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A ‘ballroom’ by the bay?

Rather than build a whole new convention center near Old Town, the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce and the Red Lion Hotel have scaled down their plans to include a large ballroom facility.

Sam Granato, the chamber’s executive director presented an update to the Central Kitsap Community Council at its regular meeting Wednesday, Dec. 17.

“We never gave up on the concept,” for a conference center Granato said. The chamber and Red Lion proposed the conference center idea about three years ago to the Public Facilities District. The PFD gave the money — a one-time rebate of real estate excise fees — to Bremerton’s conference center instead. Additional PFD funds went to upgrade the Kitsap County fairgrounds facilities.

The proposed Silverdale ballroom would be the largest in the county, seating 750-900 people in a dinner seating arrangement. The facility would be used for state and regional conventions, said Kevin Wojcik, hotel manager in an interview Thursday.

He wasn’t specific when it came to other possible events the facility could be used for saying the plans were in their earliest phases.

He said there is a high demand for large meeting rooms and groups who want to come to Kitsap because of its proximity to King County and Olympia.

Currently, groups such as the chamber can’t hold large meetings in Silverdale because there isn’t room.

Joe Diamond, Red Lion franchise owner and part owner of the property for the ballroom site said he would give the hotel his portion of the land. Diamond owns about 45 percent of the lot which is valued at $750,000, Granato said.

The property is located between the hotel and Old Mill Site county park on Bucklin Hill Road. The Red Lion currently has the largest meeting room in Silverdale.

Granato also talked about a possible walkway/bridge over part of Dyes Inlet that would link the hotel to Old Town businesses.

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