Boys Golf: Oak Harbor and Shorewood at Stanwood, 5.7.18

Talyn Doebke walks the green on Hole 1 during a match against Oak Harbor and Shorewood at Kayak Golf Course on Monday, May 7, 2018.

The company that runs Kayak Point Golf will end operations Oct. 21, halting golf at the popular course unless another business or organization steps in.

Meanwhile, Snohomish County, which owns the 270-acre site, is seeking proposals from companies and organizations on using the land, which may or may not include golf.

“We’re hoping for some creative, innovative ideas — but are open to continuing it as a golf course,” said Shannon Hays, Snohomish County Parks, Recreation & Tourism spokeswoman.

The county has issued a Request for Proposals in the coming couple of weeks.

Businesses or individuals who wish to continue operating the property as a publicly owned golf course or want to re-purpose part or all of the site for other public recreation activities must register as a vendor in order to submit proposals when the application becomes available on Snohomish County’s Purchasing webpage, snohomishcountywa.gov/186/Purchasing, according to the county’s news release Friday.

“Other recreation activities and events could include and are not limited to: camping, disc golf, equestrian activities, mini golf, weddings and anniversary parties, rock wall climbing, adventure park elements, and more,” according to the county’s release.

The current operator, Access Golf LLC, wrote Snohomish County a letter of termination citing financial difficulty in the wake of a nationwide downturn in golf rounds played on publicly owned golf courses.

“We have had an amazing relationship with Snohomish County,” Access Golf said in a company statement. “Unfortunately, due to the reduction in rounds, higher operating cost and no funding plan in place for future improvements, Access Golf has been forced to notify Snohomish County of our plans to terminate the lease. We love the game of golf. We have loved serving the golfing community and hope that it can remain a golf course going forward.”

Tom Teigen, Snohomish County Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director, said in the news release that “we certainly understand the financial realities of publicly owned golf courses and wish them the best of luck with the three other golf courses they own and operate.”

The Kayak Point Golf Course opened in 1977 and was operated by the county before handing off the business to Elwin Fanning in 1982. In 1998, the business tranfered to Palmer/Kayak LLC. In 2005, Access Golf Management LLC took over managing the golf course.

If no proposals are selected by the Oct. 21 closing date, the county will continue to maintain the grounds, Hays said.

“We don’t have a set timeline on what comes next,” Hays said. “We’ll wait and see what proposals we get.”

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at ecaldwell@scnews.com and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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