The Washington Restaurant Association of Olympia and the Washington Lodging Association of Seattle plan to merge next year as a unified hospitality association under a new brand, the two groups announced Monday.
Before that, though, the two organizations began working under a joint operating agreement that took effect Oct. 1. That agreement combined staff and operational functions in Olympia. The organization’s two boards also will hold joint board meetings and are governed by a joint executive committee, according to a news release.
Washington Restaurant Association President and Chief Executive Anthony Anton also will serve as the lodging association’s chief executive.
“By joining forces, we now have an expanded government affairs team that is increasing our influence and effectively addressing the challenges facing our industry at both the state and local level,” Anton said in a statement.
Once merged, the unified hospitality association will have more than 6,000 members. It also will advocate on behalf of an industry that employs more than 250,000 in Washington and generates $17.7 billion in revenue annually.