanogan. Pet sitting/care – 1, Heather’s Dog Grooming, Okanogan. 2, Kat’s and Nat’s “Supertails” Pet Grooming, Twisp. Beauty, hair, etc. – 1, Giddy Up Tailored Western Wear and Salon, Okanogan. 2, Razor’s Edge, Brewster. Floral shop – 1, Derina’s Flower Basket, Okanogan. 2, Nelson’s Flowers, Okanogan. Law practice – 1, Smith and Derting, Okanogan and Winthrop. 2, Hank Rawson, Okanogan. Remodeling, contracting and construction – 1, Pete Peterson Plumbing, Okanogan. 2, Cascade Mechanical, Chelan. School district – 1, Okanogan. 2, Pateros. Fire department – 1, Okanogan. 2, Pateros. Community/civic organization – 1, OkanoganOmak Rotary Club. 2, Okanogan Eagles. Government agency – 1, City of Pateros. 2, Okanogan Conservation District. Grocery – 1, Hank’s

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• Monica Giovacchini, Designated Broker • Kory Heindselman, Broker • Bob Butler, Broker

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Harvest Foods, Twisp. 2, Caso’s Country Foods, Okanogan. Convenience – 1, Pateros Super Stop, Pateros. 2, Okanogan Chevron, Okanogan. Clothing – 1, Rawson’s Department Store, Okanogan. 2, Heatstroke Printing, Okanogan. Gift shop/jewelry – 1, Rawson’s Department Store, Okanogan. 2, Chief Joseph Smoke Shop, Brewster. Furniture – 1, Webster Furniture, Brewster. 2, Loepp Furniture, Grand Coulee. Antique/second hand – 1, Don’s Woodworks, Okanogan. 2, As a Child Grows, Okanogan. Farm, feed, etc. – 1, Hamilton Farm Equipment, Okanogan. 2, Okanogan Truck and Tractor, Okanogan. Gun/pawn – 1, Neal’s Gun and Pawn LLC, Okanogan. Hardware/lumber – 1, Valley Lumber, Okanogan. 2, Yancey’s Ace Hardware, Pateros. Electronics/Internet – 1, CommunityNet, Okanogan. Car dealership – 1, Best Deals Inc., Brewster. Recreational vehicles – 1, Xtreme Power Sports, Okanogan. 2, Hamilton Farm Equipment, Okanogan. Medical facility – 1, Family Health Centers, Okanogan and Brewster. 2, Okanogan-Douglas District Hospital, Brewster. Dentist – 1, Adrian Tomarere, DDS, Brewster. 2, Caring Dental Center, Dr. Denny Homer, Okanogan. Optometrist – 1, Dr. Herman P. Milton, Twisp. 2, Dr. Duane L. Rana, OD, Brewster. Veterinarian – 1, Gary Lesamiz, Okanogan Valley Veterinary Clinic, Okanogan. 2, Brewster Veterinary Clinic, Brewster. Pharmacy – 1, Brewster Drug, Brewster. 2, Ulrich’s Valley Pharmacy, Twisp. Burgers/pizza – 1, Sweet River Bakery, Pateros. 2, Hometown Pizza, Twisp. Restaurant – 1, Sweet River Bakery, Pateros. 2, Los Cantaritos, Pateros. Winery/brewery – 1, Twisp River Pub, Twisp. 2, Methow Brewing Co., Twisp. Bar/tavern – 1, Club Tavern, Okanogan. 2, Cariboo Inn, Okanogan. Coffee/espresso – 1, Salmon Creek Coffee Co., Okanogan. 2, Freebird Espresso, Okanogan.


C2 •

News • The Chronicle • Nov. 23, 2011

www.omakchronicle.com

Riverside Grocery wins in several categories Staff watches out for area residents as story serves as a community hub By Sheila Corson The Chronicle

Cheryl Schweizer/The Chronicle

Ashley Rawson, Okanogan, rings up a sale at Rawson’s Department Store, Okanogan.

