Vilar Performing Arts Center History

The founders of Beaver Creek had always imagined a central theatre since it was first projected as a resort community. In February of 1998, that vision was realized. With the opening of the Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek became the first mountain resort community in the world to include its own performing arts facility presenting an annual series of diverse cultural events.

Managed by the Vail Valley Foundation, the building of the Vilar Performing Arts Center was financed by donors who are both full and part-time residents of the Vail Valley. This theatre has added yet another unique dimension to what is already one of the world's premier vacation and recreation destinations. A state-of-the-art facility, the Vilar Performing Arts Center contains a 535-seat theatre, two 2,200 square-foot lobbies and a 2,000 square-foot May Gallery Patrons Lounge.

Located in the heart of the Beaver Creek Village, directly beneath the outdoor ice skating rink, the cultural complex hosts a variety of acclaimed artistic performances that one would expect to see at Carnegie Hall in New York or the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., but might not expect to find within walking distance of ski lifts, hiking trails and golf fairways. The intimate and inviting performance space was designed to exacting specifications to create perfect acoustics and unobstructed views from every seat.

Littman's Kunstler theatre in Munich provided inspiration for the wood-paneled columns, walls and ceilings that are combined with the curved horseshoe seating layout also found in many traditional European halls. The natural wood and stone in the lobby are highlighted by carpets and fabrics woven with autumnal colors. The walls are painted in the muted tones of the sky at dusk which complete the theater's harmonious complement to the Rocky Mountain environment that surrounds it.

One of the country's leading designers for the performing and visual arts and one of Colorado's finest resort design talents collaborated on the design for the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates of Los Angeles has completed over 30 theatre buildings and 40 theatre studies throughout the world. Among its projects are Minneapolis' Orchestra Hall, Denver's Boettcher Hall and major performing arts centers in Anchorage, Alaska and Eugene, Oregon.

Pierce Segerberg and Associates, with offices in Vail and Denver, has created many renowned projects in the Vail Valley, including the Sonnenalp Hotel at Vail Village and the Chateau, Greystone and Pines developments in Beaver Creek. Through the use of natural material and a keen understanding of the climate, these buildings exude regional imagery and contribute to the area's unique identity.

Beaver Creek is at the center of a thirty-mile chain of communities stretching from East-Vail to Gypsum. The popularity of Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains as winter and summer destinations, the easy drive from Denver International Airport and the Vail/Eagle Airport located just twenty minutes away have made it possible to for such a small community to support a facility of the Vilar Center's caliber. The Vilar Center is well served by its location at the heart of Beaver Creek, it is easily accessible by car or bus and is walking distance to the village's many lodges, cafes, restaurants and retail shops.

The Vilar Center's programming ranges from jazz, blues, country and classical concerts to contemporary and ballet dance troupes, comedy, theatre and family productions. The Vilar Center also hosts a number of community productions, awards shows and fundraisers for local organizations throughout the year.

Interest in the performing and visual arts has developed along with the success of the Vail Valley as a year-round destination. Summer performances at the Ford Amphitheater and rock concerts at the Dobson Ice Arena in Vail are immensely popular, but until the construction of the Vilar Center there had not been a year-round space suitable for an enriching cultural experience by a variety of artists here in the Vail Valley.

About our Naming Patron Alberto Vilar
The venue’s naming patron, Alberto Vilar, is passionate about performing arts. He has a particular affinity for opera and ballet, as well as symphonic, classical choral and chamber music. “Culture enriches our life," says Vilar. “’What would life be without Mozart?’ as the saying goes.”