Remember When Walt Disney Owned a Tri-Cities Business?
My son Logan and I got into a discussion last night about famous people in the area.
He's convinced that there aren't that many famous people from our hometown of Lewiston and Clarkston but I told him there are plenty of famous people from small towns.
Did Walt Disney Own A Business In The Tri-Cities?
I had to disagree with him because even Walt Disney has links to my hometown and even the Tri-Cities.
Let's see if I can jog your memory.
Who Is Walt Disney?
Walt Disney is the creator of Mickey Mouse and of course the founder of Walt Disney Pictures and so forth.
Walt got his start at making animated movies for families and after some great success at that, he moved into theme parks and such.
You might not remember this, but Walt Disney did own a business in Tri-Cities sort of. Walt Disney passed away in 1966 for lung cancer but the company he founded, Retlaw Enterprises did own a business here in the Tri-Cities.
What Was The Name Of The Broadcasting Company That Walt Disney Owned?
Do you recall the name Retlaw Broadcasting?
Retlaw Broadcasting acquired KIMA-TV in Yakima, KLEW-TV in Lewiston, and KEPR-TV in Pasco for $17 million in October 1986.
They owned the properties until 1999 when they sold them along with TV properties they owned in the Pacific Northwest for $215 million to the Fisher Broadcast Group.
Not a bad little payday you might add. If you do a little digging, you'd discover that Retlaw is Walter spelled backward.
What Did Walt Disney's Wife Have To Do With The Pacific Northwest?
Walt Disney's wife Lillian was born in Spalding Idaho near Lewiston and they married in Lewiston on July 23rd, 1925 so Lillian had ties to the Pacific Northwest.
Retlaw Broadcasting was a subsidiary of Retlaw Enterprises which owned the rights to Walt Disney's name, likeness, and deeds to the theme parks among other business ventures.
What Ever Happened To Retlaw Broadcasting?
Retlaw Broadcasting folded in 2005 after selling all of its assets for a nice payday for the heirs of Walt Disney. Lillian Disney passed in 1997 but she did leave behind the fact that she and the Walt Disney company had owned a business right here in the Tri-Cities.