Climbers make their way through the obstacle course Thursday afternoon in the High Trek Adventures at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Climbers make their way through the obstacle course Thursday afternoon in the High Trek Adventures at Paine Field in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

New climbing structure, zip lines open in south Everett

EVERETT — A new high ropes and zip line course opened in Everett on Thursday, and was hailed by Snohomish County officials as a model of a private-public partnership.

High Trek Adventures at Paine Field is an attraction that is expected to bring the county $500,000 in revenue and park improvements over the next dozen years.

The county had been working on $3.5 million in upgrades to Paine Field Community Park, and was looking for a partner, said Tom Teigen, the county’s parks, recreation and tourism director.

They worked for years to try to bring in soccer clubs, grading the site for fields, but to no avail.

“It’s been sitting here in this flat state since then,” Teigen said.

When High Trek Ventures approached the county, it seemed like a no-brainer, he said.

“They were looking at various park systems in King County and elsewhere,” Teigen said. Here, it would boost park attendance, provide capital for necessary repairs and maintenance, and fit in with other tourist attractions around Paine Field and Boeing.

High Trek signed a 12-year lease agreement with the county for $350,000 in cash and about $150,000 in improvements to the park, Teigen said.

On the formerly empty grassy lot within earshot of the Paine Field runways now stands a 55-foot-tall climbing structure for kids and adults. Several levels of rope and obstacle courses are anchored by stout poles and lined with 12-millimeter safety cable. Zip lines run around the perimeter.

“It was a long and wet, wet construction process,” said company owner Brad Halbach.

Halbach told a crowd gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony that he was looking forward to working with the county on park improvements.

“Possibly upgrading the bathrooms, that’s the big request,” he said, to some applause.

County Council President Brian Sullivan praised the deal that brought High Trek to Everett.

“Private-public partnerships and synergy with government agencies is the wave of the future,” Sullivan said. “Me and heights, it doesn’t work. I’m going to stay down here and watch everyone else go up,” he added.

Halbach, of Redmond, has a background in the high-tech industry, running the online home improvement retailer ATG Stores before selling that company to Lowe’s in 2011.

He and minority partner Luke Goff, of Snohomish, put their own money into the new enterprise, spending about $1.5 million to get High Trek up and running.

“I kind of retired from a desk job last year and decided to follow more recreational activities,” Halbach said.

The company has 17 employees, which Halbach said he expects will ramp up to 20-25 during the summer. The staff will drop back down to 10-12 people during the winter months, but the course will stay open for those willing to brave the weather.

“We did training with our staff last week and there were some rainy days,” he said.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

The sign at Swedish Edmonds. (Herald file)
New deal gives Swedish nurses, health care workers a big boost in pay

The health care provider and SEIU 1199NW agreed to raises totaling at least 21.5% in the next three years

Ahadi family arriving in Washington on Oct. 22, 2021. (photo courtesy of Lutheran Community Services Northwest)
A year later, Afghan refugees in Lynnwood see brighter future ahead

Ziaurahman Ahadi served as a trauma medic on battlefields in Afghanistan. Now he builds fireplaces to support a family of eight.

4th defendant pleads guilty in white supremacist attack

Jason Stanley, of Boise, Idaho is one of four men prosecuted for attacking a Black DJ in Lynnwood.

A business on Highway 99 sustained heavy damage in a fire Wednesday morning north of Lynnwood. (South County Fire)
Arson damages building on Highway 99 north of Lynnwood

The fire in the 15800 block caused the highway to close between 156th and 164th streets SW on Wednesday morning.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish man suffers life-threatening injuries in police shootout

The Valley Independent Investigative Team reported state troopers returned fire when a driver shot at them near Clearview.

An EA-18G Growler taxis down the airstrip on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island during the squadron’s welcome home ceremony in August 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Wood/U.S. Navy)
Talks break down over ‘remedy’ in Whidbey Island Growler lawsuit

“From the get-go, everyone recognized that it was probably going to end up in the court’s hands.”

Logo for news use featuring Camano Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Island County settles sexual harassment lawsuit with deputy

The county will pay Deputy Mike Adrian a total of $105,000.

Drivers navigate through traffic at the intersection of Highway 9 and SR-204 on Thursday, June 16, 2022 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Weekend closures ahead for Lake Stevens roundabout construction

The first of three intersection closures is set for North Davies Road and Vernon Road next month.

Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, right, a Democrat, and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, left, running as a nonpartisan, take part in a debate, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Olympia, Wash., with Melissa Santos, center, of Axios Local, moderating. Hobbs and Anderson are seeking to fill the remaining two years of the term of Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who left to take a key election security job in the Biden administration. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Murray, Smiley will debate head-to-head at least once, maybe twice

The two will face off in Spokane next month. They could square off in Seattle too before the election

Most Read