For those who desire a life enriching, shared experience to broaden their artistic culture, the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center will become a focal point. Residents and visitors of Estes Park, from Larimer County, the state of Colorado and beyond, seeking distinguished performing arts will be drawn to this state-of-the-art facility. This privately funded project will impact the learning of arts locally, elevate local performances, and offer a professional resource for local and national performing arts groups. The Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center is believed to be one of the biggest economic development and urban re-development projects for the Estes Park community in more than 25 years.

The concept for The Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center is to offer high-caliber performing arts as well as to create a town-gathering center that includes various shops and restaurants for the citizens and visitors of Estes Park. The Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center project will be a new performing arts center constructed downtown that will provide opportunities for artistic performances that will inspire a memorable Estes Park experience.



The dream to build a performing arts center in the Estes Valley has been alive for some time.  

While earlier attempts generated local interest, they did not include the dynamic performance venue, exciting program plan, and sustainable business model developed by EPIC leadership.    Nor did other efforts have the long-term commitment, professionalism, and diverse experience that the EPIC team brings.

Early attempts included:

First Attempt:  “Friends of Stanley Hall” (FOSH) was formed in 1998 to generate financial support to renovate a facility at The Stanley Hotel into performance space for Estes Valley performing arts groups, estimated to be 18 in number.  The fundraising goal was not being achieved in a timely manner and the project was abandoned.  The $475,000 raised from 265 individual donors was turned over to the Town of Estes Park, which would serve as fiduciary until a replacement project was developed.  The Town voted in 2013 to commit the FOSH dollars to EPIC, provided that they are able to start construction before January 31, 2017.  However, these dollars have not yet been counted toward our capital campaign progress.

Second Attempt: “The Supporters of the Performing Arts” (SOPA) was formed in 2006 to raise funds for a more sophisticated performing arts center to be built on land provided by the Town of Estes Park.  This project was to be built by the Town, managed by the Town, and funded primarily from donations.  While providing performing space for the local groups was paramount, the plans also focused on attracting some nationally acclaimed presentations.  After this effort stalled, there was consensus that the location provided by the Town was controversial and the dominant role that the Town required was not widely embraced by the philanthropic community.  EPIC leaders also felt the SOPA effort did not include a sustainable business model that could weather varied economic seasons. 

The New Approach.  Estes Performance, Inc. (EPIC) was incorporated in 2011, creating a new direction when the SOPA effort did not move forward.  EPIC was ready to carry the project and capital campaign to the highest level of success.  A new Board of Trustees was formed replacing the SOPA Trustees and is now fully operational as its own 501(c)(3) known as EPIC, dba Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center.  SOPA, Inc. merged with EPIC in 2012, bringing a pool of valued leaders and potential donors to the RMPAC project.


The Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center Board of Trustees is made up of twelve individuals with extensive senior-level experience in corporate and commercial business, hospitality, higher education, municipal government, and arts administration.  As the project develops, the Board can be expanded to include members representing national and local interests.  All current members of the Board of Trustees have given to the capital campaign to date and are fully engaged in project planning and campaign fundraising.  A Steering Committee comprised of distinguished business and community leaders from the Estes Park area and from around the nation will be recruited.  


The $25 million capital campaign to build the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center and the Performance Plaza is being conducted in accordance with a Board-approved Campaign Plan.  Roecker Consulting Group, LLC, a premier regional fundraising consulting firm, has served as campaign counsel, providing campaign best practices, the highest ethical standards for gift stewardship, outreach training, research, and other campaign resources. RCG’s campaigns have ranged from $1 million to $200 million and represent some of the most successful campaigns in the West.  Principal Ann Roecker was named one of Colorado's “Fundraising Deans” by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and has a significant record of capital campaign success.  Projects have included Anschutz Health & Wellness Center | University of Colorado, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Boulder Center for the Performing Arts, Children’s Museum of Denver, Denver Public Library, Geological Society of America, Girl Scouts Mile Hi Council, and Vail Valley Medical Center, to name of few of their clients.

Three fundraising milestones define the campaign:

  • Tipping Point - $6,000,000  

(When the option on the Seeley property may be exercised.)

Dollars raised towards the Tipping Point will support architectural design, project development (Town fees, planning approval costs, legal fees, etc.), branding development, site review and site preparation, and capital campaign and related marketing costs.

  • Quiet Phase - $16,445,000 

Dollars raised during the Quiet Phase will mobilize groundbreaking and construction of first the Performance Plaza, and then the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center and supporting areas (Winter Garden and River Walk).

