Eight projects aimed at increasing tourism in Clallam County recently were funded by the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau, using $17,650 in sales tax revenues collected by lodgings in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Repeat investments include the Dungeness Cup Soccer Tournament, $3,500; Olympic Adventure Trail Run, $700; Tour de Lavender cycling event, $3,000; Olympic Peninsula BirdFest, $1,000, and the Forest Story Telling Festival, $1,000.
Two new events are the GOAT (Great Olympic Adventure Trail) Run, a full marathon-distance trail running event that will take place on the Olympic Adventure Trail west of Port Angeles, funded for $1,850, and the Port Angeles Kayak and Film Festival with funding at $4,000.
A grant also was awarded to Neah Bay for $2,500 to participate in the Olympic Peninsula Tourism Commission, a 13-member tourism marketing cooperative.
“We are thrilled with the number and quality of applications we have received this year and are pleased to work with these stakeholders to promote the Olympic Peninsula,” said Diane Schostak, Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau’s executive director.
Tourism Enhancement Grant funds are derived from revenue generated by a special tax on lodging facilities in unincorporated Clallam County. This revenue is earmarked to encourage long-term economic growth through tourism-related projects or events that attract overnight destination guests. The bureau distributes these funds locally in the form of grants as long as funds are available.
With these eight grants awarded, there is still $17,350 remaining in the grant fund for 2014. Grant guidelines and applications are available at www.olympicpeninsula.org/page/tourism-grants or call Schostak at 452-8552.
Tourism in Clallam County accounts for 3,240 local jobs and $212.3 million annually in travel spending, according to Washington Travel Impacts (1999-2012).