Deception Pass State Park to acquire Sunrise Resort

Dave Thistle of Tacoma walks with his niece, 7-year-old Rachel Quick, at Sunrise Resort near Deception Pass State Park.  - Nathan Whalen
Dave Thistle of Tacoma walks with his niece, 7-year-old Rachel Quick, at Sunrise Resort near Deception Pass State Park.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen

The sun is about to rise on a new day where visitors at Deception Pass State Park won’t have to see the unsightly work of construction crews repairing floats on Cornet Bay.

The state Legislature last week approved spending $2.2 million for Deception Pass State Park to acquire an RV park called Sunrise Resort.

Purchasing the land on Cornet Bay Road will provide space to relocate the park administrative offices and shops located near the bay.

Bill Koss, manager of planning and research for Washington State Parks, said the current administrative offices and workshop space are unsightly to visitors in Cornet Bay. When the park developed its master plan a few years ago, officials gave moving the administrative offices and workshop offices a high priority.

Currently the State Parks department has a welding shop and builds and repairs floats along Cornet Bay Road.

Public Information Officer, Thuy Luu-Beams, said that the new location will provide easier access to the park’s administrative offices.

Koss added that, should the deal go through, the shops and administrative offices will be moved to Sunrise. It will also be used as a campground because it already has water, sewer and power facilities.

The current park offices will be transformed into a visitor information center and a contact point for park rangers, Koss said.

He added that it will take about a year to purchase the campground because the parks department has to finish its current projects before moving on.

The $2.2 million comes from the Washington State Wildlife and Recreation Program. The Parks Department originally wanted $7 million to not only buy the Sunrise Resort, but also a parcel of land on Campbell Lake and another parcel on Fidalgo Island. However, those two projects weren’t funded this session.

CEO of Sunrise Resorts, Emil Marotzke, said that it is too early in the appraisal process to make any decision about the future of the RV park.

“(We’d) consider it but there’s a lot of hoops to jump through,” Marotzke said.

Sunrise Resorts, which is based out of Bullhead City, Arizona, has owned its Cornet Bay Road location since 2000. The company owns seven RV parks in Washington and 13 total nationwide.

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at or 675-6611.

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