Rawson’s philosophy: Stand in customer’s shoes “ By Cheryl Schweizer The Chronicle

OKANOGAN – Rawson’s Department Store owner Richard Rawson said good customer service comes down to standing in the customer’s shoes. “The mentality is that the customer is the most important thing, and we try to treat the customer like we would want to be treated,” Rawson said. Rawson’s, 212 S. Second Ave., was named by readers as the Best Business, Best Customer Service, Best Clothing Store and Best Jewelry/Gift Shop in south Okanogan Country in The Chronicle’s annual “Best of” awards. “In a way, it’s pretty simple. Basically, it really does come down to the fact of knowing your customers,” he said. “We search out what we feel people need and hopefully give it to them at a price they can afford and give them good service.” A friendly, family atmosphere is critical, too, he said. “Most people want to feel like they’re important, which they are,” he said. Rawson’s is very important to Okanogan, Clerk-Treasurer Craig Attwood said. “It’s a cornerstone of downtown,” he said. “It’s pretty important to us.”

Most people want to feel like they’re important, which they are. Richard Rawson

” Rawson grew up in the business, which was founded in 1950 by his parents, Robert and Helen. “My dad used to be the merchandise manager for Blackwell’s,” he said. C.E. Blackwell and Co. had locations throughout the county and delivered all kinds of merchandise — from clothing to food — to county merchants, Rawson said. Rawson’s first location was across the street from the current store in a 25-by-50-foot retail space; over time it moved across the street and grew to fill the block facing South Second Avenue. “I’m the second generation,” he said. He and his wife, Bonnie, went to work at the store in 1971. Their son, Mark, also works in the business. In the past, every town had a store like Rawson’s, where a customer could buy anything

from work shirts to formal dresses. Over the years, customer taste has changed, and so has merchandise, he said. Rawson’s offers a selection of clothing for all ages, sections devoted to Western wear and shoes. “You’re always searching and trying to find out what people’s needs are. We try to listen to our customers, too,” Rawson said. Customers will tell a retailer what they need and want, and listening to what they have to say is crucial to success, he said. He said he hopes customers know Rawson’s owners and employees have experience in the business, know the merchandise and know what fills the customer’s needs. “Hopefully we can continue, because that’s what we’re here for, is to help people,” Rawson said.

Thank you, Chronicle readers, for voting us the best pharmacy in south Okanogan County. And thank you to all our loyal customers, we think you’re the best!

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RIVERSIDE – The folks at Riverside Grocery say a friendly personality led to their receipt of several “Best of” awards this year. The business, 102 Main St., pulled in Best Business, Best Customer Service, Best Antique/Second-Hand Store awards, and second in best convenience store in the north Okanogan Country area. “I am shocked,” owner Kim Nagy said. “I’m pretty proud.” “We were all totally shocked,” worker Donna Crunnies said, “And, of course, very impressed.” Nagy said her staff tries to keep that small-town atmosphere. “We try to know each other,” she said. “I think people really appreciate that.” Crunnies agreed, saying everyone watches out for everyone else. The grocery folks watch out for what is going on around them from a central spot. “It’s kind of the local hub,” Crunnies said. She said Nagy also does her best to keep gas prices low, which keeps people coming by. When she and her staff heard about the competition, they encouraged people to vote. Nagy said she told people, “We think we’re good – if you think we’re the best, vote for us.” It turned out to their advantage. “We hit the motherload,” she said. Other workers at the grocery are Cassandra Crunnies and Sharma Dickinson.

Sheila Corson/The Chronicle

Owner Kim Nagy and Donna Crunnies are among the Riverside Grocery’s staff.

Okanogan Chevron Thank you for your patronage. Honorable Mention in the “Best Of” 2011 for convenience store in South Okanogan County. 407 S. 2nd Ave., Okanogan • 509-422-2576

CONCONULLY would like to thank you for voting us

“BEST OF” • Fishing & Hunting • ATV • Hiking • Biking • Snowmobile Trails Fireworks Display Conconully Chamber of Commerce

We would like to thank the community for voting us “Best Of” for Veterinary services in 2011 for North Okanogan Country. We appreciate your patronage. Dr. Denise Krytenberg DVM Dr. Kelly Schmidtbauer DVM

Dr. Denny Homer 36 years experience

108 2nd Ave., Okanogan • 509-422-3200 • www.caringdentalcenter.com

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The Chronicle • Nov. 23, 2011 •

www.omakchronicle.com

BEST

SCENIC VIEW

Key to success: Being honest and ethical

— NORTH

By Cheryl Schweizer The Chronicle

Dee Camp/The Chronicle

The panorama from Sherman Pass was voted the top scenic view in north Okanogan Country by Chronicle readers.

