March 3

Recapping #ScourSLU

South Lake Union scavenger hunt sparks neighborhood exploration.

From February 24–26, clue solvers became neighborhood explorers during the third annual #ScourSLU scavenger hunt. Participants were encouraged to preregister, and those who did got a leg up on the competition. They received a treasure map on Friday, Feb. 24 via email, which included secret clues needed to play. Those that didn’t preregister had to wait until Saturday to get their clues from Instagram and Facebook.

Here’s how the hunt worked: Once they had the clues, participants deciphered word scrambles to uncover the name of a retailer in South Lake Union. The retailer’s name revealed the destination players had to visit in order to complete a checkpoint. There were 12 checkpoints total. If they deciphered the clue correctly and were at the right location, players would see a Scour SLU poster with a QR code. Once scanned, a checkpoint question popped up on the screen. Answering the questions and snapping a pic would complete the stop. The more checkpoints players completed, the better chance they had at prizes.

Lime green graphic listing business names.

There were three tiers of grand prizes (first, second, and third) and winners were considered based on how many checkpoints they complete. The number of completed checkpoints directly increased the number of raffle entries and the level of prize players were entered for. Players were issued bonus points for sharing their experiences on social media.

Prizes included:

  • Consolation prize, valued at $25: 1-3 entries
  • Third place, valued at $50: 4-7 entries
  • Second place, valued at $100: 8-10 entries
  • First place, valued at $250: 11-12 entries

Ethan LaPlante recently moved back to Seattle in January and hadn’t done much exploring of the city until he participated in #ScourSLU.

“I found out about this year’s #ScourSLU from my partner. They were heading home from work and saw a poster hanging up and seemed interested enough to loop me in on it. I dug in and found out it was a scavenger hunt and thought ‘I could use some adventure.’ When Friday morning came, I received the email with the 12 scrambled word clues. Took me about ten minutes to unscramble the locations and off I went. I was only planning on going to one or two but then I was actually learning about the places I walk past on a daily basis and wanted to check them out. My favorite location I found was the Evoke Cafe Bar! I’m not one for coffee but their matcha latte was just what I needed in the crisp early afternoon. A few more locations later and the cold was getting to me. Although I couldn’t get to them all, the places I did see, I’d go back there and take my friends, too!”

A coffee shop overhead marquee sign.

More about #ScourSLU:
—58% of participants completed all 12 stops
—10 people claimed a prize for posting along on social media. All other prizes have been awarded based on completion rate.

—Trivia included:

  • Inside the SLU Discovery Center lives an interactive 3D model of South Lake Union
  • SubPop opened its South Lake Union location in 2021, and the Seattle business is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year
  • Street Eats is the newest member of the mamnoon family of restaurants
  • The Pink Elephant sign was originally created in 1956
  • The ‘Center of the City’ sits outside Cascade Playground
  • The ‘Dreamer’ statue was created by Patti Warashina
  • Before it was Flatstick, the building on Westlake Ave originally housed a Ford dealership
  • The Prime 809 Lounge at Daniels’ Broiler is named after its location: 809 Fairview Ave N
  • Tapster has the cheapest pint of Rainier in the Emerald City
  • The Beacon and Cloud sculptures along Terry Ave were installed in 2010
  • Every year, Athletic Awards makes the Steve Largent Award trophy for the Seahawks
  • By the end of 2023, Evoke Café Bar will have two locations in South Lake Union

Check out #ScourSLU on Instagram for more photos and fun details.

Story by Ethan Chung & photograph by Ethan LaPlante.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle