Theft of Skykomish Hotel has left an Ugly, Open Wound

Theft of the Skykomish Hotel has left an ugly, open wound that will fester for decades to come.

The Skykomish Hotel was not donated to the Town of Skykomish.

The Skykomish Hotel was not sold to the Town of Skykomish.

The Town of Skykomish did not buy the Skykomish Hotel.

The Skykomish Hotel was STOLEN!

It took fifteen years, but the Town, with the help of King County finally succeeded in stealing the historic Skykomish Hotel.

Every thought, word and deed creates a vibration frequency that echoes into the cosmos. It’s part of our eternal Karma. We may not understand it, but Everything we do has meaning and consequence.

Upon first driving into Skykomish I recognized Sky was a very special place and the Skykomish Hotel a unique, historic treasure.

The town and Hotel were hurting bad. Vision, clarity, commitment and significant financial investment would be needed if Sky was to avoid becoming just another bedroom community, part of an archipelago of urban sprawl reaching out from Seattle.

It wasn’t easy, but I began putting the wheels in motion to purchase the Hotel and perform a complete, first class, historically correct renovation that would provide a firm foundation for economic, social, cultural and spiritual rebirth, preserving the town’s unique heritage, while restoring employment, rebuilding its tax base and bringing new families to invigorate its underutilized and failing school.

In the fall of 2000 I was able to take the first step in turning this vision into reality by purchasing the tired old Hotel out of bankruptcy.

Lessons learned here on earth help determine our next stop in eternity. I didn’t know it yet, but Skykomish had some serious lessons it wanted to teach me. They haven’t come easy or cheap but creation has it own plan and its own perfect timing.

When confronted with adversity, most flee, but some muster the courage to stand and fight.

It’s not my nature to watch silently as wrongs, injustices and evil are committed, nor is it my character to fold and slink away. Sure, we must all approach battles with care and caution, but it is the fear of life, the craving to crawl back into the womb that has historically been the undoing of men and entire civilizations. It is this fear that has gripped, engulfed and destroyed Skykomish.

We Americans were born into a Republic. Each of us shoulders the responsibility to pay attention, learn and participate in Self Rule to the best of our ability. Creation did not place us in front of a TV to be entertained, binge on junk food or become inebriated with Hollywood extravaganzas and sports spectacles. We are here to serve creation and preserve the freedoms and liberties our nation’s founders sacrificed, fought and died for. 

Sky first tried handing off its Self Governance Responsibilities when it signed the Interlocal Agreement with King County in the mid 1980’s. Despite promises made, the plethora of new rules, regulations and burdensome bureaucracy that followed prevented normal regenerative market forces from working their magic. Bureaucratic malaise put a stop to the Skykomish Hotel renovation and promoted the dystopian future Sky now enjoys.

Next, the Town tried handing off its responsibility to manage BNSF Railway’s cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater to Washington State’s Department of Ecology (WSDoE).

WSDoE, the Town’s attorney, David S. Carson, and others like Clint Stanovsky made out like bandits, but the Town’s soil and groundwater now remain severely polluted and worse yet the ground beneath many homes and buildings is now subject to catastrophic liquefaction during the next seismic event. The town’s economy and tax base have been eviscerated.

The town’s only remaining businesses are two bars, two liquor/convenience stores and a laundromat. The Beauty Parlour, Candy Store, Barber Shop and Big Bear Restaurant couldn’t make a go of it even with free rent and are now shuttered, and with the Liquor store/deli owner trying to sell out, how much demand can there be for new business services?

The Sky River Inn, Skykomish Hotel and McEvoy House were either severely damaged or completely destroyed during the BNSF-WSDoE six year environmental cleanup hoax.

Today, Sky remains a complete basket case, a ward of King County’s, which regularly doles out taxpayer cash to keep the Town, its Kiddie Choo-Choo Train, Historical Society, Keith & Heather Maehlum’s ‘Revive Historic – Skykomish LLC’ and Brunner Construction on life support.

I of course was forced to defend myself for having committed the crime of purchasing the Hotel and attempting to renovate it.

Preventing the Hotel from being stolen by a collective mob of taxpayer funded neighbours proved difficult. My income was deliberately cut off. I was prevented from returning to my home and business following BNSF’s cleanup charade, and was sued by the Town, my savings depleted by years of violent legal assault.

My Hotel was finally handed over to the Town by corrupt Town and King County apparatchiks during their trumped up Sheriff’s Sale so it could be transferred to Todd Brunner’s ‘Skykomish Heritage LLC’.

Renovating the Skykomish Hotel was always a daunting challenge. When I purchased it in 2000 architects estimated renovation costs at $1.2 million, not counting the $325k I’d paid for it or the $75k I’d spent trying to massage it through the Town’s Design Review Board and King County Landmarks Commission (

Factors weighing on my decision to not pursue the matter further at this time:

1. Today’s renovation cost estimate is $3.5 million, and that’s if everything were to go without so much as a hiccup.

2. With the town remaining severely polluted by Diesel Oil, Bunker Fuel and Hydrocarbon Vapour, how much demand will there be for overnight lodging?

3. The Town and its Attorney, David S. Carson’s failure to require BNSF to replace soils with properly spec’d and installed new soils means homes and buildings now sit upon fill materials that could liquefy during a seismic event. Does it make sense to invest millions in a Hotel that’s likely to end up sitting on its side, stuck in the mud?