Lawyer Graham specializes in American Indian rights Law practice winner travels across Eastern Washington By Zachary Van Brunt The Chronicle REPUBLIC – For nine years, Steve Graham has been practicing law, specializing in American Indian rights, from his offices in Republic in Spokane. But he’ll take clients from all over the region, including Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Grant, Spokane and Adams counties. “I kind of put a lot of miles on my car,” he said. Graham, who won The Chronicle’s 2011 “Best of” award for Best Law Practice in north Okanogan Country, also spent a term as Ferry County prosecutor, then a deputy prosecutor in Seattle. “I take a few cases in a lot of

Al Camp/The Chronicle

Steven Graham makes a point during a criminal trial. counties,” the 42-year-old lawyer said. “If you want to specialize in criminal defense, it really requires you to hit the

road. The farther it goes from home, the more serious and more interesting the cases get.” Graham’s passion is to fight for American Indian laws, including jurisdictional and sovereignty issues. “When I was in law school, Indian law wasn’t a mandatory class and it wasn’t even on the bar,” he said. “I’ve had to teach it to myself and it hasn’t been easy. I think a lot of prosecutors have shied away from it because it can be complex.” While he travels a lot, he does try to make it home each night to his wife, Toni Lembke, and his 7-year-old son in Republic. He also has a 20-year-old son in Seattle. On those occasions he doesn’t make it, there’s always a back-up plan: “I do have a favorite hotel in every town,” he said. Graham graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a degree in

English literature. He then attended Gonzaga University for his law degree. Right out of law school, he interned in Ferry County when now-Superior Court Judge Allen Nielson was the prosecutor. “He is a very good public defender,” Nielson said. “He always looks out for his clients, and he’s an outstanding advocate. And I don’t say that lightly.” “I think that win or lose, people like my passion,” Graham said. “I’m mostly nuts about criminal defense. I think about it 24/7. I’m a really competitive person. “He does an outstanding job,” Nielson said. “I’m happy that he’s won such an award and he’s very deserving of it. He does a good job whether it’s a simple minor in possession or something to do with a troubled child or teenager in family court, all the way up to a murder case.”

Involvement is important By Sheila Corson The Chronicle OMAK – Community involvement has been a key ingredient for success at RE/MAX Welcome Home real estate. The business, 215 N. Main St., earned the “Best of award” for real estate in the north Okanogan Country. “We have a vested interest in our area,” agent Monica Giovacchini said. “Besides us personally, the business does a lot, too.” That has meant sponsoring sport teams, Rotary and chamber membership; giving levy support; Okanogan County Fair participation and more. Agent Kory Heindselman also is an Okanogan School Board member. Giovacchini said some folks also drop by just for help making decisions about buying and selling their homes. “We depend upon cultivating a good reputation,” Heindselman said. Much of the firm’s business is repeat business and referrals to friends and family. That has put it on top not only in “Best of,” but also in the Northwest Multiple Listing Services for the area.

News • C3

BREWSTER – Honesty and ethics are keys to success in the real estate business. Good customer service and transparency also figure in, Land Co. owner Mark Miller said. Land Co., 416 N. Bridge St., was voted the best real estate agency in south Okanogan Country in The Chronicle’s 2011 “Best of.” “The key to (success) is being honest and ethical,” Miller said. If a real estate agent keeps a transaction transparent, customers on both sides will be satisfied, he said. Real estate agents need to know both buyer and seller, so they can meet the needs of both parties, he said. Miller said he was worried, at the beginning of the computer age, that technology would have a negative impact on real estate agents. Actually, “it’s only helped our business,” he said. There are many things people don’t think or know about when buying property, Miller said. “Just because a piece of property sits along the road, doesn’t mean you can get to it,” he said. The land may not have road access rights. There may be unforeseen issues with water rights, size and configuration of septic drain fields, existing property features such as underground storage tanks or an older house that may have lead-based paint. Potential buyers may not be ready to deal with all those complications on their own, he said. “We do employ our expertise,” Miller said. When talking with potential buyers, “my first question is what don’t they want,” Miller said. That knowledge helps steer a buyer toward land, a residence or business that will work for them, he said. Miller received his real estate license in 1980 and founded Land Company in 1986, he said. He owns the business with his wife, Karol, and employs agents Rich Burgett and Mark

