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July 3, 2003

Record Gifts, Financial Pressures, Guest Experience Enhancements, Highlighted in Colonial Williamsburg's 2002 Annual Report

Colonial Williamsburg’s recently released 2002 Annual Report, published as an insert in the summer issue of Colonial Williamsburg, the foundation’s quarterly magazine, details program and fund-raising highlights as well as financial results for the year ended Dec. 31, 2002.

Making a strong statement in support of Colonial Williamsburg’s educational mission, the number of annual donors in 2002 surpassed the 100,000 mark for the first time. The Colonial Williamsburg Fund, a core component of the institution’s fund-raising efforts, set two new records as the number of donors climbed to almost 103,000 and annual donations rose to $11.6 million. Colonial Williamsburg ended the year with a near-record total for gifts and grants of $46 million. By year’s end, the Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg, the Foundation’s comprehensive multi-year, fund-raising effort, reached $300 million, 60 percent of the $500 million goal.

In 2002, the Foundation budgeted an operating deficit of $27.1 million, reflecting pressures on ticket sales and hotel occupancy resulting from the slowing economy and travel concerns, increased expenses relating to new buildings, improvements in compensation and planned increases in staffing. The actual deficit for the year was $35.5 million.

Although the Foundation was able to achieve almost $9 million in expense savings, operating revenues were almost $17 million less than budget, including ticket sales that produced a revenue shortfall of $5.4 million. Lower visitation also impacted both hotel occupancy and retail sales. Foundation-wide revenues were close to budget during the first half of 2002. Immediately after the Fourth of July holiday, however, visitation and occupancy levels declined significantly. Economic pressures, unusually high summer temperatures in Virginia and other states in the East, and the sniper attacks in the metropolitan Washington area all contributed to the decline.

The value of the endowment at year-end was $568.3 million, a decline of $105.5 million for the year. The change in value included withdrawals to support operations of approximately $53 million, gifts to the endowment of approximately $11 million, and realized and unrealized losses of approximately $63.5 million, resulting from the broad-based decline in common stock valuations during the year. In calendar year 2003, the market value of the endowment has increased to $577 million as a result of market appreciation of approximately $42 million, offset by a net withdrawal of approximately $33 million to support operations.

“We deeply appreciate the continuing generous support of our donors. Their gifts affirm the importance of Colonial Williamsburg’s mission and the Foundation’s relevance in America today,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg. “Still, the pressures we faced in 2002 were considerable and the level of deficit clearly is unacceptable. Our goal is to reach a balanced budget in 2006 and we have made progress in 2003 toward that objective.” Campbell noted that through April of this year, Colonial Williamsburg had been able to identify operating expense reductions of almost $7 million for calendar year 2003.

Other 2002 activities highlighted in the Foundation’s Annual Report include the conclusion of Colonial Williamsburg’s 75th anniversary and a significant enhancement of the guest experience with the completion of the new footbridge and walkway from the Visitor Center into the Historic Area.

A familiar Colonial Williamsburg icon, “Williamsburg – The Story Of A Patriot,” the 35-minute film that introduces guests to the issues that faced Virginians on the eve of the American Revolution, entertained its 30-millionth viewer in 2002. First shown in April 1957, the film currently is undergoing digital restoration and preservation while continuing to play in the Visitor Center theaters.

Historic trades carpenters raised another building – a storehouse – at the Peyton Randolph House, home to the first president of the Continental Congress, and more than 125 acres were formally added to the Historic Area by the Foundation and the City of Williamsburg to bring the total acreage to 301, thereby providing added protection against future development.

In the Historic Area, guests in 2002 stepped back in time to 1774 to experience a country, and a community, on the eve of the American Revolution. New interactive and seasonal educational programs explored the social, political and family life of Virginia’s 18th-century capital, including “About Town,” a walking tour led by People of the Past; “Talk of the Town,” where guests experienced unexpected encounters with 18th-century residents of the town through character portrayals; and “Among the Dipping Gourds,” a multi-day series exploring aspects of Williamsburg’s 18th-century African-American experience – both free and enslaved.

Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of John D. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Jr., re-opened following more than a year of painstaking restoration and research. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum premiered “The Language of Clothing,” an extraordinary display of Colonial Williamsburg’s 18th- and 19th-century clothing collection.

The Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute completed its 14th year of sharing the principles and techniques of inspired history education with teachers from around the country. By year-end, a total of nearly 3,000 teachers from 43 states and three foreign countries had completed the program since its inception. Of that number, more than 1,000 teachers hail from California, America’s most populous state.

The Foundation’s 2002 business highlights included the opening of HUZZAH!, a new family-style restaurant adjacent to the new Woodlands Hotel & Suites, the re-opening of the former Cascades Restaurant and Conference Center as the Woodlands Conference Center, and groundbreaking for the newest addition to the Merchants Square shopping district. The College Corner Building will add 35,000 square feet of retail and office space when complete in late 2003.

Colonial Williamsburg continued to strengthen its management team in 2002 with the addition of two new foundation officers -- Laura Loda as vice president of human resources and James Easton as vice president of products. Foundation executives and staff undertook an ambitious strategic planning exercise throughout 2002 to accomplish the objective of ensuring forever the foundation’s ability to achieve its mission of helping the future learn from the past.

Trustee Jim Lehrer, executive editor and anchor of PBS’s “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” retired from the foundation’s board of trustees after 13 years of service. Four new trustees joined the board during 2002: Antoinette (Toni) Cook Bush, executive vice president of Northpoint Technology, Ltd.; Pamela P. Flaherty, senior vice president for global community relations at Citigroup; Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent with NBC News; and Edmond D. Villani, vice chairman of Deutsche Asset Management.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that operates the restored 18th-century capital of Virginia.

Media Contact:
Tim Andrews
(757) 220-7265



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