Suncadia Resort: Perfection in Seattle’s Backyard

Located on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, along the Cle Elum River and green forests, the Suncadia Resort is a tranquil lodge, inn, winery and golf resort, just 90-minutes from Seattle. In addition the pristine walking trails, restaurants and spa, the resort includes unlimited space for groups events. We spoke with Scott Verrue, director of sales for Suncadia to find out more.

What are some of the main features at Suncadia? 

Suncadia is 82 miles from downtown Seattle, located in the middle of the state along Interstate 90. We have a variety of lodging options for guests, ranging from our 254-room lodge, 18-room inn, condos and homes. It’s a community, a resort, it has a spa with a fitness center, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, two public golf courses, six miles of river flowing directly through the property, a multitude of recreational activities. These include river rafting, fly fishing, hiking, biking, miles of lightly traveled paved roads for road bikers, horseback riding on property and ATV riding nearby. Obviously, those are for the summer, but the hotel is an all-season resort. In the winter, there’s fun in the snow, an ice rink for groups to rent out, an inner-tubing hill with a rope tow, miles of professionally groomed cross country trails for snow and a snow making machine.

Can you tell us about unique venues for events?

The property is made up of 6,500 acres of undeveloped, forested lands along the river. There are many scenic overlooks on the property and many areas where groups can gather, whether it’s a dinner, a teambuilding activity, an outdoor reception or a themed event. One of the areas that is of particular interest to our corporate groups is the Nelson Dairy Farm, it’s an active dairy ranch that is no longer in service, but still has many of the original buildings intact. It really creates a very unique backdrop for western or mountain themed events. For groups of 30, there’s an intimate space on property called Nelsons Cabin. Groups feel like they are in the middle of nowhere, but actually just half a mile from the hotel.

What kind of events are popular?

A lot of our top five customers are from large corporations in Seattle and the surrounding areas. We host events for brainstorming, idea sharing, reward ceremonies, incentive trips and dinners. We offer a great location for multi-night stays, especially since we are so close to Seattle. We also do 1-day events and accommodate a large number of regional/national associations. We have two ballrooms for trade show and general sessions simultaneously. Also, we have two golf courses for golf events.

What is the takeaway for groups visiting Suncadia?

The feedback is always about the variety of activities, the dedicated meetings facilities and the location. Groups love that they have no distractions while they are here, it’s a great escape.

Can you tell us about the meeting space?

We have 15,000-sf of indoor meeting space and unlimited outdoor space. Often times we throw it back to the customer to find out what kind of venue will serve them well. Through that, we have discovered some of the more popular outdoor spots on property for events. There’s an amphitheater in the center of the resort and we schedule concerts/events there during the summer. We also have the Strawberry Lawn which is adjacent to the Lodge and overlooking the river and beyond. It’s very scenic and close to all the services within the Lodge. In both cases we can host 350 for reception or 180 for a seated event.

Can you tell us about Swiftwater Cellars?

Swiftwater Cellars is on property, but a separate facility. It’s a fully operational winery within the Cascade Mountains. They crush and bottle onsite and offer a variety of venues for corporate events, both indoor and outdoor spaces. The venue has an amphitheater and also has a the Rope Rider golf shop. The cellar is half a mile from the Lodge and built adjacent to an old coal mine. The original foundation of the mine is still there and we try to keep the history of the mine throughout the resort. The winery has its own restaurant and private dining areas. We’ve had a lot of great feedback on the wine too.

How do the golf courses rank in Washington?

The Prospector Course was voted one of the top 10 public courses in Washington. The Rope Rider course was voted The Best New Course in 2011 by Golf Magazine. Golf Week’s “Best Courses You Can Play” featured both courses. They are excellent courses for corporate groups for tournaments and the Inn is very close for events. Groups can buyout one of the courses as well. The new Rope Rider Golf Park is a short game practice area with chipping areas. It can be converted into a 3-hole short course. In the afternoon, we use it for events, putting contests, chipping contests, tournaments and free use with F&B. It’s all within half a mile within Suncadia.

What about the spa?

The spa is a full service spa with 17 treatment rooms. It’s just steps from the Lodge and set among a series of trees, stones and natural features. The spa blends with the natural environments. One of the highlights is a water feature that flows from one side of the facility, underneath the building and through the “glade” which is home to different mineral pools. It’s got a modern touch with mountain style.

What’s the vibe like on property?

The whole area is conducive to wellness and relaxing. There are miles of paved walking trails and a lot of places to sit and reflect. It’s a great getaway from the urban environment.

What kind of groups are visiting?

We get national groups, but it’s mostly those coming from the West Coast region. We are still fairly new, but we are seeing a lot more since we are in such close proximity from Sea-Tac.

When did Suncadia open?

The Lodge opened in April 2008 and the Inn and Prospector golf course opened in 2005.