“ I really like what I do. It’s very interesting and full of surprises. There’s a new twist every day. Mark Miller

” Worth in Brewster and Phil Lund in Pateros. “I was interested in why things were located where they were,” he said. He graduated from University of Washington with degrees in rural land development, and urban and regional planning. “I really like what I do. It’s very interesting and full of surprises. There’s a new twist every day,” Miller said.

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Thank you for your continued support during and after my location change. Thanks for voting us “Best of” 2011 Pet Care

Heather’s Dog Grooming 1068 S. 2nd Ave., Okanogan • 509-826-5541

Sheila Corson/The Chronicle

Summer Olson, from left, Monica Giovacchini and Kory Heindselman are three-quarters of the Re/Max staff. Not pictured is Bob Butler. The firm typically handles about a third of sales in the central county, Heindselman said. The office, formerly known as Okanogan Valley Realty, has been in operation for 17 years with both Giovacchini and Heindselman as agents. They also employ agent Bob

Voted “Best Of ” Dentistry, North Okanogan County. Thank you to the best family of patients for your confidence and support. It’s our privilege to serve each of you!

826-4050 • 1-800-870-4057 www.grillodds.com 739 Haussler Road, Omak

Butler and office manager Summer Olson. In 17 years, they have managed more than 1,700 sales. Heindselman said one of the best parts of the job is helping a family find a dream home. “We’re not in this just to make a sale, we’re in this to find a home for our clients – we

want them to be happy,” he said.

A heartfelt thank you to our customers for their support and continued service!


C4 •

News • The Chronicle • Nov. 23, 2011

www.omakchronicle.com

Resort caters to travelers from around the world By Zachary Van Brunt The Chronicle

Cheryl Schweizer/The Chronicle

John Asmussen bags a corn dog for a customer at Pateros Trading Co. (Pateros Super Stop). The business was named the Best Convenience Store in south Okanogan Country.

Goal: Stand out from the convenience crowd By Cheryl Schweizer The Chronicle PATEROS – Location matters. But good customer service and innovation also are important in attracting and keeping customers, Korey Kato said. Kato manages Pateros Super Stop, which was named the Best Convenience Store in south Okanogan Country in The Chronicle’s “Best of” awards. “It all comes down to location,” Kato said. The Super Stop, which its owners are renaming Pateros Trading Co., is located at a strategic spot for travelers heading to and from the area at the confluence of U.S. Highway 97 and state Highway 153. The company’s owners and managers are aiming for a look and feel that makes Pateros Trading Co., 245 Lakeshore Drive, stand out from the crowd of other convenience stores, he said. “Even though it’s a

convenience store, we have a hospitality mentality,” Kato said. “We have a great staff. They’re very loyal and they take a lot of pride in what they do. And you can’t train for that,” he said. Super Stop first opened in the 1980s, across the street from its current location, and the current building was opened and Rivers Restaurant added in the early 1990s. The building was remodeled in 2009. Pateros Trading Co. has a hot deli case, beverages and snacks, and also bait and accessories appropriate to a business located at a popular fishing spot. There’s also a wine case and fresh meat counter, featuring beef from a ranch owned by Super Stop owner Howard Asmussen. The store also offers a selection of grocery items such as milk, and has some tables for customers who want to eat their meal on the spot.

The Omak-Okanogan Civic League would like to sincerely thank the community for voting our civic organization “Best Of” for 2011. Like us on

Owners try to keep merchandise circulating, Kato said. Deli case items are of similar quality to the food served in the restaurant, Kato said. “The thought process that goes into that (the store’s merchandise and marketing) is pretty detailed,” he said. Employees work hard to keep the grounds attractive. “It’s really the first impression,” he said. The atmosphere shows the impact of general manager Judy Asmussen-Brown and her husband, Rich, who manages the motel, Kato said. “It has a lot to say about Rich and Judy and how they’ve operated,” he said. Kato said he’s grateful for the customers that have shown their loyalty over the years. “We have so many regulars, people that come by and see us every day,” he said.

