At a population of 74,159 Chehalis is the Largest city in Gray's Harbor County. Manufacturing, R&D, and white collar office jobs are mostly clustered around the downtown area. The city is made up of individual neighborhoods, each with it's own flavor and mix of small businesses.
Downtown is home to several high-rise buildings clustered along the waterfront. While not as small and quaint as nearby Gray's Harbor, the city maintains a small town vibe with its compact, walkable downtown and mutual respect amongst all citizens.
Salish Square is in the middle of downtown and attracts business people from nearby offices looking to get a breath of fresh air during their workday.
Parks and community gardens providing free produce to neighborhood residents are common. Sense of community and a 'we're all in this together' attitude permeate throughout the city's neighborhoods.
Westminster College(named for my alma mater) lies south of downtown and has far fewer students than Pacifica University. The school prides itself on small class sizes and it's use of a non-traditional grading system. Classes in the spring are commonly held outdoors and the college hosts a year-round farmer's market each weekend. Of the two main institutions of higher education in the county, Westminster is considered to be a 'Hippy School' where students can frequently be found wearing hemp clothing and birkenstocks.
Gray's Harbor Regional Airport is served by Horizon Air (to Portland, Eugene, Vancouver, and San Francisco) and Air Canada (to Calgary). The airport bills itself as a convenient alternative to Sea-Tac airport in Seattle in an attempt to draw more passengers, but the airport has remained mostly small with most movements made by general aviation aircraft.
Lying on a peninsula to the north of downtown, the Port of Chehalis is the industrial heart of the county. Goods from around the county are shipped by rail to either the Port of Chehalis or the Port of Gray's Harbor to the northeast. With the high demand for more dense housing and office space, the city and county have been considering razing the industrial zone and port to make way for new development. Debates have been plentiful between business leaders, citizens concerned about the city losing its small town vibe, and the city itself. Consensus building is an approach commonly used in the city government, neighborhood input will be taken into consideration, environmental impacts will be filed, and an election on the issue will take place.