The Pacific Northwest has been a popular area for many years. It’s ideal coastal location paired with an abundance of natural resources make it a destination for adventure-seeking travelers and casual tourists alike. Throughout history, many of those travelers settled down in Seattle — which led to the area’s cultural diversity, strong economy, and solid education system, making it a perfect place for new businesses to develop and thrive.

These are just some of the businesses that got their start in Seattle.


The first Starbucks was established in 1971.


Of course, we can’t talk about Seattle businesses without bringing up the green siren (mermaid). What is now a $22B a year company was founded right by Seattle’s iconic Farmer’s Market. You can visit the original location at 1912 Pike Place but note that the original original location was a short walk away at 2000 Western Ave. The company moved to its current location across from Pike Place Market in 1977.


Photo by @popenjc

What started as a small shelf at Pike Place Market became an industry leader in outdoor recreational equipment. Aptly named Recreational Equipment, Inc., REI sells over $2B in sporting goods, camping equipment and travel gear annually. Their 100,000 sq. ft. flagship store in Seattle offers adventurous activities like a biking trail, an indoor climbing rock, and actual park rangers. You have to hike through a lush forest to even enter the building! Visit the flagship store at 222 Yale Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109 or find one closest to you.


The original Nordstrom

The fashion retail authority started when John Nordstrom immigrated to the United States from Sweden in 1887. The company began as a shoe store named Wallin & Nordstrom — Wallin being the owner of a shoe repair shop next door. John gave his shares to his sons after he retired in 1928 and the store become “Nordstrom,” selling only shoes until 1963. Now, with a variety of clothing options, the company sells $14B+ annually in order 300+ locations.

You can visit the recently renovated, 383,000 sq. ft. flagship Nordy’s in Downtown Seattle on 500 Pine St., Seattle, WA 98101.


The Boeing Tour – Photo by @soyalextienda

William Boeing founded this international giant in a Seattle shipyard in 1916. After crashing a seaplane, Boeing didn’t want to wait for the replacement parts. Instead, he decided he’d make a new one. Now, the company pulls in $90B+ annually and employs close to 150,000 employees. The Guinness Book of World Records named their factory in Everett, WA. the largest building on earth (by volume).

Twenty-five miles north of Seattle lies The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. Learn how aviation influenced the world and tour a working assembly plant.


That was just some of the successful businesses that have flourished in Seattle. Amazon, Eddie Bauer, and Cinnabon are a few others that also got start in the Emerald City. Even today, businesses are continuing to set up shop in Seattle. Are you looking to start up a company and make it big? Maybe a visit to this Pacific Northwest wonderland is in your future…

Wishing you success in everything,

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Loews Hotels & Co.