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Vilar Performing Arts Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Facility upgrades promise to positively impact group experiences

By Beth Buehler

Vilar Performing Arts Center Theater, Beaver Creek, Colorado
A view of the VPAC theater from the balcony || Photo by Teri Fotheringham

When Vilar Performing Arts Center opened in February 1998, Beaver Creek became the first mountain resort community in the world with its own performing arts facility. Today, Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with notable upgrades and exciting programming that are sure to impress groups.

Over the past two decades, VPAC quickly became known for its intimate size and ability to attract both major talent and up-and-coming songwriters and performers. None of the 530 theater seats are more than 80 feet from the stage, with Yo-Yo Ma, Robin Williams, Ringo Star, Peter Frampton, and BB King among the many legends who have performed within its walls.

What makes VPAC truly unique is the fact that it is located three stories underground beneath Beaver Creek Village’s Black Family Ice Rink. When architect Gordon Pierce first presented his idea of building the venue in the side of a mountain and under a pre-existing village only steps from the ski slopes, people thought he was slightly crazy. Thankfully, the concept worked.

Upgrades & Fall Lineup

Courtesy of recent improvements, VPAC guests can now enjoy their own custom immersive sound due to a $500,000 investment that concluded in late 2022. In addition to the new sensory experience from each theater seat, a glass chandelier created by artist Dale Chihuly has been installed and new acoustic banners will be added this fall to enhance sound and add to the theatre’s contemporary look.

In tandem with Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) celebrating its 25th anniversary, the facility featured 23 shows as part of a summer lineup and will soon transition to a fall series known as Underground Sound, which showcases under-the-radar songwriters and musical groups. Entering its 13th season, Underground Sound also is intended to provide outstanding off-season entertainment in the Vail Valley at an affordable price. Meeting and event planners also should check out the performances already announced for the winter season as well to consider schedule a gathering in tandem with VPAC happenings.

Venue Rentals

Operated by the Vail Valley Foundation, VPAC has hosted touring Broadway productions, rock concerts, opera, family-oriented performances, and dance productions as well as corporate meetings, incentive groups, wedding receptions, private parties, religious gatherings, and more. The space available for rent also is ideal for movie screenings, lectures, product launches, fundraisers, awards ceremonies, and more.

Vilar Performing Arts Center Lobby, Beaver Creek, Colorado
One of two lobbies at VPAC || Photo by Teri Fotheringham

For a unique twist, use the theater stage for a reception or a private dinner with up to 150 seated. The upper and lower lobbies a maximum of 120 each and have been used for receptions, vendor booths, conference check-in, culinary events, and additional performance space. Both lobbies are included in rental of the theater space.

Vilar Performing Arts Center May Gallery Patrons Lounge, Beaver Creek Colorado
May Gallery Patrons Lounge || Photo by Teri Fotheringham

The stylish May Gallery Lounge has been completely remodeled with upgraded audiovisual capabilities and has a max capacity of 120 standing and 60 seated for dinner at round tables.