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Lummi Nation makes a major real estate purchase that’s about its past and future

Loomis Trail Golf Course, which hosted the men’s NCAA Division II national championship in 2009, has been purchased by the Lummi Nation from an ownership group that operates Semiahmoo Resort.
Loomis Trail Golf Course, which hosted the men’s NCAA Division II national championship in 2009, has been purchased by the Lummi Nation from an ownership group that operates Semiahmoo Resort. The Bellingham Herald file

Lummi Indian Business Council has acquired a significant amount of property that not only reclaims a piece of the nation’s cultural heritage but also provides another amenity for its Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa.

Lummi Nation announced in a news release that it has purchased Loomis Trail Golf Course south of Blaine. Along with the 18-hole golf course, the purchase includes 180 acres of land, a 16-room hotel, restaurant and 42,000 square feet of meeting space.

According to documents filed at the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office, the purchase price was $3.75 million. The seller was Resort Semiahmoo LLC, a Seattle ownership group that includes Wright Hotels Inc. and operates Semiahmoo Resort.

Lummi officials noted in the news release that the area is the traditional homeland of the Semiahmah people, who, after signing a treaty with the U.S., were forced to move.

“Many of the Semiahmah people moved to the Lummi Reservation and many of the Lummi people today can trace their origins to these villages,” the news release said.

In a phone interview on Wednesday, Lummi Chairman Jay Julius said this is something he is very proud of, not only from a cultural heritage standpoint but for the future of Lummi members and Whatcom County residents. Operated as a semi-private club in recent years, Loomis will now be open to the public where anyone can reserve a tee time, he said.

The purchase also gives Silver Reef another entertainment option for its customers. Silver Reef is about 13 miles south of the Loomis Trail Golf Course. Julius said it will be an important amenity for Silver Reef, making it more of a resort for its customers.

The 42,000 square feet of meeting space at Loomis and the scenic setting will also make it an attractive event area, particularly for weddings. Loomis is an area that has never really been fully economically maximized in this way, Julius said.

Acquiring this property is also an opportunity to introduce Lummi members to the game of golf. Julius noted this will give the Lummi Nation School golf team a chance to compete on a new home course.

“Golf is an expensive sport and we’ve changed that,” Julius said. “We want to make this accessible to everyone.”

This story was updated Wednesday morning with new information.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz
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