EVERETT — Before too long, you won’t need an airplane to zip through the skies around Paine Field.
Snohomish County has struck up a partnership with a fledgling venture that plans to build a lofty ropes course and zip lines on a piece of Paine Field Community Park.
High Trek Ventures of Redmond broke ground on the project Friday. If construction goes as scheduled, it would open in April.
“We think it’s an interesting atmosphere at the park to see jets taking off and landing,” said Luke Goff, of Snohomish.
Goff is a minority owner of the company founded by his friend, Brad Halbach. The name is a play on “high tech.” They settled on the south Everett park after touring several other sites in the region.
Goff contends the course would be unlike any other in this part of the country.
Built by Challenge Towers Aerial Adventures of Todd, North Carolina, it’s designed for people age 4 and up. There’s a cadets course for the younger crowd.
There would be three zip lines, the longest traveling 250 feet.
The ropes course would reach up to 50 feet high, with three different levels. Climbers could navigate 60 different obstacles, color coded by level of difficulty.
“With this system, it’s kinda choose your own adventure,” Goff said. “You can do different challenges. You don’t get stuck behind people on the ropes course.”
Staff would giver users a tutorial before they take it on. Strapped into a harness, climbers would remain tethered to a smart-locking system that only allows one clip to be undone at a time, always keeping them fastened in.
“It can give somebody a sense of accomplishment for something they may not think they’re capable of doing,” Goff said. “It might be a height thing or a balance thing they didn’t think they could do.”
The lease arrangement is unique to the county parks system. It’s expected to generate almost a half-million dollars in revenue and other contributions over 12 years. The company expects to invest nearly $1.3 million at the site.
Paine Field Community Park on 11928 Beverly Park Road underwent a major renovation in 2009.
Parks officials originally cleared some land at the park expecting to develop a soccer field, county parks director Tom Teigen said. No agreement materialized with any local groups to make that a reality. That’s where the new course is slated to go in.
“It’s property we haven’t been able to utilize much and we think it’s going to be a great community asset,” Teigen said. “We think it’ll be a really neat amenity to have in the system.”
More info: www.high trekeverett.com.