New Golf Course Planned at Little Creek Casino Resort

Designer Gene Bates, whose Circling Raven Golf Club in Worley, Idaho, has garnered national acclaim, has been tabbed to design a course at Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash.

Little Creek CEO Doug Boon said that a final environmental review should be completed soon, with groundbreaking to commence as early as July 2006. If construction starts in July, the course opening is projected for summer 2008.

Named Salish Cliffs Golf Club, the 18-hole course will feature rock facings and elevation changes of up to 200 feet on more than 240 acres northwest of Olympia. Bates’ initial routing plan calls for five sets of tees and par-5s to begin and end the round.

Salish Cliffs will be Bates’ first design in Washington, where many residents are familiar with his work at Circling Raven – ranked as Idaho’s No. 1 public course by Golf Digest Magazine. That course is located 45 minutes east of Spokane. Other well-known Bates’ tracks elsewhere include Twin Bridges GC in Gadsden, Ala., and SouthWood GC in Tallahassee, Fla., where he collaborated with Seattle native Fred Couples. (Couples isn’t involved with Salish Cliffs.)

Like Circling Raven, which sits adjacent to the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort & Hotel and is owned by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Little Creek Casino Resort is a Native-American enterprise. Owned and operated by Washington’s Squaxin Island Tribe, Little Creek’s hotel currently features 92 guest rooms and will expand to around 200 next year; a convention center will be completed this summer.