Ruby Hospitality Leaders Featured In Community+ TV Show

The Spokane television show, Community Positive recently featured interviews with members of Ruby Hospitality and Friends Of The Bing’s leadership teams about ongoing community-building efforts.

In part one of the Spokane television show, Community Positive, we hear from Matt Damskov, General Manager of The Ruby River Hotel. “The property has been here since the 1970s and has been a great spot for Spokane … COVID-19 closures were a big surprise and we just got the restaurant finished. We were ready to get the ball moving, then we had to close the doors.” 

In response to the mandated closures, Osprey Restaurant & Bar purchased meat smokers and opened a drive-thru barbeque. Mr. Damskov continues, “The people of Spokane have really enjoyed it and we are going to continue to keep doing the barbeque out front, and also offer this patio … We want to save as many jobs as possible, be as safe as possible, and make sure people are comfortable.” 

Osprey’s restaurant reopened when Spokane County moved into Washington’s Phase II of reopening. To ensure the safety of its guests and staff, Osprey published the following on their website: “Osprey is following all COVID-19 reopening guidelines to ensure the best of health to our guests and team members. Maximum occupancy has been reduced, seating is at least 6ft apart, and we have one-time-use menus. Masks are encouraged and required of all servers and restaurant staff.”

You can read more about Ruby Hospitality’s COVID-19 response here.

In reference to the ongoing, full-property renovation at The Ruby River Hotel, Mr. Damskov reports, “Travel has slowed down, group business is not there, you can’t utilize meeting space (sic). We decided that this gives us the time to really attack it, and try to get this project done a lot quicker than we planned.” When asked what advice he has for other locals in the same situation, Mr. Damskov suggests being creative, and trying new ideas. “Sometimes the first idea isn’t the greatest idea, but if you keep trying and keep moving on, something will stick, and that is what we have been doing. Don’t get discouraged at the first at attempt of trying something new, keep going with it.”

The second segment of the Spokane television show, Community Positive, the Executive Director of Friends of The Bing, Nickie White gives a behind-the-scenes tour of The Bing Crosby Theater. “The Bing is a historical theater that was built in 1914 as a silent movie theater. Today the theater has 750 seats, and it shows everything from films to plays.” When asked what the future of The Bing looks like, Mrs. White states, “We grow with the needs of the community, but we need the community’s to come out and support and to help us keep that dream alive.”
The interview continues with a tour of the theater’s green room, dressing rooms, and main seating areas. Many local businesses have stepped up to help support The Bing. The theater has received donations from The Eat Good Group’s Incrediburger & Eggs, Osprey Restaurant & Bar, and many locals. The available opportunities to help The Bing serve Spokane’s community can be found on The Friends of The Bing Website.
When asked about advice for other local businesses, Mrs. White advises “I think it is important to communicate with your patrons and supporters about your struggles to let them know how support you. It is important not to get bogged down in the fact that you cannot do your hands-on mission at the moment.”

Community+’s third segment featuring Jerry Dicker, President, begins with an intense game of cornhole. Mr. Dicker dives into the details of the COVID-19 slowdown in Spokane, “At some point, you have to figure out “How do we retain our core people? How do we bring the other people back? How long will this coronavirus last?” We are here for the long term so we are just doing the best we can.”

Moving to Osprey’s new, riverside patio, Mr. Dicker lays out the various projects involving Ruby Hospitality. From saving the Montvale Hotel to remodeling the Burgans Block buildings, Ruby has long been committed to improving Spokane’s community. Mr. Dicker continues and highlights Ruby Hospitality’s core values, “We concentrate on really good locations that everyone can get to, and then our job is to make them better and serve the customers as good as we can. Are we giving people value and are we serving them correctly? That’s always worked for us.”

Additionally, Mr. Dicker is assisting with the development of the former Global Credit Union building into a multi-functional education and daycare center. Locals will be able to attend classes here while being provided with childcare services. “Hopefully we will just keep doing good things in the area. That is our goal.”

Community+ is a TV show dedicated to promoting positivity. Each week, they highlight amazing humans doing incredible things in the Spokane community. You can find out more on their Facebook page or YouTube channel.


Picture of Mara Fields
Mara Fields

Mara (rhymes with “Sarah”) has a professional background in graphic design, an affinity for writing, and, thanks to a bout of temporary insanity, a degree in mechanical engineering. She is especially fond of designing and writing copy for print projects like books and pamphlets.

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