Articles by Robin Wojtanik

Robin Wojtanik spent most of her career in broadcast journalism, working at television stations around the country. She spent nearly a decade managing newsrooms in the Tri-Cities and Yakima. She enjoys volunteering for Junior Achievement and Christ the King School and serves on the board for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Northwest chapter. She lives in Richland with her husband and children.
Gurbir Sandhu, president of the hospitality group Ignite Hotels LLC, paid $3.5 million at a recent auction for a 15,000-square-foot home built by a former NHL goalie on 95 acres of land on the Horse Heaven Hills. (Courtesy DeCaro Auctions)

Tri-City hotel mogul buys Kolzig mansion for $3.5M

A prominent Tri-City mansion recently sold to a local hotel mogul for $3.5 million. The new owner of the home built by hockey legend Olie Kolzig is Gurbir Sandhu, president of the hospitality group Ignite Hotels LLC. Sandhu said he intends to deed the Kennewick property to an LLC that has not yet been formed…

Badger Canyon Apartments off Ridgeline Drive in Kennewick. (Photo by Scott Butner Photography)

Market overview: Relief on horizon for housing shortage as prices skyrocket

The Tri-City construction market continues to add millions of dollars in new projects as home and commercial lease prices skyrocket. The average Tri-City home sale price did not dip below $300,000 for the first eight months of 2019. But area real estate experts say prices could begin to level off in 2020. “I think we’re…

WoodSpring Suites construction on Tapteal Drive in Richland. (Photo by Shawna Dinh)

Commercial real estate: Costs continue to drive up prices

Commercial real estate agents cite years of ongoing growth for the Tri-Cities’ especially tight market today. “There’s a lot of leasing, a lot of sales, a lot of new construction going on,” said Rob Ellsworth, senior advisor at SVN | Retter & Co. in Kennewick. “Our market might even be too strong right now because…

Duportail Street bridge construction in Richland. (Photo by Taryn Harkness)

City of Richland: New bridge, developments to boost central district

Transformational projects in central Richland will add new housing options, transportation routes and businesses to the city’s core. The long-anticipated Duportail Street bridge is expected to open in fall 2020. The route will connect drivers from the Stevens Drive corridor to the Queensgate Drive retail hub, and provide easier access to locations in central Richland,…

Richland’s Shilo Inn at 50 Comstock St. has remodeled its common areas, repainted and rebranded itself as a riverfront property. The name change will be official at the end of October. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Multimillion dollar hotel projects offer visitors more getaway choices

The Tri-Cities will add more than 300 hotel rooms to the market when multiple hotels open in the next year. And more rooms will be available in 2021 and beyond, with other hotel projects currently in the planning stages. The opening of three hotels with a combined value of $21.5 million will increase the number of available…

Richland’s Lance Frisbee recently received a plaque from YouTube acknowledging 1 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, which focuses on video gaming and specifically the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (Courtesy Powerbang Gaming)

Richland YouTube celebrity trades 9-to-5 life for professional gamer gig

It’s not easy to describe what Richland’s Lance Frisbee does for a living. He’s a gaming celebrity, social media influencer and YouTuber. “There are a lot of people who are really curious about my line of work. They want to know why I travel all over the world. I am still working on my elevator…

A Kennewick company has sold thousands of boxes of its Soil Savvy home soil-test kits on Amazon. Now, UNIBEST International is poised for an expansion when it goes public this fall. (Courtesy of Dennis Bullock/Evergreen Cottage)

Kennewick company plans to go public this fall

A Kennewick company already selling a popular soil-test kit on Amazon is poised to grow its success when it goes public this fall. “What I see this company doing is going from several million in sales to a whole lot more,” said James Katzaroff, senior vice president for finance for UNIBEST International. “We’re going to…

Individual in-home providers offer care to clients for everything from bathing, dressing and grooming, and also may cover social supervision and respite care.

In-home care employer shift now underway

A Montana-based company soon will manage individual providers who offer in-home care to clients through the state’s Department of Social and Health Services. It’s a switch from the current system that has DSHS handling all administrative functions. Now, Consumer Direct Care Network out of Missoula will become responsible for 20,000 individual care providers across 22…

The team from Western Restaurant Supply & Design welcomes customers to its new showroom at 1957 Fowler St. in Richland, which offers equipment for commercial kitchens and home use. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Restaurant supply store moves, expands showroom

The store may include “restaurant” in its name, but Western Restaurant Supply & Design also is hoping to serve home chefs at its new 10,000-square-foot Richland showroom. “If you’re looking for a $15 knife, I got those, or if you want a $400 knife, I got those, too. We’re always looking to reignite or ignite…

The Kennewick Costco is only serving hot dogs and sodas from a temporary cart while the food court is renovated and expanded to improve customer flow and staff efficiencies. (Photo by Robin Wojtanik)

Costco’s busy food court gets overhaul

Renovation means new counter location, more space for workers, equipment Costco’s food court window is rotating toward the entrance of the store, intending to alleviate backups near the registers while improving efficiencies for workers who are constantly taking and filling orders behind the counter. “It will create internal efficiencies and make it easier for our…

Latest News

Governor halts construction during coronavirus stay-home order

Interactive map shows how well (or not) we’re social distancing

Grocery Outlet opens in Richland

Tri-Citians urged to donate N95 respirators, food, cash. Here’s how to help

Chamber, tourism bureau offer businesses way to tell public they’re open

UPDATE: Washington adding more than 2,000 hospital beds in coronavirus fight

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