Local Atmosphere

Spokane, WA
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3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Its called Spokompton for a reason.

2 College Student

Local Atmosphere: I only say its bad because as a Freshman I do not have a car and therefore being able to enjoy the activities in the area is very few. But fortunately there is a bus (shuttle) that takes you to downtown during the weekends. Safety always seems to be a problem in the surrounding area as the community is deemed to be in poverty. The people in the community on the other hand seem to really enjoy the students and what they offer to the community in addition to Gonzaga basketball.

3 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: It is definitely a small town. I find it to be a pretty easy and slow life. No one is ever too much in a rush. When it gets cold, it is much more difficult to be active outside.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Spokane is a place you go for school- not to enjoy the city. I'm definitely not a fan… But such an awesome school makes dealing with Spokane worth it. There are two malls in Spokane and one in Spokane Valley (15 minute drive). There is a wide variety of people in Spokane and many of them are very sketchy. But you kind of learn living there the better places to be.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Local theatre is pretty good! Between the Spokane Civic Theatre and Interplayers Professional Theatre plus some other community theatres, improv groups and high-quality high school theatre programs, there are lots of plays to go to!


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Iain Bernhoft
Seattle, Wash.
View all previous student authors

If Spokane were a glass, one could spend days arguing whether it were half full or half empty. Truth be told, there's a strong case for both. The half-full Spokane has a quiet upscale downtown nestled picturesquely on the banks of the Spokane River. It has snazzy new restaurants, old brick buildings, coffee shops, and cinemas, as well as Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls. There is a thriving local music scene attracting concerts and events. People remark on how it feels like a small community, even if it has the advantages of a mid-sized city. Not too far from this is hiking, climbing, swimming, and skiing aplenty. The half-empty Spokane is notable for low-rent housing, ugly and abandoned buildings, and congestion. It easily falls into the white trash stereotype with poverty, drug abuse, and mullets being endemic. This is the Spokane that has an influx of meth houses and sexual predators.

Gonzaga is positioned somewhat between the two. The campus is on the river and only a 15- or 20-minute walk from downtown, Riverfront Park, and all the sports and concert venues. But it is also surrounded by the somewhat impoverished Logan neighborhood, and one can quickly run into the depressed and ugly sections of town. The campus itself, however, is clean and beautiful. It's entirely possible to live only in the nice Spokane, mainly on campus but enriched by excursions to downtown or the South Hill. But to think that’s all there is to Spokane would be blatantly false.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. The first Saturday in May brings more than 50,000 intrepid people to participate in the annual Bloomsday 12K run.
  2. Spokane's Hoopfest, played on the streets of downtown, is the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world.
  3. Within a couple hours of Spokane, there are dozens of places for outdoor maniacs, such as climbing (Minnehaha, Vantage, Leavenworth), backpacking, fishing, biking, skiing, snowboarding, and kayaking.
  4. Spokane means "Children of the Sun" in the Spokane tribe's Native American language.
  5. The downtown area is connected by the second largest skywalk system in the United States, keeping your shopping-to-freezing ratio optimal.
Notable Natives
  • Bing Crosby – singer, actor
  • Craig T. Nelson – actor
  • Michael Winslow – "Man of 10,000 Sound Effects," actor ("Police Academy")
Local Slang
  • Spokies: Spokane residents, usually less-than-savory
  • Spokompton, Spokanistan, Spokanee: Fond variations on the city name
  • Spo-Po: Spokane Police
  • The Westside: Seattle, or anything on the other side of the Cascades
Points of Interest
  • Auntie's Bookstore
  • Centennial Trail
  • Lake Coeur d'Alene
  • Manito Park
  • Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture
  • River Park Square
  • Riverfront Park
  • Riverside State Park
  • South Hill
  • Spokane Falls
Shopping Centers
  • NorthTown Mall
  • River Park Square
Movie Theaters
AMC River Park Square 20
808 W. Main St.
(888) AMC-4FUN
Movie Theaters
Garland Theater
924 W. Garland Ave.
(509) 327-1050
Movie Theaters
IMAX Theatre – Riverfront Park
507 N. Howard St.
(509) 625-6686
Movie Theaters
Regal NorthTown Mall 12
4750 N. Division St.
(509) 459-0570
Major Sports Teams
  • Spokane Chiefs: Minor league hockey
  • Spokane Indians: Minor league baseball
  • Spokane Shock: Arena football
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Portland, Ore.: : 5 hours, 30 minutes
  • Seattle: : 4 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 41 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 41 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 44% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 2% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 29% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 24% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 41 responses

  • 10% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 44% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 46% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 41 responses

  • 29% No way.
  • 61% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 10% Totally.



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