Economy Hits Two More Sheds

Two venue proposals in Fort Collins, Colo., have been hit hard by the economic crisis, with one project postponed indefinitely and a second expected to be put on hold.

A proposal by the Bohemian Foundation would have included two indoor venues totaling about 2,500 seats as well as a number of smaller outdoor performance spaces on 12 acres of land on the north bank of the Poudre River, according to the Northern Colorado Business Report.

“The decision is simply due to economic factors,” Merry Hummell, who directs the music center efforts at the Bohemian Foundation, said in a statement. “The assets the foundation had planned to use to fund the music venue have declined in value, along with the stock market, leading to the decision to put the project on hold.”

Pat Stryker, a Fort Collins philanthropist who founded the Bohemian Foundation, said, “We intend to retain the Oxbow land and still hope to develop a music project on the site in the future. It’s a question of timing.”

A Downtown Development Authority subcommittee had been looking into a $30 million amphitheatre that would seat about 5,000 people and cover half a city block.

Despite studying the feasibility of the project and concluding that the venue would “perform at or above industry norms,” the Northern California Business Report wrote that the subcommittee would recommend to the agency’s board of directors in mid-February that the project not be pursued this year.

“They aren’t going to recommend that the DDA move forward given the current economic climate,” DDA Executive Director Matt Robenalt told the paper. “The level of risk is compounded by the $30 million price tag. … They suggest that the DDA and city investigate joint development of an outdoor facility.”