Year in review: Events center remodeling begins |

Year in review: Events center remodeling begins

Interior remodeling of the former Rifle Creek Theater for use as the New Ute Events Center took place much of the year in downtown Rifle. Check out the Jan. 2 edition of The Citizen Telegram for a story and photos updating the project.
Mike McKibbin/Citizen Telegram File Photo |

Interior remodeling of the former Rifle Creek Theater on East Fourth Street in downtown Rifle got underway in earnest in 2013, and the City of Rifle decided who it wants to oversee what will be known as the New Ute Events Center.

Blair Bracken, the city parks and recreation special events coordinator since 2010, was appointed to the position of coordinator to help schedule events, parties, concerts and other uses of the historic structure.

Bracken will work with the New Ute Theatre Society, the community group that proposed the former movie theater be renovated for use as an events center.

The 1940s-era building has been closed since August 2012. The city acquired it and agreed to let NUTS promote plans to reopen it as an events center.

After much debate over how to fund ongoing annual operations and maintenance costs of the center, estimated at between $25,000 to $30,000, the city council agreed to use $1.24 million from the capital reserve fund, plus federal mineral leasing funds, $428,000 in grants and close to $314,000 in other city funds to finish the approximate $2 million renovation and remodeling of the center.

The work ran into unexpected improvements that delayed several announced completion dates during the year, with the latest estimate for the opening now in late March or early April.

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