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Zero Gravity finds a new home in Silverdale
By LESLIE KELLY
SILVERDALE — A youth gymnastics center, formerly located in Kingston, is relocating to Silverdale.
As of Dec. 1, Zero Gravity Athletics will re-open at 2789 NW Randall Way. The building there has 15,000 square feet of space and high ceilings which is exactly what owner Kenda Moreno said was needed. The space was formerly occupied by the Mattress Ranch and is next door to Castle Megastore.
"We are so excited to re-open and are revamping every angle of our business to ensure that we stay open," Moreno said.
The business was forced out of its previous location in the Kennedy Business Park off Minder Road when it was foreclosed on by Kitsap Credit Union, the owner of the building. At that time, in early November, Zero Gravity was about $30,000 behind in rent.
The gymnasium, which was used by more than 200 athletes, both private students and the North Kitsap and Kingston high school gymnastics teams, closed Nov. 8. Since then, the gymnasts have been practicing elsewhere at other high school facilities and at private gyms.
But on Nov. 22, Moreno announced that Zero Gravity had a new home.
"Our (real estate) broker Rick Cadwell was working night and day to get us a location in North Kitsap," she said. "Every place turned us down. It was down to the wire when he called a friend who had just recently purchased the building previously owned by Castle Megastore. The friend agreed to let us in to save our gym. We took a leap of faith and moved Zero Gravity to Silverdale."
The agreement came just prior to the gym's equipment being sent to Redmond to be sold, she said. With the help of Emerald City Gymnastics, which offered its truck, the equipment began being moved to Silverdale on Nov. 23.
"We teach our kids to believe you can achieve and to never give up," Moreno said. "Our kids are excited and hopefully we will gain some new Silverdale clients."
While some have questioned the location because it is next to an adult boutique that sells lingerie and other adult items, Moreno said students are always supervised and within the sight of coaches and teachers.
With a more controlled rent and better business operations, she thinks Zero Gravity is now on solid ground. She said Zero Gravity will remain for-profit business and the nonprofit will represent its competition team.
"We have 30 girls ages 6 to 14 and hope to grow," she said of the business. "The nonprofit will raise money for training, camps, competition fees, uniforms and travel. They have an excellent board of directors and have many ideas for the program."
She said she has advisers for Zero Gravity who have financially invested and are revamping a five-year business plan, cutting costs and improving management procedures.
"We had $5,000 out in customer accounts previously," she said. "The new check-in system will not allow business if the customer has not paid. Our goal is to make sure this never happens again."