Ponderosa Center FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About McCall’s Ponderosa Center:

What is the Ponderosa Center?

The Ponderosa Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a vision to become a community hub for learning and enrichment, bringing music, the arts, and educational opportunities to the West Central Mountains.

The ultimate vision is to create a multi-functional facility to serve the McCall area, but supporters of the Center aren’t waiting for the full facility to be built to start delivering on its mission.

While fundraising continues for the Center itself, the Center’s outdoor Ludwig Terrace is already hosting a variety of events that fit the organization’s long-term mission. This 9,000 square foot open air space in the heart of McCall offers sweeping views of Payette Lake and surrounding mountains. It includes an 800 square foot stage, clean, portable restrooms and power access. The venue hosts a free summer concert series, Tuesdays on the Terrace, along with other multi-day music festivals and special presentations. You can view upcoming events at Ludwig Terrace here.

Once the full vision is realized, the Ponderosa Center will be:

A place to LEARN…

A place to EXPERIENCE…

A place to SHARE…

A place to GET INSPIRED…

A place to GATHER…

A place to CELEBRATE…

But what does that mean? The Ponderosa Center has been designed to host everything from early-childhood education opportunities and college-level educational courses to performing arts events. The versatile space can seat up to 300 people for celebratory events like high school graduation ceremonies or can be re-arranged to host conferences, lecture series, or community events. The building was designed with flexibility in mind, to make sure it will serve the evolving needs of a rapidly growing community.

Where Is the Ponderosa Center located?

The Ponderosa Center will be built at the same lakefront site where the Ludwig Terrace is currently located, right in the heart of McCall, where Railroad Avenue meets Pine Street and East Lake Street, (just to the east of Hotel McCall and the Salmon River Brewery). This puts the center close to pathways and parks, dining, and shops, and gives its patrons a stunning view of the showpiece of McCall, Payette Lake.


How is the Ponderosa Center different from a traditional Performing Arts Center?

The Ponderosa Center will have many of the same features of a traditional Performing Arts Center but can serve other key needs in the community. The stage will be appropriately sized and can be scaled to accommodate soloists, recitals, or a symphony orchestra. It will feature high performance audio and technical operations and has back of the house support spaces for storage, dressing rooms and commercial kitchen operations. It will also have an indoor/outdoor lakeside performance terrace. In addition to those amenities, the Ponderosa Center’s flexible design will allow it to be used for conventions, classes and community events. It will also be home to the McCall Ski Heritage Foundation’s museum, which pays homage to the long history of snowsports and world-class athletes in the West Central Mountains.

How will the Ponderosa Center benefit locals?

The Ponderosa Center will bring vast benefits to the people of the West Central Mountains by opening up opportunities for performing arts to hold a regular, year-round place in our community. Concert events that can now only be held in outdoor venues during the summer season can be supplemented by indoor musical events year-round. McCall can now host speakers or seminars that appeal to large groups of people. The Ponderosa Center is exploring partnerships that could bring college-level courses here so young adults can pursue higher education without moving out of town. McCall will have a venue large enough to host proms and graduation ceremonies as well as community concerts, arts events and film festivals. A recent survey of residents, businesses, community leaders and non-profits shows 97% of respondents support and validate the priorities of the building and organization.

When will the Ponderosa Center be built?

Though momentum has never been stronger for the Ponderosa Center project, the exact timeline depends on a few factors:

  1. Finalizing purchase of the land that has been reserved for the facility
  2. Raising funds to cover construction costs and the first five years of the center’s sustainability plan.

Who is Paying for the Ponderosa Center? And How Much Will it Cost?

While this is a significant project for the West Central Mountains, the $25 million budget is not extravagant for a project of this size and scope. The Ponderosa Center has already secured nearly $2 million in private donations. These come from individuals in our community, from charitable foundations and from private businesses that are committed to seeing the Ponderosa Center vision come to life. No tax dollars will be used to fund the building of the Ponderosa Center.

Where Can I Learn More?

The Vision

Priorities: Arts, Education, Community  

Upcoming Events 

Venue Rental Info (Currently renting the outdoor Ludwig Terrace)


If you are interested in knowing more, pledging your support or naming opportunities, our Capital Campaign would love to hear from you! Learn more about the Ponderosa Center Capital Campaign here or Contact Us with any other questions.