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Cedars on Salmon Creek – an experience that’s 100 percent natural

Close your eyes on a cool, rainy morning at the Cedars on Salmon Creek and you might feel as though you’ve been transported to a national park. As the sound of birds fills the air around you, water trickles down a creek bed in the distance. All the while, the smell of evergreen is a treat to your nose like coffee beans on Sunday morning.

Only now do you truly understand why these 18 holes are unique.

“It makes you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere,” said Melissa Keller, head golf professional at Cedars. “When you go out on the course it really feels like you’re out in nature. That’s hard to find nowadays.”

Keller knows a thing or two about courses. A golfer since the age of three, she grew up playing in Southern California. An injury prevented her from making the professional circuit.

“Most the courses in California are either lined with homes or they just don’t have that rustic feeling,” said Keller. “The same thing goes for many of the courses here. But the great thing about Cedars is there’s just so much nature.”

Earlier this year, Keller said a couple of black bears wandered on to the course. Pair that with the typical deer sighting and occasional bald eagle, and it’s easy to forget you’re less than 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver.

“When you go out on the golf course you never really know what you’re going to see,” said Keller. “That’s what sets us a part from a lot of other places, and it’s fantastic.”

Despite the year-round beauty Cedars has to offer, staff members at the golf course have had to get creative in order to generate revenue in this tough economy – especially during the winter months, which is considered golf’s off-season.

“The off-season is actually one of the busiest times for us because we’re preparing for the following year and trying to figure out new ideas and new things to do for the coming year,” said Keller. “We just try to come up with new ideas and new ways
to promote our services. We offer specials, like a four-
month winter pass, which usually provides us with
enough revenue at the beginning of the winter to get us through a couple of months.”

With its scenic facility, Cedars is a popular site for company or family Christmas parties and birthday celebrations. Keller said Cedars started doing weddings about two years ago – an idea that was immediately successful.

“Weddings have just taken off,” she said. “In the past year they’ve doubled. Those events generate quite a bit of revenue on the days we have no golf.”

Keller said Cedars’ biggest downfall during these tough economic times has been the lack of corporate events and tournaments.

“A result of the economic downturn is people not wanting to drive all the way out here,” she said. “So we’re just trying to make it as inexpensive as possible so that we can get people to come and realize they can have a great time.”

Along with lowering the price to play, Keller said Cedars’ owners have made a conscious effort to put money back into the course so that it’s playable year-round.

“Our owners want to make it work and make it better,” she said.” You can tell they really do care because the course is in the best shape it’s been in years. It really is a neat golf course with a unique design.”

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