Great News for Our Ignite Community
Greetings Fellow Ignite Volunteers, our Ignite Family and Friends;
We find ourselves in a situation that was unimaginable only a couple of months ago. What was shaping up to be another banner year for our program, ended with a dramatic closure. Since then, the world has been enveloped in a pandemic and we are all socially distanced. The news is generally depressing.
It is my pleasure to provide a little good news today. As most of you know, Carol and your Board of Directors have been working with Eldora and Eldora’s parent company Powdr to secure a permanent home for Ignite. Many of us remember Eldora’s previous owner. Let me tell you how different things are today.
As the world grapples with today’s unknowns, as our economy struggles and the ski industry deals with the loss of revenue from March and April as well as its summer season, Powdr has reconfirmed its commitment to Ignite and the community that we serve.
It is with great pleasure that I share with you that Powdr and Ignite have entered into a 50-year agreement with multiple 20-year extensions that will ensure Ignite’s long term future at Eldora. The terms of the agreement are extremely generous for our program and include a substantial investment in a new building to replace our current (and well-worn a.k.a. loved) World Headquarters.
Four years ago, we approached Eldora about building a new home for Ignite. Originally, it was envisioned that Ignite would need to raise over $5 million. With this new agreement, Powdr has agreed to commit to a substantial component of the new building cost; reducing Ignite’s capital raise goal to $1.9 million. We are already almost half way to accomplishing that goal.
Unfortunately, with the pandemic, everything is a bit more complicated. We have been laser-focused on breaking ground on the new building this summer. However, as part of the response to the pandemic, Boulder County has shut down or cut back many of its activities, including the work of the building department. Even in the best-case scenario, it is currently anticipated that we will not have a building permit before mid to late August.
Our location at the base of Eldora means that as the snow melts, our site becomes too wet to create a foundation. Furthermore, as Eldora prepares for next winter, they cannot have construction underway beyond October as they prepare snowmaking and other infrastructure for the coming season. With the late season snow, coupled with the uncertainty of the building permit from the County, it makes sense to defer ground breaking to the summer of 2021.
Beyond that, Powdr, like all companies these days, is being exceptionally responsible with its finances. It is committed to building our home in an economical manner. As we worked through the timeline, it has become evident that the window this summer is too small to make appropriate progress this year.
We are now shifting our focus to breaking ground in the summer of 2021. Before that, Ignite must raise $1.9 million. We are well on our way, but this is no small feat. It is more money than Ignite has raised in its entire 45-year history. We will need everyone’s involvement in this goal; albeit not immediately as we know our friends, neighbors, community and country are dealing with the pandemic and its effects.
We have this year to execute both our fundraising and the initial stages of our construction plans. I look forward to working with you all and the generous folks at Eldora and Powdr to create a state-of-the-art facility for Ignite Adaptive Sports. In the meantime, we can all celebrate our new, long term Eldora partnership.
As I watch the snow melt up in the mountains, I am thinking about Ignite and each of you. Thank you for your dedication to Ignite and our students. I wish you and your families continued health and happiness. Please stay safe during this uncertain time.
Thomas V. Kissinger