Chelan County is awarding more than $328,000 in lodging tax dollars to a variety of tourist related organizations. 

The awards come at the recommendation of the Chelan County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee which reviewed this year’s applications and interviewed some of the finalists. 

County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says the money comes from hotels and motels. 

"These are tax dollars that are generated by local lodging establishments," said FitzSimmons. "When visitors come to stay overnight, they pay that lodging tax to the county, unincorporated Chelan County." 

Twenty-two groups or nonprofit agencies will receive a portion of the money awarded, which will be used on festivals, museum exhibits and a youth baseball tournament, among other things. 

Overall, the county received 30 applications for grants. 

Meanwhile, about half the money generated from the tax in a year is sent to six local chambers as well as Ohme Gardens, the Cascade Loop and TREAD. 

Another portion is used to operate the county’s Visit Chelan County campaign. 

FitzSimmons says the county will hand out more grants this spring to cities or organizations such as the Chelan Douglas Port Authority for use on tourism related capital projects. 

 "A capital project would be something, like maybe expanding an expo center, or you can even build a parking lot with it," FitzSimmons said. "It's infrastructure that is going to support tourism." 

The county will start taking applications for tourism-related capital projects this spring on the county website at a future date. 

The recipients to first round of grants are listed below. 

  • Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival ($15,000)
  • Buckner Homestead ($2,700)
  • Cashmere Chamber marketing plan ($4,800)
  • Cashmere Museum ($7,400)
  • Chelan County Expo Center ($20,000)
  • Chelan Rustlers rodeo ($25,000)
  • Icicle Creek Center for the Arts ($15,000)
  • Lake Chelan Arts Council ($5,500)
  • Lake Chelan Wine and Jazz ($33,000)
  • Lake Chelan Wine Alliance ($30,000)
  • Leavenworth Summer Theater ($15,000)
  • Leavenworth Village Voices ($8,000)
  • Manson Chamber pickleball tournament ($15,000)
  • Ohme Gardens ($30,000)
  • Stehekin Heritage guidebook ($3,500)
  • Upper Valley Historical Society ($17,500)
  • Wenatchee Arts Alliance ($11,000)
  • Wenatchee Chamber Rails and Ailes ($5,000)
  • Wenatchee Chamber La Terreza ($10,000)
  • Wenatchee River Bluegrass Festival ($15,000)
  • Wenatchee Valley Museum ($25,200)
  • Wenatchee Youth Baseball tournament ($15,000)

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