An important way we can support our local business community is to invest in the parks and trails around Issaquah. People from Seattle and Bellevue may not come our way to grab a cup of coffee, they have good coffee in their own backyard. What they will do is come our way to enjoy our parks and trails, because Issaquah has some of the best outdoor recreation opportunities in our State. Once we lure our friends from Bellevue and Seattle to enjoy our beautiful outdoor amenities, they will visit the Issaquah Coffee Company and Sunset Ale House.
This leads me to talk about the investments we have made in Lake Sammamish State Park during my time working on the State construction budget. It sounds boring, but the first large investment we had to make was in fixing the bathrooms in 2013. Nobody wants to bring their kids to a park with lousy bathroom facilities. The new bathroom facilities at the park laid the foundation for the improvements to follow.
In 2015 we were able to secure State dollars to build the new playground. The old playground was built in the 1980's. The new playground has a zipline that has kids lined up around the corner on sunny days. We were also able to create a playground that works well for kids with disabilities.
That same year we were able to get funding to improve the beach at the park. The new sandy beach creates an excellent way for kids and adults to enjoy the warm waters of Lake Sammamish. All these improvements played an important role in Issaquah securing a spot on the AVP Volleyball Tour in the summer. This tour brings some of the best volleyball players in the world to our own backyard, along with a lot of fans who end up spending money at our local hotels and restaurants.
We still have more improvements to come. We have funded a plan to put in docks at the park to enclose a swimming area, along with enabling people on the water to access the park. We will also be working on funding to improve the boardwalk to create a nice walking trail along the water. At some point I would love to get turf soccer fields across from IHOP. I have always viewed securing State dollars to support outdoor recreation as a win for both the business community and the residents of Issaquah.