Students from four local colleges presented their ideas for generating a profit at Venetucci Farm, which was forced out of business in 2016 after toxic PFAS chemicals contaminated its water supply.
After spending about a year researching possible solutions, students recommended that the farm’s current owner, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, use it as an event venue, distillery and fall festival site.
Establishing the farm as a venue for weddings and other events would require an initial investment of $1.35 million and generate an annual revenue of $440,000, the students found.
The distillery would require a $580,000 initial investment and generate $700,000 a year. The fall festival would create about $34,000 in profit each year, they found.
The project was undertaken by the Quad Innovation Partnership — a collaboration between the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College and the Air Force Academy.
It’s now up to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation to decide whether to implement any of the students’ recommendations. CEO Gary Butterworth says the foundation’s board of directors is reviewing the students’ report.