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

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Driver arrested in fatal crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

The driver reportedly rear-ended Jeffrey Nissen as he slowed down for traffic. Nissen, 28, was ejected and died at the scene.

PAWS Veterinarian Bethany Groves in the new surgery room at the newest PAWS location on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Snohomish hospital makes ‘massive difference’ for wild animals

Lynnwood’s Progressive Animal Welfare Society will soon move animals to its state of the art, 25-acre facility.

Traffic builds up at the intersection of 152nd St NE and 51st Ave S on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how Marysville will look in 20 years

Marysville is updating its comprehensive plan and wants the public to weigh in on road project priorities.

Mountlake Terrace Mayor Kyko Matsumoto-Wright on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
With light rail coming soon, Mountlake Terrace’s moment is nearly here

The anticipated arrival of the northern Link expansion is another sign of a rapidly changing city.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead in motorcycle crash on Highway 522 in Maltby

Authorities didn’t have any immediate details about the crash that fully blocked the highway Friday afternoon.

Photographs in the 2024 Annual Black and White Photography Contest on display at the Schack Art Center on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Black and white photos aren’t old school for teens at Schack Art Center

The photography contest, in its 29th year, had over 170 entries. See it at the Schack in Everett through May 5.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett mom charged with first-degree murder in death of son, 4

On Friday, prosecutors charged Janet Garcia, 27, three weeks after Ariel Garcia went missing from an Everett apartment.

Dr. Mary Templeton (Photo provided by Lake Stevens School District)
Lake Stevens selects new school superintendent

Mary Templeton, who holds the top job in the Washougal School District, will take over from Ken Collins this summer.

A closed road at the Heather Lake Trail parking lot along the Mountain Loop Highway in Snohomish County, Washington on Wednesday, July 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mountain Loop Highway partially reopens Friday

Closed since December, part of the route to some of the region’s best hikes remains closed due to construction.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.