Funding will aid new events, projects |

Funding will aid new events, projects

Dennis WebbGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. More events to promote tourism in Glenwood Springs could be organized next year thanks to new funding being provided for that purpose from city bed tax revenues.The city will make nearly $108,000 available in 2007 for events funding, beautification projects and capital improvements that draw visitors to town.The money is being provided under a reallocation of revenues generated by the city’s 2.5 percent tax on lodging establishments.Over the years, the tax’s revenues have gone to contracting with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association for tourism marketing and operation of a visitor center. The bulk of the money will continue to go for those purposes under action taken by City Council in June. It stipulated that at least $500,000, or all available funding if the tax brings in less than that, continue to be used for tourism marketing and the visitor center, with that $500,000 minimum to be increased as necessary for inflation.However, council established a general goal of spending 20 percent of the lodging tax revenues on tourism promotion grants.”This is a significant expansion of event funding for Glenwood Springs,” said Marianne Virgili, president and chief executive officer of the chamber.She said that for several years, the chamber had allocated about $25,000 per year from tourism marketing funds for special events.Mike Harman, the city’s finance director, said applications for the funding will be available after the start of the year. Virgili said she’s already received a lot of calls about the grant program.”I think there’s a lot of interest among event organizers,” she said.She doesn’t see a concern about the reallocation of the city’s lodging tax revenues, which have been showing healthy increases over the last few years. Virgili said the city’s tourism marketing board recognizes a need for “putting heads in beds,” especially during off-seasons. Recent research showed that tourists want to see more events in Glenwood’s off-seasons, Virgili said.She said the chamber planned to apply for some of the grants itself. The applications would be for new events, not existing ones such as Strawberry Days, she said.She said the idea is for the funds to provide seed money to help launch new events that could turn into long-term ones.The city also supports events through its discretionary fund, which totaled $127,815 this year. The money went for events such as the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz, as well as to community organizations such as YouthZone and other recipients.Contact Dennis Webb: 384-9119dwebb@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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