ST. GEORGE – The Tuacahn Gift Gallery is open in the Promenade at Red Cliffs, offering a central location for the art center’s gift shop as well as a full-service box office.
The new gift shop opened Dec. 15 at 245 Red Cliffs Drive in St. George, manager Chris Graham said. It is a temporary location opened because the old gift shop at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins is being torn down to make way for a new, larger gift shop.
If the store does well, it may stay open indefinitely, Graham said. For now, the location is operating with a one-year lease and will be open through Christmas 2016.
“Actually, if enough people are happy to have us here, closer than Ivins,” Graham said, “by them coming into the store and supporting us and buying tickets here, then we may renew our (lease) contract.”
Having a box office closer to the center of the area’s population is an advantage that Graham said he believes people will like.
“Everyone that’s come in to buy tickets here has been so excited that they can just come in on a lunch hour or something,” Graham said, “and grab tickets and go.”
The new gift shop under construction at Tuacahn will be much larger, Graham said, and will have a child care center and possibly a cafe; the lower level will have dance studios and practice rooms for high school students.
“After years of wishing and dreaming, we’ve had donors that have helped us out and we’re going to be doing a wonderful, huge new gift gallery,” Graham said.
“It’s going to be quite a wonderful facility, quite a great addition to Tuacahn.”
The new gift shop at Tuacahn is part of a multi-million dollar expansion and upgrade project which is being funded by both private donors and part of the Recreation, Arts and Parks tax which passed in the 2014 general election.
After being in use for 20 years, the theater’s needs were getting critical, Ivins Mayor Chris Hart said in an earlier interview — the seating, parking lot, roofing and mechanical systems were wearing out, and sound and lighting systems needed to be updated with current technology.
Most people don’t realize that the nonprofit Tuacahn Center for the Arts is a major economic driver in Southern Utah, Graham said, bringing $85 million in economic benefits to Washington County – second only to Zion National Park.
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