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Kiana Lodge Draws Both Guests Seeking a Puget Sound Retreat & Twin Peaks Fans

Kiana Lodge is a beautiful timber building on a secluded strip of pebble beach on Washington State’s Kitsap Peninsula. The pine-covered islet juts into Puget Sound, separating itself by salt water from the mainland, where cities like Seattle are reached by ferry or bridge. A stunning wedding and event destination, the private, boutique venue, owned by the Suquamish Tribe, also served as the site where much of the pilot was shot for David Lynch and Mike Frost’s 1990s cult-classic TV series “Twin Peaks.”

Specifically, the cedar-paneled lodge played host to many of the original interior shots, and its beach shore, to the discovery site of the plastic-wrapped body of character Laura Palmer—the premise of the entire whodunnit murder series where everyone in the small town is a suspect. Obsessive fans are even known to recreate the scene, wrapping a willing “victim” in plastic, and photographing her beachside by a massive piece of driftwood known as “Lauran’s log,” still chained to the shore.

“We have a lot of enthusiasts,” said Jay Mills, Kiana Lodge manager and a Suquamish Tribal Council member.

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Twin Peak's revival premiered on Sunday, May 21 on Showtime after 26 years. And even prior to the series remake, Kiana Lodge received droves of Twin Peaks fans to its shores, many of them international. But thanks to the updated season, the lodge is experiencing a new wave of fan traffic.

“As dark as the story line was, all I can I say is, I don't know what director David Lynch was looking for, but I think he found it here,” Mills said of the captivating Northwest location. “A lot of people aren’t familiar with ‘Twin Peaks,’ and for them we’re just a beautiful Northwest destination resort. For those who are familiar with ‘Twin Peaks,’ I think we’ll always be an intricate part of that program, when they found her body on our historic property, on the beach, in front of the ‘Laura’ log,” added Mills, a show fan himself.

While Mills embraces the fan-base and “dark tourism” with their post-murder photo staging, he does want to get the message out: “Please honor the property. Call to make sure we don’t have anything going on. The Sunday before the premiere, we had a ton of people coming by boat, and we were getting ready for a wedding, so it was difficult. Individuals pay for the property and the exclusion of the property,” he underscored.

“We will let them walk the property if there’s nothing going on,” he added.

Some of the scenes that stand out from the pilot are of the Norwegians having their reunion in Kiana’s main lodge in the dining area, where fans will recognize the raven mural by Duane Pasco.

“We’re trying to work on a Twin Peaks dinner tour, but want to make sure we do it right. We’re looking at dinner menus that will of course include cherry pie and coffee,” Mills said.

Beyond its Twin Peaks' fame, Kiana is a popular location for weddings, charity dinners and events, and corporate outings.

Kiana Lodge

Kiana Lodge plays host to weddings and philanthropic events, as well as numerous corporate, team building retreats.

“We do a tremendous amount of northwest weddings, not just because of the lodge, but the grounds are absolutely gorgeous. We sit on about 14.2 acres with lush gardens, right on the Agate Passage of Puget Sound. You just walk right down to the beach with a low-bank waterfront. We do have a dock available for boats to come in and tie up, or your wedding party to leave by boat or seaplane,” Mills said.

Two buildings preside on the property — the main lodge and an atrium, an open, airy banquet facility where Kiana hosts dining. Kiana Lodge is also home to one of the largest Native American basket collections that the Suquamish Museum is helping Kiana curate.

“The property itself is so calming and inviting, and there’s always something for our guests to enjoy — whether it’s wild life, eagles flying over, geese, ducks, seals or sea lions. It’s just a beautiful place,” Mills said.

While Kiana Lodge is simply a day-use facility, overnight guests can stay at the tribe’s nearby Clearwater Casino Resort, Kiana’s parent company, visible across the water.

The majority of the Twin Peaks pilot shots, however, were filmed in the Cascades around Snoqualmie, on the mainland east of Seattle. The area is home to the famous and breathtaking Snoqualmie Falls, with a higher drop than Niagara at 268 feet, attracting 1.5 million visitors each year. The historic Salish Lodge & Spa overlooking the falls was transferred to the Muckleshoot Tribal ownership on October 9, 2007, reported the Seattle Times. Built in 1919, the lodge is another great Pacific Northwest destination with a world-renowned spa and award-winning restaurant.

Snoqualmie Falls, Twin Peaks

Snoqualmie Falls, sacred falls to many Coast Salish tribes, draw 1.5 million visitors annually, including many Twin Peaks' fans.

While Mills isn't privy to all the location shots of the new Twin Peaks series on Showtime, he is on the lookout for Kiana gracing the screen. “The question is whether Kiana Lodge will be featured in the new Twin Peaks series,” Mills said. “All I can say is David Lynch was here, on New Year’s Day, two years ago now. They did tour the property. I just don’t know if things will be cut or edited out, so I guess stay tuned to see if you can see a little bit of Kiana in the new series. I am just as curious.”

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