Chelan County To Award Money For Projects Promoting Tourism
Chelan County is now taking applications from cities and groups connected to the county for projects that would benefit tourism in the area by helping to attract overnight visitors.
Lodging tax dollars will be used to finance the projects.
Chelan County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says the money can be used on a wide range of improvements and construction projects.
"Everything like stages, sidewalks, building improvements, additions to a public building that would be used for tourism, even parking lots are eligible for this type of money," said FitzSimmons.
The Chelan County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, also known as LTAC, will award the money for the projects.
FitzSimmons says the selection process will take place over the next several months.
"The LTAC Committee will be looking at all the applications in April, and I would expect that they would have awards made, certainly by early summer," FitzSimons said.
The funding available for the projects is $560,000.
The current application period is specifically for capital expenditures of tourism-related facilities owned or operated by a municipality.
Lodging tax dollars are generated by local lodging establishments.
In Chelan County, about half the money generated in a year is given to six local chambers as well as the Cascade Loop, Ohme Gardens and TREAD.
Another portion is used to operate the county’s Visit Chelan County campaign.
The remaining money is offered annually in the form of grants to tourist-related organizations.
In December, commissioners approved the awarding of $328,600 in lodging tax dollars to 22 tourist-related organizations for marketing efforts.
Among those groups were the Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival, the Upper Valley Historical Society and the Manson Chamber pickleball tournament.