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February 14, 2003

Leavenworth, Washington was a boom
town that went bust when they rerouted
the railroad and the timber was all gone.
Boom to bust typifies Pacific Northwest
economy. Gold, timber, dot coms.
Rather than curl up and die, city
fathers of this 2,000 pop. town de-
cided in the 1960s to reinvent their
community as a neo-Bavarian village
tourist attraction--not much of a reach
given the alp-like snow-capped surr-
oundings of jagged Cascade Range.
The gambit worked and 30-odd years
later, Leavenworth is still attracting
the tourists, even moreso after 9/11
with people favoring driving vacations.
There's not much substance to the
main drag of gift shops & brat stands,
but the chamber of commerce is
hoping to change that with a May Pole,
candle ceremonies, and other pagan
rites that offer deeper interaction.