Everett Considers Getting Out of Golf

February 19, 2016

Everett, Everett Government


The future of Everett’s two city-owned golf courses is hanging on the edge.

The City of Everett owns two golf courses. Walter Hall in the south end of the city and Legion Memorial in the north end.

During a briefing session on Wednesday night the Everett City Council heard some bleak predictions for the future of golf in Everett.

A presentation from a Parks Department staffer included the prediction that the City of Everett expects to lose more than $2.50 a round for every round played at its two golf courses this year.

A more than $300,000.00 loss for 2016.

Due to the amount of debt service at Legion Memorial, Walter Hall is the more profitable of the two courses but total golf losses over five years could range from $586,000.00 to more than two million dollars.

“We may have to shorten some of the courses,” said Mayor Ray Stephanson. “Sell some real estate to pay off debt.”

While the demand for golf is down and there is a surplus of courses for people to play, Everett City Council member Jeff Moore noted the City of Everett is out of space for Lacrosse and Soccer fields, which he said have high demand.

There is the possibility Everett could re-purpose land at one or more courses to make room for new fields.

The Everett Parks Department will be studying the future of golf in Everett and expects to get back to the city council later this year.

In addition to golf the Parks department is also studying its long term future (2016 – 2035) and is inviting people to a workshop on February 23rd as they discuss future steps and public involvement in park planning.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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15 Responses to “Everett Considers Getting Out of Golf”

  1. Concerned Citizen Says:

    T.A. – it looks busy because you must be going at peak play times, but you can’t dispute the rounds played figure that keeps dropping at both Legion and Walter Hall every year. There is nothing suspicious about this – it’s in line with national figures too.

    Increase the fees! If the golfers are willing to pay for the shortfall with increase fees – then keep both courses open. If not, time to find a better purpose for this real estate. Let the market decide!

  2. Bourne Says:

    Like OMG! little precious Britney Snowflake might get a little dirt on her
    Nike’s. Like OMG! Where’s the nearest Starbuck’s ?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    So over Mr. Stephenson and his “great” ideas.

  4. Niemands Says:

    “Let’s be real, Forest Park is nasty” Hey lady it’s not all about you and your children. I think it’s a lovely place! Take your kids to Lynnwood, who cares.

  5. Kylie Says:

    I absoutely agree with the city of Everett getting rid of Golf courses, especially the Hall Park course. I disagree however, with putting in yet another damn soccer field. Especially because the ones we have (specifically at Hall park) are not even in use for 9 months out of the year- instead, those soccer nets are all shoved off into a corner with bright yellow tape surrounding them so no one can use them. In 3 miles of Hall Park we have three parks dedicated to fields. Hall park, Kasch park and The Phil Johnson Baseball fields. Thats not to mention, Forrest Park which also has a huge field.
    What the city DESPERATELY NEEDS is to pave a path between Hall park and Loganberry Lane Dog Park, so it is more accessible and because not very many dog owners are even aware it exists. After all, the only obsticle in between Hall park and Loganberry is the Golf Course.
    Second, we need an updated recreation center. Lets be real, Forest Park is nasty. We are wasting money in place no one wants to take their children. Im definatley not going to waste 4 dollars a child for an out of date pool when I can take my child ten mintues down highway 99 to the amazing Lynnwood Pool or Snohomish Rec center, and get to work out in the Gym for free. Honsetly, thats exactly what I and all my friends do.

    • MF Says:

      If you would like change in your community it is your job, you pay the taxes (assuming)and made the choice to move here. There is a rumbling of change, don’t stay seated and jump in when the time comes.

  6. Bourne Says:

    “There is the possibility Everett could re-purpose land …”

    Translation: Bulldoze the property and build hundreds if not thousands of section 8 units.

  7. T.A. Says:

    “While the demand for golf is down and there is a surplus of courses for people to play”? This is quite possibly the most inaccurate statement I’ve ever heard. The sport of golf is more popular now then it has ever been and if anything we need more courses. . How could these courses possibly be losing this type of income? I play Legion about 1-3 times a week and regardless of time or weather the place is jam packed. In summer it’s not uncommon for 8-12 people to be waiting to tee off at any time of the day. Lacrosse and soccer booming all the sudden? Please tell me where? Everett high can barely field a soccer team every year and they don’t even have a lacrosse team. There’s no shortage of areas to build play fields in Snohomish county, absolutely no reason to destroy one of the best golf courses around.

    • Eleanore Says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more, hopefully they will reconsider chopping up a perfectly good golf course

    • JMO Says:

      I would recommend a public records request, just saying…

      There is a post in the herald about changing record request laws but they have blocked my IP address so I cant share a link, if you find it there is a link to the state web site that shows how they are attempting to take away the public resource of disclosure.

      below is part of the public disclosure law now, google for full text, includes personal computers and personal text for public servants if used to conduct public business, enjoy it while it lasts…

      Local government agencies are required, within five days of receiving
      a public disclosure request to respond by (1) providing the
      requested record

      When passed in 1972, Initiative 276 contained a similar public
      policy statement:
      It is hereby declared by the sovereign people to be the public
      policy of the state of Washington: . . . (11) That, mindful of
      the right of individuals to privacy and of the desirability of
      the efficient administration of government, full access to
      information concerning the conduct of government on every level must be assured as a
      fundamental and necessary precondition to the sound governance of a free society.

      It is the duty of agency staff to respond to public disclosure requests efficiently
      and graciously since the public is not only your client, but also your employer.

      Courts shall take into account the policy of this chapter that free and open examination of
      public records is in the public interest, even though such examination may cause inconvenience
      or embarrassment to public officials and others

    • MF Says:

      Would it make sense since the course is so enjoyed by the community to raise the average price from 24.71 to 27.21 to cover the shortfall for every round?

      Seems like a reasonable solution, don’t you think? MF

    • MF Says:

      If there is a $300,000 loss at $2.50 per round, that’s 120,000 rounds per year played. I did not double check my math, but that is 328 rounds played every single day of the year, hummm.

      Does this really need more discussion, or is pissing off 120,000 golfers seem reasonable? They are tax payers, unlike the jail inmates when they are released.

      Who is this parks guy?? And who decided real estate value is more important that community amenities, whoever that was should be booted ASAP.

      “A presentation from a Parks Department staffer included the prediction” Who comes up with this S**T? This man should not start a fortune telling business.

      I am concerned with the forecast of loss, I stopped reading there in frustration. If my business was going to have a loss spread between 500k and 2m+, I would just end it now, who has control of the accounting here?

      I’m concerned.