Playing golf in northern Idaho in the fall can be the best of times. The summer’s crowds have gone, the daytime heat has eased to a still-comfortable shirt-sleeve temperature, tee times are a little easier to get, and the nostalgic feel of the cool evenings ensure you know the year will soon be coming to a close. The seasons, they go round and round, and you hold more tightly to the pleasures of the game before finally, reluctantly, letting them go for the year.
The area’s two premier destinations – The Coeur d’Alene Resort in Coeur d’Alene, and the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley – offer respite in these uncertain times. Located about half an hour from each other on Highway 95, the two resorts are the best places to get away. And both are doing very well, thank you.
The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel
The main amenity (from a golfer’s perspective) at the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel is the award-winning Circling Raven Golf Club. Ranked as the No. 1 public course in Idaho, Circling Raven also has climbed into the Top 20 Casino Courses list nationally.
Owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Circling Raven is an 18-hole layout that sprawls magnificently through 620 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and Palouse grasses. Its gleaming white sand bunkers are large and strategically placed and its hole variety ingenious. The course hosts the Circling Raven Championship every August, a Symetra “Road to the LPGA” Tour event.
Other resort amenities include the full-service Spa Ssakwa’q’n (pronounced Sock-wock-en); 300 hotel rooms; bars, restaurants, lounges, and eateries; cultural immersion options; and more. The casino completed a $15 million renovation of its gaming floor and Events Center in 2019. Circling Raven has garnered numerous best-in-kind honors since opening, including being rated a Top 100 Resort Course, Best in State, and a Top U.S. Casino Course. Its golf shop has won national and regional awards for its excellence and its variety of products, displays, and performance.
The resort’s casino was the first in America to reopen safely after the pandemic hit in 2020. It was named Tribal Destination of the Year for its cultural tourism offerings that carry on Tribal tradition and give guests and visitors unique, inspiring experiences.
“We know there was a great opportunity to grow our casino resort and golf club businesses,” said Laura Penney, CEO, an avid golfer and tribal member who has been working for the CDA Casino Resort Hotel for more than 25 years. “We just had to ensure that we made smart decisions and then did the necessary work to make them succeed.”
The Coeur d’Alene Resort
The amenity-rich Coeur d’Alene Resort, which over the last three decades has become a Northwest symbol of the ultimate golf getaway, stands like an oasis in the desert.
Being located in Idaho, the resort’s golf course remained open during the earlier dark days of the pandemic in 2020, and served golfers by being available for public daily play. The golf course implemented health and safety precautions to provide for all state and local health department mandated social distancing and touch-point sanitization guidelines.
As a community leader, the resort’s hotel and restaurants took the early initiative in managing the health crisis, closing its doors in April 2020 even before the government had required them to do so.
The resort’s golf course remained open and the resort itself reopened a month later, and for the past year and a half, with all necessary health and sanitary precautions in place, both at the hotel and the golf course, their getaway packages are in full effect and are available. And visitors are taking full advantage of them.
The resort recently completed a $10 million renovation, updating its 338 guest rooms with new furnishings, wall treatments, artwork, beds, television displays, and new mobile device charging stations.
The Floating Green – the course’s world famous par-3 14th hole – continues to draw golfers from around the world to play the iconic hole.
A round of golf at The Coeur d’Alene Resort is referred to as “A golf experience like no other.” The reasons for this are many, from supreme customer service, to luxury accommodations, to immaculate course conditions, to the Floating Green.
The full-service resort is an unruffled stream of comfort. And these days, that is more appealing than ever.