Thursday, April 18, 2024

11 agencies awarded lodging tax grants for capital projects

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WENATCHEE - Chelan County commissioners awarded $776,436 in lodging tax dollars to a variety of local agencies that will use the money for capital projects that support tourist-related activities.

The decision comes at the recommendation of the Chelan County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, which reviewed 17 applications and narrowed those down to 11 projects.

“The county awards grant dollars from its lodging tax collections twice a year. This spring grant round, which focuses on capital projects, is always exciting because of the potential long-lasting impacts the dollars will have on our local tourist industry,” said Commissioner Tiffany Gering, who is chairwoman of the committee. “We heard from several great projects this year that will not only build upon our economy but also be enjoyed by local residents in the future.”

The advisory committee originally set aside $560,000 for the capital awards; however, that was raised an additional $216,000 because of the caliber of the projects, Gering said. The recipients are:

• Cascade Community Markets: $15,000 to expand and invest in equipment upgrades for the Leavenworth and Cashmere community farmers markets. • Chelan County Natural Resources: $50,000 for improvements to the Cashmere Riverside Park boat ramp. Chelan County Natural Resources: $15,000 to develop capital facilities for river recreation in the Leavenworth area on Icicle Creek and the Wenatchee River.• Chelan-Douglas Land Trust: $30,000 for trail improvements and trail-related infrastructure in the Wenatchee Foothills Trail System. • Icicle Creek Center for the Arts: $87,500 for capital improvements related to parking. • Lake Chelan Ski Club: $70,000 to build a ski rental shop. • Manson Chamber of Commerce: $68,000 toward irrigation and sidewalk repairs in the downtown core. • Plain Valley Ski Trails: $111,610 for the purchase of a utility groomer for its trails system. • Pybus Public Market: $150,000 toward its Westside Revitalization Project. • Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center: $150,000 toward its expansion and re-design project. • Wenatchee Youth Baseball Club: $29,326 for purchase of portable pitching mounds and an infield groomer for tournaments.

Lodging tax dollars are generated by local lodging establishments. In Chelan County, about half the money generated in a year is allocated to six local chambers as well as the Cascade Loop and TREAD. Another portion is used to operate the county’s Visit Chelan County campaign.

Additional dollars are offered twice a year annually in the form of grants to tourist-related organizations, such as festivals and museums. A call for marketing and promotional grants is typically made each fall and a call for capital projects is typically made each spring. For more information, visit the LTAC webpage or Visit Chelan County webpage.

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