Lifestyle

Kitsap Conference Center untouched by slumping economy

In 2008, the Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside broke its previous attendance record. The downtown Bremerton facility saw more than 45,000 people last year. - Courtesy photo
In 2008, the Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside broke its previous attendance record. The downtown Bremerton facility saw more than 45,000 people last year.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Last year proved to be a record-breaker for the Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside.

More than 45,000 guests visited the downtown Bremerton facility last year and Kitsap Conference Center General Manager Terry Halvorson could not be more pleased.

"We've had a good year," she said. "The community is really committed to the conference center."

The 10,000-square-foot facility opened in July 2004 and Halvorson said the conference center has continued to gain business and community support throughout the years.

The Kitsap Conference Center saw roughly 2,500-3,000 more guests in 2008 than in years past, according to Halvorson.

"Every month we keep track of how many people come through the doors," she said.

The Kitsap Conference Center hosts small or large gatherings of all types, including social events, banquets, weddings, business meetings, proms and class reunions.

Halvorson said weddings and social events were on the rise last year and thinks that made a huge difference in the record-breaking attendance number.

The conference center stays busy with different types of business during the year. Halvorson said they host more weddings and receptions in the summer and lots of holiday parties in the winter.

"We stay pretty steady with different types of businesses at different times of the year," she said.

Halvorson credits the Kitsap Conference Center staff for the facility's success. Everyone from the cooking crew to the event planning staff helped boost business in 2008.

"I think that we're hopefully doing a lot of little things right," Halvorson said.

With the current economic slump, Halvorson said business in 2009 will be tricky. However, she anticipates business the Kitsap Conference Center will be back on track to break the current attendance record in the future.

"I think going into 2010 is when we'll really start to grow the business again," Halvorson said.

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