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; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Vehicles start to back ups at I-5's exit 192 as rush hour begins. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)
Survey: Snohomish is state’s sixth-healthiest county

While the county has low birth rates among teens, drivers here have some of the longest commute times.

Everett's Christopher Sembroski during centrifuge training at the NASTAR Center in Pennsylvania. (John Kraus/Inspiration4 photo)
Everett’s own spaceman thrilled to join all-civilian mission

Christopher Sembroski is in training to be part of a three-day SpaceX Dragon flight funded by a billionaire.

Police seek suspect in Mountlake Terrace shooting

Two men who were shot were in critical condition and transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Snohomish County kicks off new rental assistance program

It starts with nearly $25 million from the U.S. Treasury Department. More funding is expected soon.

A dog died and several people were displaced in a fire at an apartment complex in Mukilteo on Monday. (Mukilteo Fire Department)
Dog dies in Mukilteo apartment fire early Monday

Several people were displaced, and the damage was estimated at $850,000.

Firefighters kept a wildfire in the Grandview area northeast of Arlington from growing beyond the 1.5 acres it torched Sunday afternoon. (North County Fire/EMS)
Brush fire near Arlington scorches grass and shrubs

The fire reached about 1.5 acres Sunday afternoon.

Kelsey Dunlap and Brian Matson. (Contributed photos)
2 Edmonds College students make state all-academic team

Edmonds College students make state all-academic team Edmonds College students Kelsey Dunlap… Continue reading

With desks stacked away to provide social distance spacing, tenth grader Zendon Bugge attends a World History class during the first day of school for Everett High students on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Students statewide returned to school buildings on Monday

Districts are now required to provide in-person class two days a week for kids through grade 12.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at a house in the Meadowdale area of Edmonds early Saturday morning.  (South County Fire)
Man, woman seriously injured in Meadowdale house fire

They were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Three other adults and a dog escaped with no injuries.

Most Read