Annual Report 2006
The 2006 calendar year marked the introduction of new programming in the Historic Area and the conclusion of the transition in facilities improvements that began in 1999. Also in 2006, the Foundation’s multiyear Campaign for Colonial Williamsburg concluded with more than $510 million raised in support of key initiatives. Gifts during the year to the Colonial Williamsburg Fund were $14 million, an increase of $600,000, or 5 percent, and total gifts received were $42 million (not including grants and pledges). The number of donors exceeded 100,000 for the fifth consecutive year.
The Foundation’s endowment market value reached a record level of $777.2 million as of December 31, 2006, which was a $65.1 million (9 percent) increase compared with the December 31, 2005, value of $712.1 million. The total annual return, net of fees, was 15 percent. Total Foundation assets grew by $152.3 million, and net assets increased by $93.9 million to $955.5 million as a result of the increase in endowment value, strong philanthropic support, and adoption of a new accounting standard for pension funds. Total debt grew by $51.8 million to fund the Williamsburg Lodge and Spa construction projects and other capital and operating needs.
Revenues from operations of $139.4 million increased by $6.6 million (5 percent), largely as a result of increased revenues in hospitality operations and from the opening of the new conference center in September 2006. Continued growth in products revenue, especially direct marketing through our catalog and website, helped to offset a decline in admissions and programs revenue. Total tickets increased by 33,000 (5 percent) to 767,000 from 734,000 in 2005.
Operating expenses totaled $237.7 million, an increase of $19.1 million (8 percent) compared with 2005. The year-over-year increase resulted in part from the reopening of the Williamsburg Lodge, the introduction of Revolutionary City programming in the Historic Area, and marketing support for these initiatives and the Jamestown 2007 commemoration. These expense increases and continued revenue pressures resulted in a 2006 operating deficit of $45.4 million, which was $7.6 million higher than 2005. Expense increases represent hospitality preopening expenses and Historic Area program development expenses in advance of the revenue streams.