Copper wants funding for arts center |

Copper wants funding for arts center

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Copper Metro District officials want a performing arts center at Copper Mountain so much, they are willing to help recruit potential investors to help rescue the idea – which is suffering from loss of private financial support.

When Intrawest Corp. introduced its Comprehensive Development Strategy for the resort almost two years ago, plans for build-out included a high-tech performing arts center.

The performing arts center was an integral part of Intrawest’s plan to transform Copper Mountain from a ski resort to a year-round destination, the company said.

While Intrawest, owner of Copper Mountain, was willing to help with land and other costs, the center was backed by private money behind the Peak Entertainment group of New York and Denver, including some from well-known rock ‘n’ roll artists.

While homeowners have opposed several facets of the proposed development – including increased density and an ariel people mover to replace the resort’s shuttle system – most of them seemed to welcome the entertainment center. But the reality of a performing arts center has come into question recently because of funding problems, metro district manager Elizabeth Black told board members at their meeting Friday.

Black, who helped create the idea of a performing arts center, asked the board for its support in contacting potential investors – to help Peak Entertainment obtain part of the $5 to 7 million it needs to get the project off the ground.

“I think we need to reactivate the theater and all of its promise to get the people to feel better about the future here,” Black said. “My sense of this whole thing is it just needs to be kick-started. I think there are a lot of people here that are invested in the idea and don’t want to see it go.”

She said Peak Entertainment likely has the last half of its funding but needs help with money to start construction.

More than 24 people approached Black after Intrawest unveiled its proposal in early 2002, offering financial assistance in the project to ensure the theater is built at Copper, she said.

Board members granted Black the green light to contact potential investors for the state-of-the-art theater and said they could create a nonprofit to support the project.

“It’s something I think is worthwhile pursuing,” Black said.

The theater is part of the CDS which has been before the Ten Mile Planning Commission for about 17 months.

It calls for about 1,200 additional units of density in a mix of hotel, condo, townhouse and single-

family units, including affordable housing.

The CDS is an amendment to Copper’s current planned unit development (PUD) approval.

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