A new smartphone app is the latest in a string of innovative economic development efforts by the city of Spokane Valley.
The free Spokane Valley mobile app is designed to help attract tourism dollars to Spokane Valley by showing visitors plenty of reasons to choose the city as their base from which to enjoy all that the region has to offer.
"The app was developed to help visitors as well as community members explore and enjoy Spokane Valley's unique features and qualities," said city of Spokane Valley Human Resources Director John Whitehead, who led the team that developed the application.
The app coordinates smartphones' GPS with Google Places and Google-Plus to let users search for nearby restaurants, retailers, attractions, accommodations, services and more at the touch of a fingertip. In addition to business names and locations, more detailed information and reviews are available, including driving directions by voice, map or written description. General information about Spokane Valley is available as well as listings of area events and activities that are open to the public.
Because the app is usable anywhere wireless data access and GPS are available, the app can be used to plan trips to Spokane Valley and will help find and navigate to local businesses, events and features all along the way.
Local businesses, organizations and agencies can help maximize the app's success by uploading their information to Google Places for Business and Google-Plus. Listings are free and it takes just about five minutes to get started. Just go online to google.com/business/placesforbusiness/.
Smartphone users can download the app by going to the Apple App Store or Google Play and searching for "Spokane Valley."
The app will be updated on a regular basis, and community members are invited to share their feedback and suggestions for improvements for usability and information available. Just contact Whitehead at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 509-720-5111. Those who would like help with the process of uploading their information are also welcome to contact Whitehead for assistance.
Demonstrations of the app as well as in-person assistance with uploading information to Google Places will be available at the city's booth during the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber's Business Fair on Thursday, March 27, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Mirabeau Park Hotel.
City staff members will also be on hand for demonstrations and uploading assistance during Spokane Valley's annual City Hall at the Mall day on May 8 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Spokane Valley Mall.