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Groundbreaking Ceremony

…with Mayor Robert Sheckler

This event, held on Wednesday, July 27, commemorated the Groundbreaking for the four-star, 250-room Artemis Hotel, conference center, and two upscale restaurants known as the Artemis Hotel.


by Ralph Nichols

Ground was broken Wednesday (July 27) for the eight-floor, 250-room luxury Artemis Hotel, heralded at the event as “a perfect example of a cooperative public/private relationship.”

This project had its beginnings “two years ago when I met with [Des Moines] Mayor Robert Sheckler in China,” said Mr. Yang, an entrepreneur and principal of the Artemis Hotel Group.

“We talked about building a hotel in the Unites States that would feature Chinese culture and Chinese cuisine. This is a win/win situation for the city and the investors.”

Calling it “an honor to come to this beautiful city,” Mr. Yang added the hotel is a “symbol” of what happens when U.S.-China friendship connects. “When there is cooperation between the two cultures, we can do good things.”

Noting that Shecker went “to China at Mr. Yang’s invitation,” Michael Fowler, president and CEO of Asia Access, Inc, who made introductions at the groundbreaking, said “we would not be here today if they had not gotten along well.”

“This, folks, is only the beginning,” Sheckler declared. “This project will be a major catalyst for other projects up and down” Pacific Highway S. “God bless the Artemis Hotel!”

Because support for the hotel came from a super-majority of the Des Moines City Council members, “public/ private relationship” is “probably the most powerful term that brought us here today,” he said.

Sheckler also praised City Manager Tony Piasecki and key staff members “who went out in the field and represented the city to these developers.

“Granted, there were a few naysayers, but there will always be these. A majority of Des Moines citizens support this project.”

State Rep. Dave Upthegrove, D-33, said the Artemis Hotel project shows that “Washington remains a great place to do business,” and that it shows the potential of Des Moines and South King County.

Highline Community College likes “to think we’re part of the team by working with the hotel,” said Dr. Jack Bermingham, president.

“Our college happens to have a great hotel management program. We hope to help make the hotel be the great success it’s going to be … this high-end investment will be a great opportunity for Highline and for our city.”

Fowler said when the Artemis opens, not only will it be “the largest hotel in the history of Des Moines, it will provide 70 direct jobs and 850 indirect jobs, which makes this “a perfect example of a cooperative public/private relationship.”

Scott Harm with Belay Architects of Tacoma, which designed the hotel, said “the sex in the building will be its amazing views of the bay” from the upper floors.

And its acoustics will make the building quiet on the inside despite airplane noise from planes on the Sea-Tac International Airport flight path.

The general contractor will be selected after final design details are worked out, and a general contractor may be selected by late summer. Grand opening of the Artemis Hotel is anticipated in fall 2013.

Located at 22406 Pacific Highway S., the Artemis will include a convention center, the first such facility in Des Moines, nine penthouse suites, banquet facilities for 300 guests with a separate kitchen, a water-feature spa, and workout facilities.

It will also boast two full-service restaurants, one serving authentic Chinese cuisine and the other a fine American grill, as well as a bar featuring live music and a poker room with game tables.

A 1930s art-deco design will complement the hotel’s spectacular views of Puget Sound.