Confluence Dinner


Beautiful Downtown Lewiston has postponed the Confluence Dinner with “Apple Sleuth” David Benscoter from September 20 to November 8, 2018.


“Many of our regular attendees had other commitments and were unable to attend in September,” said Courtney Kramer, BDL Executive Director, in a press release. “It’s a busy time of year, especially for those in the agriculture community and we’re pleased that Mr. Benscoter is available on November 8.”


Mr. Benscoter is the retired sleuth credited with rediscovering five heritage apple varieties thought to be extinct. Mr. Benscoter will speak about his use of archival materials like homesteading records to track down potential locations of antique apple trees, as well as his work with the Washington State University Department of Horticulture to graft cuttings from apple trees onto new rootstock to save the species. Mr. Benscoter’s research has been featured in the Lewiston Tribune, Spokesman-Review, and New York Times.


“Confluence Dinner highlights people and resources that represent our region’s unique culture,” notes Courtney Kramer, BDL Executive Director. “As someone with roots in agriculture, it’s really interesting to learn about the potential for revitalizing the apple industry in our region. I’m especially interested in learning about the relationship between antique apple varieties and cidermaking, which is experiencing a renaissance with American consumers.”


A limit of 40 tickets will be sold for the Confluence Dinner. Tickets are $75 per person and include a three-course dinner prepared with locally sourced ingredients by Chef Aaron Jollymore. The dinner will also feature Colter’s Creek Winery’s 2016 Chardonnay and Kooskookia red wine. All proceeds from the dinner go to Beautiful Downtown Lewiston Revitalization Corporation, the 501c3 nonprofit leading the revitalization of our region’s historic commercial core. Tickets are available at the BDL office, 301 Main Street, Suite #103, or via BDL’s website at: Please contact Courtney Kramer at 208-790-1148 or with questions or to purchase tickets over the phone.


Rory Turner, 2017 Confluence Dinner Speaker


BDL welcomed Rory Turner as the guest speaker for our annual Confluence Catalyst Dinner on Thursday, July 20, 2017. Rory spoke about his experience pairing the vision of a vital, vibrant downtown in Ellensburg and Wenatchee with the partnerships necessary to catalyze projects like the Ellensburg Elks Building.


Rory was recently featured by The Good Life about how he got into investing in downtowns in rural Washington State:


Rory Turner arrived in Wenatchee back in 1995 and saw that it was good — very good. The sunshine, the clean air, the mountains, the recreation, a community chockful of salt-of-the-earth, hard-working people that he was proud to start calling his neighbors — it was all here.


The only things missing were some of the small niceties that you get living in a more urban environment. You know — the diversity of restaurants, the vibrant nightlife, a core downtown area that beckons residents to bring their families down to enjoy all the activities on a warm summer night.


We kind of missed that ur­ban-ness,” said Turner, who could see how adding those simple amenities could still allow the Wenatchee Valley to retain all of its existing charm and allure. “And we thought why don’t we become a part of that change?”


We wholeheartedly agree with Rory’s thinking about the importance of vital downtowns:


It’s all in keeping with Turner’s philosophy that a vital downtown is a key to the city’s overall economic success. “It’s the heart of the community,” Turner explains. “If that’s not healthy, the community’s not healthy.”