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Chambers Bay Resort project canceled due to 'worsening economic environment'

Pierce County officials said it will continue the work to bring new golf amenities to Chambers Bay.

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. — The Pierce County Council and Chambers Bay Resort are not moving forward with an expansion to bring a hotel and restaurant to the golf course that hosted the U.S. Open Championship in 2015.

In a release, the county and resort listed a “worsening economic environment” as the reason for not moving forward. They first entered into a lease agreement in 2019 to develop a resort complex that would have included a hotel, clubhouse, restaurant, spa and more.

“We are disappointed that we were not able to bring Chambers Bay Resort to our community,” said Dan Absher, chief executive officer, Absher Construction Company. “Due to the current economic climate where lenders are pulling back and raising interest rates, we are unable to secure commercially viable financing for the project.”

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Pierce County officials said it will continue the work to bring new golf amenities to Chambers Bay.

“While this project may have ended, I will continue to work with the Council and the Executive to find ways to bring new amenities to Chambers Bay,” said Ryan Mello, Council Chair. “Chambers Bay is much more than a golf course; bringing new amenities here will improve the recreational options it provides for everyone.”

Pierce County Executive Counsel Dan Anderson said a nice pro shop and a nice restaurant are badly needed at the golf course. 

“We have a temporary building because they ran out of money. Whether it’s county money, or a public private partnership to bring those facilities here, we still need a quality restaurant and a quality pro shop, and we’re going to get it, one way or another," he said. 

Meanwhile, others are glad the project was halted in order to maintain the use of the golf course and park as a public space. 

“I’ve heard loud and clear that our community does not want long-term residential living on a public space, like Chambers Bay Park,” said Pierce County Council Chair Ryan Mello. “Chambers Bay is more than just a championship golf course. Sure that’s one of the features, but we offer so much more at Chambers Bay Park than this golf course, and whatever we put there needs to enhance the experience for all users.”

“As someone who comes here several times a week, I’m glad that it’s terminated,” said Andrew Marcelia. “I felt like it was interrupting the whole attraction of the property to come and walk and putting a large business on the other end of the property like that, integrating it into the property like that was negative for the whole thing.”

The golf course was created the golf course in 1992. Aside from the 2015 USGA’s U.S. Men’s Open Championship, it hosted the 2020 U.S. Men’s Amateur Championship, 2021 Men’s Four-Ball Championship and 2022 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.

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