Suquamish Tribe buys White Horse Golf Course development

SUQUAMISH — Port Madison Enterprises now has one more tool in its arsenal to attract tourism: the White Horse Golf Course complex near Kingston.

Port Madison Enterprises, the business arm of the Suquamish Tribe, announced the purchase of White Horse late Thursday afternoon from Columbia State Bank, which became owner of the property when it took over Bainbridge Island-based American Marine Bank late last month.

“A golf course has always been included in our business model. It allows PME to further diversify the kinds of businesses we operate and ensures steady growth,” CEO Russell Steele said in a press release.

While the golf course side of the development has historically done well since opening in 2007, the 159-lot real estate complex has struggled in a slumping real estate market.

The development has had a rough go since November, when then-owner Bob Screen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Screen owed more than $5 million to American Marine Bank.

After no one placed a bid on the property during a court-ordered auction last year, the golf course shut down for a few days before reopening under the bank’s management.

In part because of about $20 million in bad loans, American Marine Bank was closed on Jan. 29. It was placed in receivership by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and then reopened the next day as Tacoma-based Columbia State Bank.

“The Suquamish Tribe is excited by today’s acquisition of the White Horse Golf Course and landholdings,” Suquamish Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman said in a press release. “PME adds another enterprise that complements its current business roster and greatly increases tribal land ownership in our homeland.”

The Suquamish Tribe also owns the Clearwater Casino and Resort located just west of the Agate Pass Bridge that separates Suquamish and Bainbridge Island.

Port Madison Enterprises will continue to work with Touchstone Golf Management for course operations at White Horse and plans to offer resort golf packages, the release said.

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