Groups hope if they spend it, people will come

Mirror staff

The city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee awarded $18,565 in Tourism Enhancement Grant money last month to four applicants who intend to boost the number of people visiting Federal Way next year.

Seven organizations applied for grant money, but after reviewing each proposal, the committee agreed to allocate:

• $5,000 to the University of Puget Sound for the Northwest Conference Swimming Championship.

• $2,750 to the Federal Way Symphony Orchestra for the symphony garden tours fund-raiser.

• $2,815 to the Rhododendron Species Foundation for a “Federal Way Does Broadway” event.

• $8,000 to the Federal Way Community Council for Festival Days.

While the committee allocated all the money requested by UPS for the swimming championship, it decided to give the other three recipients partial funding. The symphony requested $5,500, the Rhododendron Species Foundation asked for $3,315 and the community council requested $10,000.

The committee decided not to fund two Federal Way Chamber of Commerces requests –– $5,000 for the Shop, Stay and Play shopping push and $14,000 to $16,000 for the Explore Federal Way summer 2004 booklet –– and R&K Events’ request for $25,000 for a farmers market from May to October.

The recent allocations made up the second round of tourism enhancement grant awards this year. The committee had about $8,800 left over from the first round last spring, as well as $15,000 available in additional funds.

The committee budgeted $34,000 for the year. During the first round, it awarded $25,200 to six events.

Last year, grant funds were allocated to bring basketball, baseball, track and aquatics events to Federal Way, as well as to help pay for Festival Days –– a communitywide summer festival –– and the symphony’s garden tour this year.

Tourism enhancement grant money comes from the 1 percent lodging tax people pay when they stay in Federal Way hotels. The committee administers the money and recommends grant awards to the City Council.

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