WINTHROP – Tucked away in the hills just outside town lies Sun Mountain Lodge, a luxury resort that caters to people from all over the world. But it still has its feet firmly planted in the Methow Valley. The lodge, 604 Patterson Lake Road, won The Chronicle’s 2011 “Best of” award for Best Accommodations in south Okanogan Country. It was built in 1968, then purchased and rebuilt in the mid-1980s by German-based gummy bear baron and entrepreneur Charlie Haub, General Manager Brian Charlton said. When the Haub family took over, the focus turned to the local economy. Nearly 80 percent of the lodge’s furniture is made in the valley, and all of the reconstruction was done with local talent. The hotel’s duvets, antlers and wall art, as well as most food, drink and metal work were produced as locally as feasible. “That was a large part of it, was keeping the work as local as possible,” Charlton said. “We try like crazy to make it as local as we can.” That includes a slew of jobs each year. Sun Mountain is one of the largest private employers in Okanogan County, “and we take that responsibility seriously,” Sales Manager Geof Childs said. The lodge employs 50-75 people during the low season, but explodes to 225 during the height of the summer season. Charlton said most resorts have a turnover rate of 120 percent, whereas Sun Mountain’s hovers between 12 percent and 15 percent, creating long-term relationships among staff. “There’s a lot of longevity here,” Food and Beverage Director Barb Moschetti said. “I think a big part of it is that so many of us live in the Methow and make a choice to live in the valley,” Front Desk and Guest Services Manager Megan Rudholm said. “When you make that choice to live your dream, it makes you a happy person.” The lodge does a lot of promoting from within, so there are a lot of opportunities for both upward and sideways mobility, Charlton said. “This is a wonderful place

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work,” Rudholm said. “We’ve got great views, great people and great guests.” Both Rudholm and Moschetti started in the lodge’s banquet department. “We were a group moms who had all raised their kids together,” Rudhom said. “We’re all a part of the community and we’re an extension of that community. “I’ve had employees comment that when two banquet servers were promoted to management, they thought, ‘Wow. I could to that, too.’” Situated alongside the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, North Cascades National Park and the Pasayten

Wilderness, Childs said the resort has a “2.1 million-acre backyard.”

See Lodge C5

Thank you to all our customers who use our services and support us! LAND COMPANY 416 N. Bridge St., Brewster 509-689-3610 www.landcompany.net

for voting us “Best of” Bar/Tavern

125 Pine St., Okanogan 509-422-4282

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“BEST OF” 2011 Restaurant Thank you for voting for us. We appreciate your loyal business. 102 South Ash Street • Omak • 509-826-5836

Voted

“Best Of” Optometrist 2011 &' . ('+ % ' ! +"( "% )"' ! (& -

Thank You For Voting CommunityNet “BEST OF” 3 Years in a Row!

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North Okanogan Country Ugo Bartell, Omak Clinic Thank you to all of the patients and community members who voted for me. I am honored by your vote of confidence in my work.

Omak Clinic info@communitynet.org

916 Koala, Omak Optical Outfitters: 826-7919 For eye exams: 826-1800


The Chronicle • Nov. 23, 2011 •

www.omakchronicle.com

Webster: Serve customers’ needs Communication is a key for Brewster furniture business

News • C5

Congratulations to the winners of the Best Of 2011 contest!

By Cheryl Schweizer The Chronicle BREWSTER – There’s a key ingredient to staying in business for more than 60 years in an economic environment that’s changing. “I’m going to say serving the customer’s needs is the main thing,” Webster Furniture owner Dan Webster said. His store, 322 E. Main St., was voted the Best Furniture Store in south Okanogan Country in The Chronicle’s annual “Best of” awards. Serving the customers’ needs means listening to them and offering merchandise they want, Webster said. “It takes a lot of communication and paying attention,” Webster said. That means carrying appliances, floor coverings and some electronics, merchandise lines that most urban furniture stores have quit selling, he said. “We do deliver. And that’s the fun part. It’s fun to see it (the new furniture) in the house. It truly is,” Webster said. It’s always fun and interesting to see how people express themselves through their decorating, he said.

