City of Wenatchee Tourism Funding Opportunities Now Available:
The City of Wenatchee has two City Advisory Boards who manage funding that is designed to augment tourism to the City of Wenatchee. Each of these funding sources provides opportunities for community grants. Following is a description of each funding source, potential funding uses, funding requirements and approximate time of grant round. The chart below shows expected 2016 collections, however, each board determines amounts available for funding based on budget commitments.
The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and Wenatchee Hotel-Motel Tax:
The City of Wenatchee is authorized to collect a 6% excise tax on lodging (hotel-motel tax). These taxes were implemented over a period of years, from 1974 to 1997. The City’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), who manages the use of the lodging taxes, designed an annual application process in order to provide recommendations to the Wenatchee City Council for uses of these funds. During the 2013-2014 legislative session, the Legislature passed HB 1253 that clarifies the process for the use of lodging tax funds, the purposes for which the funds can be used and reporting standards for the use of the funds. HB 1253 requires that all recommended uses of hotel-motel tax funds (based on the application process) be included on a list to be provided to the City Council by the LTAC.
Lodging Tax Award Requirements:
Lodging Taxes can be used for tourism promotion and event marketing, operation of special events and festivals to attract tourists, operation of a tourism promotion agency, operation of a tourism related facility owned or operated by a non-profit or operation/capital costs of a tourism related facility owned by a municipality.
Lodging Tax awards will have annual reporting requirements that require contractors to provide data on actual event attendance, the number of people who traveled to the event, the number of people who traveled further than 50 miles away and the number of people staying overnight. Contractors must enter into a contract with the City for the use of the funds and provide liability insurance naming the City as additional insured for the duration of the contract. Contractors are subject to audit for the use of the funds. The City of Wenatchee reimburses actual costs incurred based on invoices after a service is rendered. Awards must be used within the calendar year.
LTAC Application Timing:
The Wenatchee Tourism Promotion Area Advisory Committee and the Tourism Promotion Assessment:
In 2006, Wenatchee hoteliers came together to ask the City of Wenatchee to form a Tourism Promotion Area, which provides a $1 per room night assessment on Wenatchee hotels with over 40 rooms. In 2015, the fund is budgeted to produce $200,000 annually. The fund was established to provide additional funding to augment advertising and marketing to bring tourists to Wenatchee. The fund is managed by the Tourism Promotion Area Advisory Committee. Currently, the TPA is working with the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce to utilize funds to augment the regional tourism promotion effort, however, in each budget year, the TPA committee sets aside a portion of funding to encourage new events or activities that may bring tourists to Wenatchee.
Tourism Promotion Area Community Fund requirements:
The TPA accepts requests for expenditures designed to increase tourism and promote travel and events/convention business including but not limited to out of the area advertising, publicity, the operation of a tourism destination marketing organization or information distribution for the purpose of attracting or welcoming tourists to the Wenatchee area and generating hotel stays. Successful applicants will complete a letter of agreement with the TPA/City and funding is provided on a reimbursement basis. Recipients will be required to provide a wrap up report and samples of materials created to the TPA upon project completion. In addition, recognition must be provided for use of the TPA funds on print materials.
TPA Application Timing:
The Tourism Promotion Area will hold one funding round in 2015. Applications will be DUE MONDAY, NOVEMBER, 2, 2015.
Applications will be reviewed at the regular TPA meeting following the funding round.
*In 2015, the TPA has been open to funding outside of the application round for emerging needs and applicants are asked to inquire about that possibility with City Staff.
For more information, contact Allison Williams (509)888-3616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org