Tribe to buy Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim
By Ashley Oden, Sequim Gazette Staff Writer
Port Townsend Leader
Sequim, WA - The Jamestown S'Klallam tribe has big plans for its hotel resort. A golf course may soon be part of the package.
Jerry Allen, assistant general manager of 7 Cedars Casino in Blyn, confirmed last week that the tribe is in negotiations to purchase the Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim.
Once the seven-story hotel just south of the casino is built, resort and golf packages will be available, Allen said.
"Golf is a highly asked-for activity, and we will utilize that on our part. Most resorts have golf courses, so this puts us in the loop," Allen said. "It's not a true golf resort, but it's the leading 18-hole course on the peninsula."
Rick Adell, director of golf at Dungeness and co-owner, said the course is not sold yet but did confirm the tribe and course owners have been in negotiations for quite some time.
"We are still talking," Adell said, but "there's nothing to talk about yet."
The course is home to several charity events each year, including the annual Boys & Girls of the Olympic Peninsula Charity Golf Classic. The course also hosts championship events from time to time, such as the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys Amateur Championship (2002).
If the tribe makes the purchase, the facility will remain available to local services groups like Rotary, Allen assured.
"Dungeness Golf Course has always been community driven, and that won't change," he said.
Minor changes coming
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
That's the attitude Allen is taking toward the tribe's possible Dungeness Golf Course purchase.
"There isn't anything wrong with the course, it just needs an update," Allen said.
Immediate improvements will be upgrading the course itself, creating cart paths around all 18 holes, and buying new carts, Allen said.
The course will remain public, he said.
"Dungeness brings in a lot of traffic from the greater Puget Sound area, and we will continue doing that," Allen said. "It's always going to be a public golf course."
A more long-term goal is to build a new pro shop onsite, he added.
The golf course, as with the casino and tribal center, will have an unmistakable Native American appearance.
"It will have our distinct image, a Northwest theme appropriate for the environment," Allen said. "It's an opportunity to educate the public on the tribe and what it means to us."
He added that no staffing changes will be made.
"We will bring the current staff along with us; they run a nice show already," Allen said.
The golf course currently employs about 16 people full time, ballooning to nearly 30 full- and part-time positions during the summer months, Allen said. "I suspect those numbers will only increase."
Designed by Jack Reimer and constructed in 1969, Dungeness Golf Course opened in 1970.
A year-round, 6,456-yard, 18-hole championship course, Dungeness boasts the driest round of golf in Western Washington. Located on Woodcock Road, the par-72 course offers views of the Olympic Mountains on clear days.