Annual Report 2005
Balance Sheet Strengthened
Revenue pressures continued in 2005, but endowment performance and gifts to endowment strengthened Colonial Williamsburg's balance sheet. Total assets grew $73 million, and net assets grew $11 million to $862 million.
The endowment return was 8.3 percent, almost 70 percent better than the Standard and Poor's 500 equity-index return. The endowment's December 31 market value was $712.1 million.
The Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg reached $471 million. Gifts to the annual Colonial Williamsburg Fund were $13.4 million, a $1 million increase over 2004; it was the fourth consecutive year of participation by more than 100,000 donors.
Operating results reflected the impact of both the last phase of hospitality renovation projects and leisure-market competition. The Williamsburg Lodge closed in January for conference center demolition and main building renovation. Compared with 2004, operating revenues from ticket sales, hospitality businesses, products, and commercial real estate declined $6.2 million, or 4 percent, to $132.8 million largely because of the Lodge's closure. Total tickets increased over 2004 by about 1 percent, to 734,000 from 729,000. Continued growth in the products business, especially catalog, licensing, and e-commerce, partially offset the overall revenue decrease. Total debt grew by $57 million to fund Lodge construction and other capital needs.
Operating expenses totaled $218.6 million, up $2 million or 1 percent, from 2004. Compensation expenses dropped 3 percent, but higher interest expense and advertising and promotional expense increases partially offset the reduction. These pressures generated a $37.8 million operating deficit, $8.8 million higher than in 2004.