Is there a Plan B for Colonial Williamsburg?

Another irate submission to the Last Word on the number of vice presidents being the root of Colonial Williamsburg’s problems. If only it were that simple.

CW attendance has been in decline for 30 years, annual receipts have covered less than half expenses with more than $100 million annual deficit, the $650 million endowment is being steadily drawn down and CW is $300 million in debt. CW could be another Great Recession away from insolvency.

So VP compensations are trivial compared to the deficit. The real question is, does the annual contribution of each VP warrant their compensation? Another question: What has the CW Board of Directors recommended over the years to resolve the many long-standing financial problems? Since board members are not compensated, apparently CW is getting its money’s worth.

Significantly reducing the annual deficit is paramount. CW has chosen to outsource much of its hospitality activities, which will reduce costs but also reduce revenue. Hopefully, attendance will be stabilized by the renovation to the museums. Last year’s financial results with a full year of outsourcing, due out this fall, will tell the tale.

If the results are not favorable, what is plan B?

William Bryant


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