Museum Membership Approves New Event Venue at WMMI

As you all know, the museum cancelled its contract with Haunted Mines in December 2016. As a result, Haunted Mines has until December 31, 2017, to remove all of its physical plant and possessions from museum property. After much thought and discussion, the Board of Trustees presented their plan to replace the revenue from Haunted Mines at the annual Members’ Meeting on November 2.

The current Haunted Mines space will be replaced with a 10,000-square-foot steel building that contains a catering kitchen. The north and west faces of the building will have facades that depict typical mining town buildings, such as a blacksmith shop, assay office, and saloon. We’re seeking corporate sponsors for these facades. The board will raise money and use some of the CDOT land purchase of 4.5 acres at our storage facility (for the Powers Boulevard extension) to fund this new structure. The event center will be used for museum events, rented for outside events, weddings, reunions, and maybe even a farmers’ market. Museum-sponsored STEM classes and related events will now be possible. This new building will provide a steady stream of income for the museum, which in turn will allow the museum to fulfill its expansion plans in the near future. WMMI now has a definite path forward to maintaining its reputation as the leading mining museum in the western United States.

We’ve met with CDOT representatives and the process for CDOT to purchase the acres it needs has just started. If all goes according to schedule, the museum should receive a check in early summer 2018. In the meantime, corporate sponsorship funds, with other fundraising and perhaps some grants, will allow the museum to start construction of this new events center.

Our events center plan has met with enthusiasm from folks all over northern El Paso County. The Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the project and will help promote the center as we progress. Because most income that will be generated from this new venue is not directly related to the museum’s mission, we will form a Friends of WMMI to manage the new facility.

Stay tuned to future newsletters and e-mails for more information as this exciting project gains steam. If you’d like to assist us in any way, please contact museum director Rick Sauers at rsauers@wmmi.org. Rick will also supply you with more details on this project if you’d like to see them. Thanks in advance for your continued support of “the museum that works.”