  • Public Phase - $2,555,000

These final dollars will engage a broad range of donors, spread awareness of RMPAC, and mobilize equipping the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center with furniture, fixtures, and technology fitting to a state-of-the-art space.

Priority is being placed on outreach strategies to philanthropists and foundations that result in the greatest progress toward reaching the $25 million campaign goal.  

Number & Sources of Gifts

The following Table of Gifts suggests the number and size of gifts being sought to reach the    $25 million capital campaign goal.






$10,000,000        1        $10,000,000        $10,000,000        40%

$  2,000,000        2        $  4,000,000        $14,000,000        56%

$  1,000,000        3        $  3,000,000        $17,000,000        68%



$     500,000        4        $2,000,000        $19,000,000        76%

$     250,000        5        $1,250,000        $20,250,000        81%

$     100,000        6        $   600,000        $20,850,000        83%



$       75,000                8        $   600,000        $21,450,000        86%

$       50,000               10        $   500,000        $21,950,000        88%

$       25,000               13        $   325,000        $22,275,000        89%

$       10,000               17        $   170,000        $22,445,000        90%



$         7,500    160        $1,200,000        $23,645,000        94%

$         5,000    250        $1,250,000        $24,895,000        99%



$       5,000    Many        $   105,000        $25,000,000                100%

Projected sources of gifts include:


Donor Type                Amount Sought        Persons Most responsible


Lead Benefactor(s)            $10,000,000            Board of Trustees        

Private Donors*                  $12,500,000            Steering Committee, Trustees    

Foundation Grants             $1,500,000            Select Board, Contract Staff, Counsel    

Public Entities                     $1,000,000             Select Board, Contract Staff, Counsel    

TOTAL:                 $25,000,000

* Individuals, family trusts, corporations, developers, organizations, collective gifts (Board Campaign, Volunteer Campaign, affinity groups)

Campaign Timeline

January 2013 - September 2014 | Campaign Planning & Tipping Point Asks | Lead Benefactor Discussions

September 2014 – September 2016 | Campaign Quiet Phase

September 2016 – September 2017 | Campaign “Take A Seat” & Community Phase

Progress To Date

As of December 31, 2014 an initial $1,929,989 has been raised from the Board of Trustees and local friends of the arts towards the Rocky Mountain Performing Arts Center’s $25 million capital campaign.  

In addition to these early dollars, project assets include the $2.3 million value of the site that otherwise would need to be purchased through capital campaign proceeds.   On top of that, the Town of Estes Park has committed to reserve the contents of its Theater Fund, totaling over $450,000, to be applied to this project.

In January 2015, RMPAC entered a lease with a craft beer enterprise to operate on the bare concrete “slab” downtown where the RMPAC will eventually be built.  “The Barrel” is an innovative business that will start April 1, 2015 as an open-air beer garden operating year round.  The facilities to store and serve nearly 50 craft beers are substantial, secure, portable structures that are removable when the RMPAC construction begins.  The setting will be an attractive community asset, with an inviting garden of plantings, tables, benches arranged family style.  Main entrances are from 116 E. Elkhorn Drive and from the Riverwalk on the South side of Fall River, providing access from the parking lots located there.  Seating capacity exceeds 600 when set up for a live concert or theatrical performance, thus providing a valuable venue for RMPAC to use for various fundraising events.  Once operating, the lease income from “The Barrel” will provide RMPAC most of the funding for our planning and capital campaign activities.   We also expect that after RMPAC construction begins the young couple who own and run the “The Barrel” will be able to relocate in Estes Park, and continue to contribute to our local economy.  

We are on track to present our building and site plans to the Estes Valley Planning Commission and Estes Park Town staff for their thorough review beginning in April 2015.  With the decision to include a boutique hotel, restaurants and bars, along with the original plans for the auditorium and associated facilities, we are now ready to enter this important process.  Preliminary meetings took place in 2014 about how the full Performing Arts Center structure will complement the downtown location.  Due to the flood of 2013, we have also revisited the crucial engineering studies.  The professional reports now conclude that the building can be built safely and well within the newest, most conservative flood plain standards.  The building has been designed to span the Fall River so that the Winter Garden atrium will have a river running through it all year!

Each step we take toward the realization of the RMPAC highlights its transformational quality for the Estes Park downtown, the community-wide culture and economic strength in future years.  Each step demonstrates viability and provides encouragement to donors backing the project.  Imagine a Performing Arts Center that spans a wild river with an integrated boutique hotel, spa, and restaurants that assure the sustainability of the whole project! As we take these major steps, it becomes even more appealing by demonstrating that the RMPAC is not only viable, but an essential component of the Estes Valley.