Last week, the team behind Cervantes' Masterpiece Ballroom took over operations of the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins. The group has big plans for the future of the iconic venue. We talked to Scott Morrill, co-owner of Cervantes', about what northern Colorado music fans can expect. The space will be renovated from top to bottom, and the new proprietors have plans to ramp up the quality of the concerts themselves.
Lindsey Bartlett: Are you excited to be taking on a new venue yet again?
Scott Morrill: Yes, definitely
What, exactly, will you be renovating?
Well...there’s not much that doesn’t need changing. It's literally everything, from top to bottom. [We're] keeping the staff the same for now — we have a really good staff there. We're definitely getting a new sound system, we will be redoing the bar, repainting the place, repainting the bathrooms, putting up some art installations. We want to redo the green room. Then there are some plans for other major renovations down the road, but I'm not able to talk about that quite yet.
Is the historic standing of the building a factor in getting these larger renovations approved?
I don’t think it’ll be that big of an issue to get it approved; it’s just a matter of time. We need to get signatures and stuff from neighbors. Eventually, we were talking about doing a big balcony.
Is new technology a part of the renovation?
Yeah, absolutely. Behind the bar, they have one old-school cash register. The front door doesn’t have a credit-card machine; you have to walk back to the bar. That’s why I’m saying it needs something from top to bottom. It's like going back in time when you walk in there. The security was doing both box-office tickets and security at the front, which we would separate, to make it easier on the staff.
What will change or stay the same with the musical acts the Aggie is booking?
We're going to do a bunch of shows where we do one at Cervantes' and one at the Aggie. We're definitely going to try to bring in some bigger names, for sure. We will try to go big and give that town what it wants by fixing the place up [and] adding a new sound system and new green room, which in turn makes the artists happy.
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What does the timeline look like on this massive undertaking?
We're going to try to get some minor things done before September 11 for our grand reopening show with Head for the Hills. The rest of the stuff will be happening over the course of the next year.
You have another big venture coming up, the first-ever Halloween show at Red Rocks with AEG. Are you excited? What was the process like in getting that show to come to fruition?
Yeah, we’ve actually been talking about it for a long time now. We had the idea for it a couple years ago, and we just finally found the right act and it came together. Halloween at Red Rocks on a Saturday night — it doesn't get any better than that. We'd like to continue it as a tradition if it goes well.