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January 26, 2007

CW gains in ticket sales, donor support

For the second consecutive year, Colonial Williamsburg’s ticket sales increased over the prior year. Colonial Williamsburg recorded 745,000 paid admissions and 767,000 total admissions, including complimentary tickets. This is a five percent increase representing the largest percentage gain since the late 1980s. There were 710,500 paid admissions and 733,500 total admissions in 2005.

The Foundation’s multi-year Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg surpassed the goal of $500 million in gifts, grants and pledges, totaling more than $510 million raised in support of preservation in the Historic Area, new and expanded educational programs, and endowment for key positions. This was the first comprehensive fund-raising campaign undertaken by the Foundation. Endowment market value increased by 8.5% to more than $774 million.

Individual donors in 2006 surpassed the 100,000 mark for the fifth consecutive year, setting a new record of more than 115,000 donors. The Colonial Williamsburg Fund total exceeded $14 million, more than 5% over 2005 results. Commitments provided funds for numerous priorities including the Revolutionary City program, the coach and livestock program, museum exhibitions and collections acquisitions, and historical research.

“We are most grateful for new and continuing donor support which is crucial to achievement of the Foundation’s mission,” said Foundation President and Chairman Colin G. Campbell. “Our donors affirmed their commitment to an intensified educational outreach program of electronic field trips and teacher seminars. Support for the Foundation’s Education for Citizenship emphasis both on and off site also drew strong support.”

Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City program introduced last spring was an important factor in the improved results. “Our major new educational initiative, the Revolutionary City program, was launched to wide acclaim,” said Campbell. “The popularity and success of this program underscore Colonial Williamsburg’s role and relevance as well as our focus on education for citizenship. In addition, the encouraging attendance increase and donor support reflect the impact of the many initiatives of the past six years which have come to fruition.”

Those initiatives include reconstruction of the expanded Peyton Randolph urban plantation site, construction of the College Corner Building in Merchants Square, re-opening of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, creation of a Regional Welcome Center for America’s 400th Anniversary in 2007, extensive renovation of the world-renowned Williamsburg Inn, introduction of the 300-room Woodlands Hotel & Suites and the renovation, restoration and construction of the Williamsburg Lodge and conference center. The Lodge project caps more than $220 million in facilities improvements.

Campbell added, “In 2007 we will continue to improve the Revolutionary City and expand the range of stories presented in the Historic Area. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum opens in February in its new home at the DeWitt Wallace site bringing together for the first time our outstanding collection as the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg will open soon providing what has become an essential amenity for hotel guests and conferees.”

“2007 promises to be a truly momentous year with the commemoration of America’s 400th anniversary. We anticipate national and international attention with the return visit in May of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II fifty years after her participation in the 1957 Jamestown celebration. America’s Anniversary Weekend May 11-13 and the World Forum on the Future of Democracy in September promise to be significant events drawing participants and guests from around the globe.”

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265