A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled Friday, Oct. 18, for a $33 million racing facility in Bremerton that is planned to include a 2.66-mile road course, clubhouse, and more.
Circuit of the Northwest, a multi-use facility located on a 232-acre site next to Bremerton National Airport, is targeted for a third quarter 2021 opening. A third-party study projects more than $50 million in economic impact during construction and first year of operation, providing 700-plus jobs.
The project culminates more than five years of planning, said owner and founding member of Circuit of the Northwest LLC, Brian Nilsen. Nilsen is a longtime businessman and racing enthusiast in Bremerton, where he co-owns Brothers Powersports.
“[Circuit of the Northwest] will be a playground for the motorsports enthusiast,” Nilsen said in a promotional video for the project.
Nilsen could not be reached for comment, but in the video touted the facility’s location near the 6,000-foot airstrip, and planned attractions that will include the clubhouse with Olympic Mountain views, private dining, themed lounge, exercise facility, a spa for members, and automobile and motorcycle driving clubs.
The track would be capable of hosting IndyCar, IMSA, MotoGP, and MXGP events, and the facility could accommodate up to 30,000 spectators, according to a Circuit of the Northwest spokesperson.
Aside from the road course, designed by German Formula One driver and race course designer Hermann Tilke, Circuit of the Northwest will feature motocross and karting on road and dirt surfaces, an indoor shooting range, and a RV park.
Proposed activities and public benefits include concerts, festivals, fun runs, teen driving education, emergency vehicle training, K-9 training, STEM education, and more.
Hospitality management company KemperSports will manage hospitality services, including guest experience, membership services, and dining facilities. KemperSports is the management team behind Chambers Bay Golf Course southwest of Tacoma and Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Southern Oregon.
“The newly planned facility stands in comparison to many of the top road racing venues in the world and will be a magnet to draw the racing community, events, and economic opportunity to the Puget Sound,” Ralph Morton, executive director of the Seattle Sports Commission, said in a press release.
Circuit of the Northwest includes funding from public and private partnerships with organizations like the Sports Commission, Visit Seattle, Port of Bremerton, Kitsap Public Facilities District, local police and fire departments, cities of Bremerton and Port Orchard, Kitsap County school districts, and Universal Technical Institute. Private funding is underway with a number of private investors.
Friday’s event will launch private membership sales efforts. Founding memberships are $62,500, with a $10,000 deposit prior to construction. Circuit of the Northwest’s goal is to begin overall project construction by third quarter 2020 upon securing of project financing, noting project timing will be driven, in part, by membership sales.