Silverdale Chamber withdraws from quicksilver

Boats and visitors have flooded Dyes Inlet two consecutive summers for the quicksilver hydroplane races.

But the water may be quiet come this August.

The Board of Directors of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it is withdrawing its partnership from the quicksilver hydroplane races.

"After looking at the cost of doing the event, money raised to date and the state of the economy, the numbers just didn't pencil out," said Darla Murker, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.

The is in August on Dyes Inlet and the Silverdale Waterfront Park. During its inaugural year in 2005, quicksilver was named the Unlimited Light Hydroplane Racing Association (ULHRA)'s race site of the year for its great hospitality and race venue, according to a press release.

The quicksilver hydroplane races cost an estimated $60,000 to $65,000 to put together each year. A large portion of the budget is paid to ULHRA to run the race and provide prize money to race teams, according to a news release.

quicksilver struggled to collect the necessary sponsorships to finance the event in 2006. Despite putting a considerable number of out-of-town guests into hotel and motel accommodations the 2006 Lodging Tax dollars allocation was significantly less than the original three year funding plan requested, according to the Chamber. The event did receive a boost from Great Western Sports by way of a significant matching dollars sponsorship.

“I love the event, but I think the time and energy that the Chamber volunteers have to put into the event is not worth the return," said Silverdale Chamber President Gene Straw. "It’s a rough time for businesses right now, many small businesses are struggling and making cut backs in large part due to rising fuel costs and this effects the availability of promotion and sponsorship dollars.”

Although quicksilver was well-attended, business sponsorships and community financial support was hard to find during planning for the 2007 event.

"The Chamber is not in a position to take a loss from the event," Murker said. "It has to be self-sustaining."

The future of quicksilver is uncertain. ULHRA may put together a committee to coordinate the event themselves, but have yet to reach a decision.

"The Unlimited Light Hydroplane Racing Association likes the venue," Murker said. "They may choose to put together a committee, but (quicksilver) won't happen under the umbrella of the Chamber."

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