Grand Lake theater company’s Raise the Curtain campaign receives two challenge gifts |

Grand Lake theater company’s Raise the Curtain campaign receives two challenge gifts

John Moore, head theater critic for the Denver Post, recently dubbed Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre “Colorado’s Premiere Summer Musical Company.” Now, the theatre company draws ever closer to having a premiere theatre.

Two challenge gifts, given by multiple residents of Grand Lake, have been contributed to RMRT’s Raise the Curtain! Capital Campaign to construct a new theatre complex in Grand Lake. With the two generous gifts, RMRT is close to reaching its phase one goal of $4 million.

First, a challenge gift valued at $300,000 will be given to the capital campaign if the theatre can raise the remaining amount by Oct. 1. If the money cannot be raised by the target date, the $300,000 will not be given.

The October deadline was offered to guarantee the start of construction in the spring of 2010. This generous challenge was issued by the Baltz Family, longtime supporters of the theatre who have already gifted upwards of $100,000 to the campaign and over $200,000 to the general operating fund personally and through Kickapoo Lodge.

Upon this news, a second gift with a corresponding challenge was given. If RMRT can raise $250,000, then another Grand Lake family will gift $500,000 to the campaign.

“This matching gift will hopefully ensure the first challenge will be met by the deadline and the $300,000 will not be lost,” said the donor.

Donna and Scott Ready of Mountain Lake Properties also saw the urgency of meeting the Baltz’s challenge and gifted a commercial real estate lot on Park Avenue in Grand Lake. The sale price of the lot will be donated directly to the Raise the Curtain! campaign.

If RMRT can raise $400,000 by Oct. 1, construction can commence on the phase one portion of the new theatre, which includes the stage, backstage, 300-seat auditorium, restrooms and an onsite box office.

Following the timeline set by Benchmark Enterprises, RMRT’s project managers, the theatre will open the 2011 season in its new home.

O’Bryan Partnership International, RMRT’s architect, has designed the theatre complex to comply with multiple phases of construction. Additional rooms will be added at a later date, pending further fundraising.

The incredible success of the 2009 season has only solidified the need for a new theatre in Grand Lake. Currently, 88 percent of the seats have been sold to the three summer productions. Since July 1, RMRT has sold out each performance and turned away an average of 70 individuals per day.

It has also become evident that the Town of Grand Lake governmental offices, which share the current theatre building, are growing as well.

It was just learned that, to make space for further Town storage to accommodate record-keeping requirements, RMRT would be losing one-third of its scenery storage space beginning this year. Also, while the Town doesn’t have any current plans to do so, there are no guarantees the old library that is currently used by RMRT’s Youth Program will continue to be made available through 2011, as other area groups and nonprofits increasingly compete for much needed space.

RMRT provides many options and benefits for giving to the Raise the Curtain! Capital Campaign. RMRT is a nonprofit corporation and all donations are tax deductible. This project retains its Enterprise Zone status, meaning a donation of $100 or more will qualify for a 25 percent Colorado state tax credit of the value of the contribution.

RMRT has also set up a Charitable Stock Giving account. By donating marketable securities, a donor can generally obtain a deduction for the stock’s current fair market value and avoid paying taxes on the capital gain.

The economic impact of RMRT on the Town of Grand Lake was studied in 2004. The study concluded that the Town’s residents and merchants experienced a $1 million impact because of RMRT’s presence. Due to the recent success, that number is estimated to have climbed to approximately $1.8 million.

If you are interested in helping RMRT and all of Grand Lake, contact the RMRT administrative office at (970) 627-5087.