Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 6, 2006
Contact: PJ Callahan
Phone: (360) 337-4481
No. 06-17

Kitsap Fairgrounds & Events Center Usage Increases 27%

PORT ORCHARD, WA—The Kitsap Fairgrounds and Events Center is something to be proud of, at least according to a usage report recently prepared by Frank Abbott and Lauran Erickson, Fair & Special Events Co-Managers. The Kitsap Board of County Commissioners is expected to hear the presentation in the next month or so.

The facility currently hosts a variety of athletic tournaments, rental uses, programs and special events. Tournaments for everything from volleyball, baseball, softball, basketball and football to wrestling and rugby are held both indoors and outdoors, and the fields and facility are also rented for a number of sports activities. In 2003, when the Pavilion and ballfields were closed for new construction, there were two tournaments and 290 rentals. In 2005, there were 58 tournaments and 342 rentals, a combined 37% increase.

According to Abbott, “One of the keys to the growing success of the facility is the renovations in 2004 and 2005 that transformed the fairgrounds and Pavilion into a tournament-quality, indoor/outdoor multi-sport complex. We’ve even included event camping sites and an environmentally sensitive parking lot, which we feel are unique attributes of our facility.”

Funding for improvements to the Fairgrounds and Events Center was made available through the Kitsap Public Facilities District (KPFD), an independent municipal corporation that was established by the county commissioners in June 2000. Funding for the district comes from a sales tax rebate from the state, which is then used to issue bonds to help to build, improve and operate sports, recreation, entertainment and conference facilities. In 2005, KPFD funded an inventory of all sports facilities in the county to help establish priorities and then build additional facilities at the fairgrounds. The inventory was part of the county’s ongoing efforts to update the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan.

Program and meeting uses of the facility currently include BlueJacket Summer Skills Clinics, recreation camps, drop-in programs, preschool activities, Tiny Tots T-ball, badminton and table tennis. In 2003, a total of 206 programs and meetings were held at the facility; in 2005, that number jumped to 354, a 72% increase.

Special events have included everything from graduation ceremonies, dog shows, auctions, dances, wedding expos and awards ceremonies to a Macy’s Fragrance Festival. Since special events were the primary purpose of the facility in past years, the usage numbers stayed pretty consistent from 2003 to 2005.

Overall, usage from 2003 to 2005 went from 853 to 1087, a 27% increase. There was also a significant increase in the number of days the Kitsap Sun Pavilion was used, from 120 in 2003 to 278 in 2005, a 132% increase. The biggest jump in number of usage days for the Pavilion was attributed to sports programs and rentals, from a combined 10 in 2003 to 178 days in 2005.

Due to a new maintenance program, Gordon Field experienced a drop in usage days from 2003 to 2005, 291 down to 256. However, ballfield usage increased 29% after the ballfields were remodeled in 2004. Based on installation of all-weather turf and lighting, Gordon Field is projected to see 1,445 uses in the coming years, up from 282 in 2005.

Fairgrounds and Event Center staff are also working hard to ensure customers who use the facilities are pleased with the services they receive. This year, they launched a customer post-event survey that will help them track a variety of information, including a success rating and ways staff can improve their experience.

“We really want to hear from each and every user what we can do better to help improve their event,” said Abbott. “We want people to keep coming back to hold their events with us, so we can continue to serve their needs in the future.”

According to a survey completed by Tobie Moore, Coordinator for Kitsap Juniors Volleyball USAV, “It is a great facility! The nicest in the Puget Sound Region!”

Jeremy Landis, President of West Side Hoops, also gave his endorsement: "This event was a huge success! Our affiliates, especially Reebok and Baden, look forward to sponsoring many more in the future”

To view the complete usage report, visit the Facilties, Parks and Recreation page at www.kitsapgov.com/parks and click on the link for the usage presentation. To learn more about renting the the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events Center for your next event, call 360-337-5350.
 


To contact the Kitsap County Public Information Office, 
call PJ Callahan at 360-337-4481 or email: pjramos@co.kitsap.wa.us

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014