WILLIAMSBURG — As described in its Annual Report released Tuesday, Colonial Williamsburg's financial situation improved marginally in 2013.
The report shows increases in revenues and expenses and a net operating loss of $34 million, down from $37 million in 2012.
Expenses in 2013 were up $1 million to $215 million. Revenues were up $4 million to $181 million. The increase in the foundation's withdrawal from its endowment for operations was $2 million.
According to president Colin Campbell's report, ticket revenues increased by 2 percent, largely the result of selling more multi-day tickets.
Paid attendance in 2013 was approximately 651,000, less than half of 1 percent below 2013 attendance, according to an earlier report released in January.
"A several-year trend of declining visits in our peak summer season was reversed, a most gratifying and encouraging development," Campbell wrote.
Gift commitments were up by 18 percent to $75.2 million. More than 113,000 donors representing all 50 states contributed, with 16 percent hailing from Virginia. That's the largest number of donors since 2007.
Nearly 20,000 new annual fund donors gave to Colonial Williamsburg in 2013, a 9 percent increase over the previous year. Gifts to the Colonial Williamsburg Fund, which supports operations, totaled a record $15 million.
Realized bequests and life income gifts totaled $4.7 million in 2013.
"We are particularly grateful for the distribution from the charitable remainder trust of the late Kathryn and Royce Baker, who were Raleigh Tavern Society and President's Council members and remarkably engaged friends during their lifetimes," said Kenneth M. Wolfe, director of planned giving programs.
The market value of Colonial Williamsburg's endowment was $784 million at year's end, up by $49 million over the 2012 year-end value. The endowment investment return was 16.3 percent for the 12 months ended Dec. 31, which compares favorably with the performance of other endowed institutions. Net assets increased by $97 million, ending the year at $907 million after starting the year at $810 million.
That's still down from the foundation's peak when its assets totaled more than $1 billion.
Attendance at the Arts Museums of Colonial Williamsburg increased nearly 5 percent, to 208,000. That's an area where the foundation hopes to see future growth.
Campbell also touted improvements to the Historic Area, both current and in the works. Forest Mars Jr.'s financing of the new James Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury and the tin shop was included in that project. Mars is also funding the new Market House and Marketplace, on which Colonial Williamsburg will break ground this summer.
The foundation is also building a new outdoor theater behind Charlton's Coffeehouse.
Campbell also mentioned continuing changes to Colonial Williamsburg's interactive street theater, "The Revolutionary City," and its scavenger hunt game, "RevQuest," which attracted 43,000 players in 2013.
The annual report is an overview of the foundation's operations. It also files a federal Form 990, for the non-profit side of its operation, and the foundation's for-profit subsidiaries report their financial results to the Internal Revenue Service on corporate income tax returns.