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Cantrell courts local non-profits

by Brian Orr

CUCHARA- Bruce Cantrell, who is spearheading the rebirth of the Cuchara Mountain Resort, is talking to county non-profit groups, for both practical and philanthropic reasons.

    Cantrell is attempting to create the Cuchara Valley Recreation District as the overall organization that would oversee the Cuchara Mountain Resort, and as a District, it would need to be a non-profit entity.  This status is necessary for some types of fund-raising, but the application process with the Internal Revenue Service can take months.

    The CMR can in the meantime, become a ‘pass-through’ under an already established 501(c)(3) non-profit group, until his own 501(c)(3) is approved. This would allow him to fund raise immediately.

    There are several non-profits in the county that Cantrell has been talking to about joining, with varying degrees of acceptance.

    The largest one he is talking to is the Spanish Peaks Alliance for Arts and Education (which includes the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival) while their own 501(c)(3) is processed.

    Cantrell is dangling the lure of financial backing to the Alliance and the Celtic Music Festival in order to fast-track his acceptance as a program within the Alliance.  While money is always welcome to non-profits, there are some questions that need to be answered, particularly from the IRS, as well as who will do what, and be answerable to whom before the various boards can vote whether or not to accept Cantrell’s offer. 

    There is also the question of what would Cantrell do when his own non-profit status is approved.  Would he remain as a “pass-through” with the Alliance, or would he move out of the nest by 2012, possibly taking his funding with him.

   Before the SPACe Board of Directors could vote their approval, Bruce Cantrell withdrew his offer to SPACe to finish the fundraising campaign and fund a stage in the park in exchange for using its 501 C3 status while waiting to receive the Federal designation.