For this special summer section, we asked an array of notable locals what they are looking forward to getting out and going/seeing/doing. 

Ben Minicucci, CEO, Alaska Airlines

After close to two decades at Alaska Airlines, Ben Minicucci became the company’s CEO last March. Today, the Canada native, who was born in the Montreal suburb of Laval, is leading the airline out of the pandemic and toward a bright future, with a new OneWorld Alliance partnership that will turn the growing airline into a global network, and a climate goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. When he’s not running Seattle’s hometown airline, the Issaquah resident can be found bicycling the region’s many trails with his friends.


“I live in Issaquah and the riding on the east end of the city is amazing,” says Minicucci. “I can literally ride around the two lakes—Sammamish and Washington—on paved trails for more than 50 miles.” A few of his favorite trails include Issaquah’s Alpe d’Zoo near Cougar Mountain Zoo and Squak Mountain. When he’s biking in the North Bend area, his go-to refueling stop is Pioneer Coffee, where “they make the best breakfast burritos, and scones accompanied by a latte.”

The Paramount and the Climate Pledge Arena

My daughter and I have really missed going to the theater over the past year. We’re looking forward to Broadway at the Paramount returning in the fall, and to the opening of Climate Pledge Arena, which will draw some of the biggest names in music.”


“This is a rally car track near the town of Snoqualmie, Washington, and they have fantastic instructors who teach you about off-road driving and drifting. I took my son when he was home from college, and we had a blast ripping around their tracks like a getaway driver.”

Montalcino Ristorante Italiano

“I’m amazed at how restaurants have innovated over the pandemic, and one of my favorite Italian restaurants is Montalcino in Issaquah,” says Minicucci about the family-owned Issaquah restaurant, whose wine list specializes in selections from Montalcino, Italy. 

The Attic at Salish Lodge & Spa 

When he’s in Snoqualmie, Minicucci says he loves “taking my kids for pizza at the Salish Lodge,” whose Attic restaurant, with views of Snoqualmie Falls, serves wood-fired pizza using ingredients grown by local farmers.

Waterfront and Downtown 

When family and friends are in town, Miniccuci’s first stop is to see  “our beautiful waterfront in downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, and sitting down and watching boats and people go by while eating an amazing treat from Cupcake Royale.”