BEST

Cheryl Schweizer/The Chronicle

Cody and Dan Webster, both of Brewster, prepare a chair for delivery at Webster Furniture, Brewster. “I think a lot of it is being committed to keeping regular hours, and a staff that’s knowledgeable and friendly,” he said. It’s also important to offer quality merchandise, Webster said. Webster Furniture sells LaZ-Boy and Madison furnishings, Maytag appliances, and Mohawk and Mannington floor coverings, among other brands. Just like clothing, furniture goes in and out of style – sectional sofas were big in the 1970s, almost disappeared in the 1990s, and now are making

a comeback. Part of success in the furniture business is paying attention to and keeping up with those trends, Webster said. “There’s a lot to be learned,” he said. That education helps both merchant and customer avoid costly mistakes, Webster said. Webster Furniture is a family business, founded by his parents, Frank and Mary Webster. “Dad actually worked at Bev Wilson Furniture (in Okanogan) before he came to Brewster. And he opened this place in 1949,”

Webster said. Dan Webster took over in the 1980s; his son Cody is part of the business. Webster Furniture has expanded during its six decades into buildings on either side of its original location. The store is a downtown fixture and “sells good furniture,” Brewster Chamber of Commerce President Janet Jordan said. She praised Webster for his caring spirit and community involvement. He sits on the chamber board.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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Thank You For Your Support — Zachary Van Brunt/The Chronicle

FFA teams race apple bins at the 2011 Okanogan Fair. The fairgrounds won in the south for Best Entertainment Venue and the fair took second place in the community festival category.

Together we are making a difference in our community! 411 South Western Ave., Tonasket 509-486-1328

RUNNER-UP

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Thanks to my customers for voting us “Best Of” 2011 for Farm/Feed/Etc. 3 E. Dewberry, Omak • 509-826-1160

www.CommunityCulturalCenter.org

We enjoy caring for you! ! " Al Camp/The Chronicle

Cars collide during the September demolition derby in the Tonasket Rodeo Arena. The rodeo grounds were voted runnerup for Best Entertainment Venue in the north Okanogan Country area.

Lodge from C4 The lodge sprawls across 3,000 acres and sits at 2,900 feet above sea level. Guests have the options of horseback riding, hiking, biking and fishing during the summer season, and one of the longest cross country skiing programs in the country during the winter. The resort holds a AAA four-diamond rating, he said, and staff goes through rigorous twice-yearly inspections to ensure it can maintain those standards. Most guests come from the Seattle area, Rudholm said, but the lodge also attracts quite a few Canadian visitors, as well as from Spokane and the TriCities areas. “We just try to be a really quiet place in the Methow where people can come, relax and be away from the world,” Charlton said. If guests prefer to spend their stay inside, the lodge offers a variety of spa services, a farm-to-table restaurant and a 5,000-bottle wine cellar

boasting 430 labels. The lodge prides itself on its local connections, and each year gives back to the valley with reduced room rates for anyone with a 509 area code. This year the local special runs Dec. 7-21, with rooms ranging from $95-$140. Room prices typically begin at $150 during the regular season. “That works really, really well for us,” Charlton said. “It was just a way for us to give locals the opportunity to come stay with us.”

Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union sends a big THANK YOU

916 Koala Drive, Omak 509-826-1800 800-591-2765

to everyone who voted for us in the “Best Of” contest. We appreciate your support and want you to know that we consider it a great privilege to serve our community!

Thank you, Okanogan County, for voting us • Best Pizza • Best Restaurant • Best Business, honorable mention, in South Okanogan Country. Open every day 7 a.m.-8 p.m. • Serving pizza from 3 p.m. 509-923-2151 • 203 Pateros Mall, Pateros • www.sweetriverbakery.com

MIDWAY Building Supply TONASKET

509-486-2888 123 Clarkson Mill Rd., Tonasket


C6 •

News • The Chronicle • Nov. 23, 2011

www.omakchronicle.com

BEST SERVICE

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Find us on Facebook to see weekly specials

726 Okoma Drive, Omak • 509-826-1000 Vehicles subject to prior sale, OAC, Negotiable documentary fee up to $150. One TV per customer per purchase.


Best of The Okanogan 2011