Record number of workers flock to Vibe Coworks amid Internet outage in Kitsap

Vibe Coworks hit max occupancy for the first time in company history on Friday, May 3rd, as thousands of Kitsap residents scrambled to get online during a widespread internet outage caused by suspected vandalism.

WIth the digital grid down for most of the day, remote workers flocked to Vibe Coworks in record numbers, where they were met with free access to reliable, gig speed fiber internet provided by the Kitsap Public Utility District—as well as complimentary coffee, private phone booths, beautifully designed workspace, and a slew of peers and neighbors who were all in the same boat. 

“While the first Friday of the month is always hopping at Vibe, what we saw last week was absolutely unprecedented,” shared Vibe Coworks Community Manager, Amber Sallay. 

“It was incredible to see how everyone came together. Our space was abuzz with energy, and every seat in the house was full. We’re so thankful for the consistency of broadband services we enjoy through KPUD, and are proud to have been able to keep people connected so that they could do what they needed to do for the day.” 

Most visitors on May 3rd were unaware of the fact that Vibe Coworks opens free to everyone on the first Friday of every month. Instead, they came hoping that the facility was unaffected by the outage, which it was. 

When staff arrived at 7:30am, there was already a line of people out the door, and dozens who had pre-registered online. By 10am, every desk, office, meeting room and phone booth was filled, events were being relocated to the Garden Room at Crabtree Kitchen + Bar, and people were being turned away for lack of space. In total, Vibe saw a 210% increase in usage for the day, as compared to a typical Free First Friday.

“Vibe Coworks was a lifesaver…!” remarked Samantha Matson, a Talent Advisor at Oracle who temporarily moved to Vibe Coworks for the day. “The staff was unbelievably kind and helpful under the circumstances. It must have been crazy for them and they all handled it extremely well.” 

“It was truly inspiring to see everyone come together. Despite the WiFi issues [across the county], I was able to maintain my productivity, and even establish new connections. It speaks volumes about the resilience of this community.”

While data usage on Vibe’s wifi networks doubled, users enjoyed the same high speeds that the coworking space has become known for. Metrics provided by Keating Consulting Services from May 3 illustrate the global reach of Kitsap’s remote workers, who were able to successfully engage with clients, customers and colleagues across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe throughout the course of the day. 

As the day wore on, visitors found that Vibe became more than just a temporary workspace; it evolved into a nexus of community camaraderie similar, in many ways, to what local commuters once relished about the Washington State Ferries, before the pandemic.

With every seat around the kitchen island converted into a workstation, remote workers engaged in friendly banter, networking, and sharing a few laughs about how they were “stress testing” the Internet at Vibe.

“I was so grateful for Vibe last Friday!” commented Ellen Wixted, an Avalara employee who found refuge at the space that day.

“They [Vibe staff] couldn’t have been more gracious, and when I realized the massive internet outage hit on a day when they open the space up for free, I bought a punch card for future visits. Vibe Coworks is such a great resource!”

While the internet outage presented stressful challenges for individuals and businesses reliant on digital connectivity, the experience underscored the importance of adaptable workspaces like Vibe Coworks, and the power of human connection in the face of unexpected challenges.

In addition to Day Passes and 10-visit Punch Cards, Vibe Coworks rents meeting and event space by the hour, and offers a variety of monthly membership options that include 24/7 access. The coworking space also facilitates a full calendar of workshops, trainings, and events, most of which are open free to the general public. See for more information.