4. During the BNSF Railway environmental cleanup scam, the Town’s Design Review Board refused to allow the Skykomish Hotel’s elevation to be increased above flood stage. The Hotel’s first floor is now subject to seasonal flooding. Curiously, the Design Review Board approved BNSF Railway’s Maloney General Store elevation to be increased.

5. The Design Review Board also refused to allow the Hotel to be set back from the street and public sidewalks, exposing vehicles and pedestrians to damage and injury from falling snow and ice, or even an object carelessly knocked off a balcony railing.

This decision increased the likelihood that an out of control vehicle would run into the building or balcony supports. Anyone who has observed vehicle traffic at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and 5th Street knows the danger of which I speak, especially when the bars close.

6. The Town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant is not financially self-sustaining. The Town continues to draw down the Reserve Fund that was established when the facility was built. When the Fund runs dry, already high water & sewer rates will skyrocket even further, devastating households and businesses alike. Sky is a ticking time bomb for naive investors.

7. The Town appears no more ready for success today than it was when I purchased the Hotel in 2000. Today’s highly compensated Town staff is several times larger than it was back then despite the fact that businesses have fled and the population has actually decreased.

They’re an ignorant, uncooperative, deceitful, lying, hostile bunch of self-dealing hooligans. There’s nothing but trouble waiting over at Town Hall. Property Rights and the Rule of Law have no place in Skykomish.

8. The Town’s numerous Boards and Commissions are increasingly comprised of outsiders, little Hitlers, scofflaws, illiterates, ne’er-do-wells and NGO controlled parasites wanting to get in on taxpayer money. This is a sure fire recipe for continuing the gross mis-allocation of productive resources.

9. Mayor Alan A. (Tony) Grider had no stake whatsoever in the community and sought employment elsewhere. The same goes for many Board, Commission and Council members. Without any skin in the game there’s simply no incentive to make good, thoughtful long term decisions. This is what happens when lazy citizens allow a vacuum to be created… it gets exploited by selfish, greedy, outside, parasitic interests.

Would you spend your own money building a nature trail in a flood zone that was sure to be swept away during the next flood season? That’s exactly what happened, and yes the taxpayer funded Maloney Creek Trail got swept away within less than a year.

Would you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars suing the Skykomish Hotel instead sitting down and talking?

Would you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building a Kiddie Choo-Choo Train (Great Northern & Cascade Railway) that continues to lose tons of taxpayer money?

10. The Town has yet to explain what happened to the $2.3 million dollars of taxpayer money that ‘went missing’ during Mayor Fred Black’s administration. Instead of conducting an investigation the Town filed a lawsuit against the Hotel (whose agent had revealed the missing millions). Mayor Black then fled to Kansas.

Open, flagrant corruption and citizens’ willingness to look the other way signals that Sky is not a safe place to invest, but rather a dangerous financial sinkhole to be avoided.

11. The Town continues to throw good money after bad on idiotic schemes like its Kiddie Choo-Choo Train. With its touted annual ridership of over 7,000, this ‘Investment’ should be a huge money maker; but instead it too requires continuous cash infusions from the Town, and BNSF Railway. Why? Because this is nothing more than another crooked boondoggle, a taxpayer funded hobby for children like Council members Kevin Weiderstrom and Mayor Henry Sladek.

12. After years of refusing to allow me to put a new roof on the Hotel, the Design Review Board approved 4Culture’s request to install a cheap, non-historic and extremely defective composition roof on the Hotel once they took possession.

Heat rising from the Hotel’s interior causes roof snow to melt above the heated portions. Water from the melting snow runs down until it hits the exposed edges above soffits and balconies where it turns to ice in late afternoon.

This causes a huge buildup of heavy ice around the roof perimeter which eventually tears free from the roof (damaging it in the process), crashing down where in can severely damage vehicles and injure or kill pedestrians.

I originally proposed the roof be replaced with metal or faux slate that would allow snow to easily and harmlessly slide off without forming an ice dam, damaging the roof or exposing vehicles or persons to damage, injury and death. The Town and County said NO!

13. I requested the Town not place its new streetlight directly in front of the Hotel, as it would cause ‘light pollution’, diminishing the ability of guests to sit out on front balconies during the evening. The Town, as usual, never even responded, but instead placed the lamp pole in the worst possible location.

If you’re going to invest $3.5 million or more, details matter. If guests cannot enjoy their stay, they may not return, nor may they recommend the Hotel to others. Once the Town stole the Hotel, they did however move the offending street light.

14. Hundreds of audio and video recordings, internal emails and documents reveal a years long conspiracy by Town of Skykomish officials, King County officials, NGOs like, contractors, real estate investors and even U.S. Congresswoman Suzan DelBene to get the Skykomish Hotel out of the hands of private owners and into theirs, all without the inconvenience of having to pay for it.

The evidence is overwhelming and damning. Imagine investing millions in renovations, knowing vultures are circling, committed to stealing your property and the fruits of your labour?

More Americans awaken every day to the realization that present economic, social, political and spiritual models are severely corrupted and have failed us miserably.

Massive change is coming. A new broom will eventually sweep clean. Americans are coming with pitchforks and torches in hand.It’s not going to be pretty.

Skykomish Hotel, LLC looks forward to having its property returned, obtaining full restitution for damages suffered, including the removal of polluted soil and groundwater and installation of new, properly spec’d and installed fill materials, and to seeing that all those responsible for this grave travesty are brought to justice and severely punished.