Circling Raven early in planning process to add an additional nine holes

May 18—WORLEY — Laura Penney hears the question all the time.

"When is Circling Raven going to expand?"

"I love this place and I love to golf as well, but it's just a matter of return on our investment and what's smart business-wise," said Penney, CEO of the Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel. "We have the casino and we're looking into some development there, so something that complements and makes sense. I do think nine holes makes sense, but we need to plan accordingly."

Nothing is set in stone, but her answer is encouraging for those who have toured award-winning Circling Raven and weren't quite ready to put their clubs away after 18 holes.

"We have had some discussion, because we have some major renovations in regard to (updating) some of the sand traps and the tee boxes and the thought was we didn't want any disruption of the 18-hole experience, so we're thinking well, we need another 18 or nine," Penney said. "I think (Circling Raven designer) Gene (Bates) already kind of sketched something together, but it's just in discussion mode right now.

"I do think that's something possible in the future, maybe five years or so. It wouldn't hurt to start planning."

Bates noted that a new nine would also include "we tees," a set of forward tee boxes for newcomers to the game. The yardages would vary, but often they'd be located about halfway down the fairways "where young people could play and this would be their starting ground for getting on the course and establishing a handicap. It fits the family idea really well."

Penney also likes the idea of adding bungalows or cabins on the golf course property to accommodate visitors.