The Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District (FVMRD) board voted unanimously to extend the lease agreement for the Foundry Cinema and Bowl with the developer Mark Unicume, Unicume Colorado.

Like many businesses in Grand County, The Foundry Cinema and Bowl has been hit hard by the pandemic. The restrictions, while necessary to contain the virus, have made it difficult for FVMRD to justify its operational lease agreement and have been in negotiations with the owner to extend the original agreement.

“The ownership group has been very helpful and willing to work with us,” said Scott Ledin, Director of Parks, Recreation and Golf for the District, adding, “They would like to see us continue to operate the facility as a cinema and bowling alley.” 

The new agreement will extend the original lease agreement through 2024. The new one year extension would allow the owner to recover some of the rent abatement from the pandemic closures that took place in 2020. FVMRD will still have the option to purchase the facility at any time prior to the lease termination date.

Ledin said, “The Foundry has a lot of potential. It is in great shape and it has proven to be a profitable asset for the district.” 

The district has put together a well thought out, very conservative budget for The Foundry Cinema and Bowl for the new year.  The budget allows for below average 1st and 2nd quarter of 2021, with higher projections in the 3rd and 4th quarter nearing 100% of budget.

The movie business, however, is a question mark. Studios have delayed dozens of big releases as cinemas sit empty or show films only to limited audiences. The postponed titles include likely blockbusters that would produce revenue for the district. In addition, Disney shifted several high-profile releases to online-only, including Mulan and Soul.

Movie theater chains across America are reeling from restrictions put in place by Public Health departments trying to contain and mitigate the coronavirus. The closures and restrictions have made it very difficult for theaters, bowling alleys, bars, nightclubs and gyms to sustain a viable business model.

Moviegoers have dropped significantly since last March and the Foundry’s ticket sales have been down 75-80%, shedding light on a trend that will play out well beyond 2021. The numbers reflect an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ledin said, “The movie business may change, but the theaters have potential to serve other needs for our community.”

Cutting-edge Technology Gives Facilities Added Infection Control

NanoTechnology is playing a new role for the FVMRD facilities. Ledin said the district has invested $15,000 in a revolutionary microbial electrostatic disinfectant sprayer and chemical treatment.

The antimicrobial surface protectant forms a bond with treated surfaces creating a microbiostatic antimicrobial coating that creates a nano shield of spikes piercing the bacterial cells and rupturing the membranes. This inhibits the growth of bacteria and microorganisms. Antimicrobial surface protection then continues to inhibit the growth of bacteria and germs for up to a year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how quickly harmful germs can spread without proactive infection control. “Once a surface has been disinfected, it may not stay that way without constant maintenance sowe test the treatments effectiveness regularly,” said Ledin. “We want to do all we can to protect our members, guests and patrons throughout our facilities.” 

The FVMRD chose to add long-lasting antimicrobial surface protection products to their cleaning and disinfecting routine in all their facilities. This same treatment is being used by the airline industry, hospitals and other high traffic facilities to help fight the transmission of viruses and other germs.  “We want to do everything we can to maintain the cleanliness of our facilities,“ said Ledin. The district has used the microbial treatment on all high contact, high traffic surfaces in the Foundry Cinema and Bowl, the Grand Park Community Rec Center, the Icebox Rink and the clubhouse and restaurant at Pole Creek Golf Club.