Wow! Two point one million dollars? We sure can't raise that with bake sales!
However, what may seem like quite a price tag for an event center is only $210 for each person in Rifle. That doesn't seem so bad for a state-of-the-art venue for live performances of music, dance, drama, comedy (indoors, not dependent on the weather) and a wonderful space for wedding receptions, 50th anniversary parties, fashion shows and lots more.
And how about this $2.1 million? We already have $600,000 in grants and other funds, so that brings it down to $1.5 million, or $150 per person in Rifle. What is worth $150 to you? Not driving to Denver, Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction every time you want to see a live performance? A trip to Grand Junction for a live show can cost $150 for gas, tickets and whatever you eat along the way.
Going to a Broncos or Rockies game - it's hard to do without staying overnight - a room and a couple of meals, considerably more than $150. Sure, we would still have to pay for events in Rifle, but we wouldn't have to plan in all the extra time and costs for driving, and if we spent money for dinner, it would stay right here in town.
It would be nice if everyone would contribute individually, because the more community involvement there is, the more we know the facility will be appreciated and used. If you know you can't afford $150 for each person in your family, give what you can. Groups that would like to have a venue for their own performances might be interested in helping raise the funds.
And let's think outside the city limits. Surely, people from Silt, Parachute/Battlement Mesa and New Castle would be interested in enjoying the performances and participating in the events, even to the extent of contributing or helping raise funds.
And what does "state-of-the-art event center" mean? We would have stage lighting and sound equipment, a green room for performers, telescoping seating so the floor could be used for dining and dancing or stadium/theater seating, and digital technology for streaming live video, plus a catering kitchen. The possibilities for events are amazing. We will be expanding on those in the future.
We will announce the biggest donor for each week and the biggest donor for the month will be honored in the following month's column, have their name on the marquee and on the public access channel. Unless, of course, they choose to be anonymous.
So keep reading to learn about all the possibilities for the event center, and the progress we, as a community, are making toward it becoming a reality.
Elizabeth Stuver is a board member of the New Ute Theatre Society. For information about the events center project, call (970) 414-0834 or go online to utetheater.com. Mailing address is P.O. Box 907, Rifle, CO 81650.