Ray Weis (right) takes a swing while golfing with friend Jim Fenton at the Kayak Point Golf Course in 2018. (Ian Terry / Herald file)

Ray Weis (right) takes a swing while golfing with friend Jim Fenton at the Kayak Point Golf Course in 2018. (Ian Terry / Herald file)

County looks to revive idled Kayak Point Golf Course

A call for business plans this fall yielded no realistic ideas for the Stanwood-area links.

STANWOOD — Kayak Point Golf Course still sits fallow.

No, it’s not about to get sold off to a housing developer. You can put that rumor to rest.

Snohomish County has hopes for its 270-acre property, which closed in October. The course was shuttered after the business running it, Access Golf Management, said it could no longer meet its contractual obligations to the county.

Parks officials hope to interest another operator in managing the land as a golf course or some another type of recreation spot. They put out a call for business proposals this fall but came up short. They plan to try again in the coming days.

Neighbors have peppered the county with questions about what will happen next.

“We love the passion we’re seeing for Kayak Point Golf Course, because it is a gem of a property,” said Shannon Hays, a county parks spokeswoman.

To keep people in the loop, the county posted a list of frequently asked questions. It’s available at www.snocoparks.org by searching under the parks tab at the top of the page.

Many local golfers prized the course’s unique, forested character. The greens sit up Kayak Point Road from the nearby regional county park of the same name. The area is south of Warm Beach and north of Tulalip.

The county isn’t the only local government that finds itself in a golf quandary.

The Kayak Point Golf Course near Stanwood (Ian Terry / Herald file)

The Kayak Point Golf Course near Stanwood (Ian Terry / Herald file)

Mountlake Terrace closed its money-losing course on Lake Ballinger back in 2012. Since then, the city has allowed nature to gradually reclaim the fairways.

Leaders in Everett have entertained a long-term discussion about whether to keep operating both of of the city’s municipal courses, Legion Memorial and Walter Hall.

Unlike some cities, the county lacks the financial ability to operate a golf course on its own, according to the FAQ.

A request for proposals this past fall went to a national publication for golf-course operators and numerous potential vendors. Parks officials also reached out to neighbors.

One of three responses this fall would have required the county to pay a California company tens of thousands of dollars per year for course operations. The others came from a disc-golf operator and a company that manages one local course. Parks director Tom Teigen determined that neither of the latter two proposals would have worked out financially, though he did appreciate aspects of the designs.

The county hopes the next batch of pitches might include upgrades to the site’s restaurant. Other wish-list items include a wedding venue and outdoor activities such as disc golf, cyclocross or equestrian events.

Parks officials expect to host at least one public meeting with neighbors on any plans. They intend to consult with the County Council before making any long-term commitments.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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