Do we need Both Biery-Witt Center and Center For The Arts? The most common question I hear and get asked is “Why do we need two new facilities in Crested Butte?” This is a good question, and early on it may not have been clear, but both organizations are working together and if you look under the covers you will see they are different facilities, serve different users and have a different purpose.
You may have received some recent correspondence from the Biery-Witt Center which helps answer many questions about both facilities. Below is a summary of these points and my input as to why we do need both Biery-Witt Center and Center For The Arts?
Why do we need two facilities?
- The locations and function of the two facilities are different.
- The Center for the Arts is located in downtown Crested Butte and is a true community arts center and serving as the home for ten (10) local arts programs
- The Biery-Witt Center is located in Mt. Crested Butte near the base of the ski area and thousands of beds – hotel rooms and condos for short-term rental. This facility will be a much needed conference center and a first class performing arts hall that seats 500+.
Are these Facilities / Organizations Competitors?
- These two facilities serve different users and are NOT in competition with each other (certainly they are in competition for capital campaign dollars from supporters as each requires tens of millions of dollars in donations).
- The organizations are in cooperation and are working together and while they have different charters and facility needs they have common goals. They will work cooperatively to book and schedule events, performances and conferences. Many events like the Mile High Music Festival, the Crested Butte Film Festival, and the Crested Butte Music Festival are great examples where multiple facilities are needed.
What are the Uses/Who are the Users?
The 500 seat Biery-Witt Center in Mt. Crested Butte will host large and small conferences, meetings, and other non-performance events. 500 seats is a magical number and event planners and conventions seek this as a minimum threshold for many events that currently pass us by. The Biery-Witt Center will be a mult-function facility will attract large-scale touring performances (think of the quality acts that would come to Crested Butte when this facility is completed). And of course there will be classical performing arts events like opera, ballet and symphony that will benefit from this first-class acoustics facility.
The 225 seat Center For The Arts will be much more than the current facility – it will also host the Trailhead Children’s Museum, Crested Butte School of Dance and the Crested Butte Dance Collective, the Piper Art Gallery, a Culinary and Catering Kitchen, Workshop rooms to host Crested Butte Community School curriculum, Space for Visual Arts programs and a Clay Studio, and more.
While there will be some overlap in use – in short the Biery-Witt Center is externally focused on attracting people to come to Crested Butte, the Center For The Arts is a community facility that supports our local internal needs with the benefit of providing a smaller venue for performances. Both will positively impact our community and our visitors experience.
- Estimates vary, but in round numbers the Center For the Arts Facility has raised nearly half of their total of $12M, and the Biery-Witt Center needs approximately $5M more to get to their $23M goal.
- Economic Impact – we are a tourism based economy and these facilities will help provide needed amenities to support this.
- A total of $18M in annual economic activity is projected when both facilities are built and fully operational.
- Operational viability – The Center For The Arts has been operating successfully for nearly 30 years. The Biery-Witt Center has identified many events, performances that will be repeat users – I am a glass half-full guy and I believe the leadership will book events and fill seats.
- Real Estate Values – it may be hard to immediately provide a ROI for these facilities, but in addition to the great skiing, the recreational opportunities, and the charm or our community, these facilities will attract new visitors and new second-homeowners that will continue to drive demand for the real estate in our valley.
- Crested Butte Economy – we have two legs to our economic profile: 1) Tourism 2) Real Estate (including design, construction, materials, maintenance, property management, residential contractors and services, short and long term rentals, and real estate sales. These two industries employs the majority of the local residents and their families, and they will both benefit from these two new facilities.
Thank you to the many donors who have made significant financial donations to allow these great facilities to become a reality.
For more info visit their sites and I hope you will pledge your support as I have!
How can I help you? The Crested Butte area offers a wide variety of properties including ski in/ski out single family homes, ski-in/ski-out condominiums, lake and river frontage properties, golf course property, and true fine mountain homes on acreage. To see featured properties or search the MLS – visit www.ChrisKopf.com. If you considering Selling your Crested Butte home and are interested in finding out what your existing property is worth – call me. How is the Crested Butte Real Estate Market doing? Click this link to see my monthly Crested Butte Real Estate Market Reports I appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and be your Crested Butte Real Estate Agent.
Contact me at: (970) 209-5405, or ChrisKopf@BighornRealty.com
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Coldwell Banker Bighorn Realty