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Posted on: September 25, 2019

State Parks to consider public-private partnership at Westport Light State Park

Public invited to learn more at a community meeting Oct. 8, in Westport

OLYMPIA – Sept. 26, 2019 – Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, in partnership with the City of Westport, invites the public to a community meeting to learn about a proposed Scottish links-style public golf course, lodging and other public amenities in and around Westport Light State Park. State Parks is in the early stages of considering this proposal, and no commitments have been made at this time. State Parks is seeking input from the community.

The community meeting is from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct 8, at McCausland Hall, Westport Maritime Museum, 2201 Westhaven Drive, Westport. (Driving directions.) A team from Westport Golf LLC will be at the meeting to describe their approach and concept, and community members will have an opportunity to provide input.

About Westport Light State Park
In 2015, State Parks acquired nearly 300 acres through a $1.9 million grant from the Recreation and Conservation Office. The land purchase enabled State Parks to connect Westhaven State Park and Westport Light State Park with the newly acquired property located between the two parks. The parks and new property, located in Grays Harbor county, now total 603 acres and are known collectively as Westport Light State Park.

The proposal
Earlier this year, Westport Golf LLC approached Washington State Parks with a proposal to construct a Scottish links style “artisanal” golf course and 30 to 40-room inn as part of overall development of Westport Light State Park.

Westport Golf LLC’s conceptual proposal calls for a low-impact course design that incorporate the site’s natural features and minimize disturbance while restoring the natural functions of previously degraded areas. Westport Golf LLC’s approach would enlist the Westport community in planning, developing and operating a “world-class” public golf course along with supporting state and local park amenities. In addition, the company envisions a destination golf experience that would directly benefit the area by serving as an economic anchor, stimulating local business and providing jobs for the City of Westport and surrounding areas.

Westport Golf LLC’s proposal also includes a commitment to working with State Parks, the City of Westport and the public to prepare a master plan for Westport Light State Park for consideration by the State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Recreation Concession Areas
The proposal is consistent with the intent of Washington State Parks’ 2015 real estate policy update, which provides for development of privately financed recreational facilities in state parks. In 2016, the State Parks Commission completed a public process to select four pilot sites for private investment, known as Recreation Concession Areas (RCAs). Westport Light State Park was one of the four parks identified. 

The purpose of RCAs is not to privatize the parks system but to provide park visitors with amenities that are beyond State Parks’ financial capacity or expertise, while generating revenue to help operate the park system.

Next steps
After gauging community support, State Parks will determine whether to proceed with next steps, including collaborative development of a master plan for Westport Light State Park and environmental review under the State Environmental Policy Act.  

For more information about the proposal or to provide comments, contact Laura Moxham, State Parks planner, laura.moxham@parks.wa.gov or (360) 902-8649.

News media contacts:
Toni Droscher, Communications Office, (360) 902-8604
Laura Moxham, State Parks planner, (360) 902-8649

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About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

 News release number: 19-077

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