Business

City has tourism money to give to visitor magnets

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

The city is accepting applications for the next round of tourism enhancement grant money, intended for organizations or events that bring visitors to Federal Way for athletic, cultural, arts and community events.

The city has up to $25,000 for the fall 2003 grants. Eligible organizations are either those with:

• Non-profit, 501(c) status or municipal organizations that plan, sponsor or host amateur sporting, arts or cultural events, membership meetings, training sessions or conferences, or other similar events.

Grant money only can be used for securing, marketing and conducting events and activities within the city, officials said. The money can’t be used for tournament entry fees, team travel, uniforms, equipment, coaches’ salaries, facility upgrades or capital campaigns.

Grants also can’t be used to cover ongoing, regular operating expenses that would occur regardless of the event.

Applications may be downloaded from the city’s Web site (www.cityoffederalway.com), picked up at the the Community Development Services Department at city hall, or requested from Doherty at 661-4106 or email patrick.doherty@cityoffederalway.com.

The application deadline is Sept. 26. Grants will be awarded in November.

Last year, tourism enhancement grant funds were allocated to bring basketball, baseball, track and aquatics events to Federal Way, as well as to help pay for Festival Days and Federal Way Symphony’s garden tour this year.

Tourism enhancement money comes from the 1 percent lodging tax people pay when they stay in Federal Way hotels. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee administers the money, reviews applications and recommends grant recipients to the City Council.

The city brings in about $150,000 annually in lodging taxes, though most of that goes to other items in the city’s tourism promotion budget, said Patrick Doherty, the city’s deputy director of community development for economic development. State law requires the money from lodging taxes to be used only to promote local tourism.

Tourism grants will be awarded based on the merits of the proposal and the number of grant applications. Any money left over can be rolled forward into the next grant cycle.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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