Glenwood City Council to begin disbursing 2010 tourism grants |

Glenwood City Council to begin disbursing 2010 tourism grants

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Glenwood Springs City Council will disburse the first round of Tourism Promotion Grant funds for 2010 at its regular meeting tonight.

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association tops the list requesting $30,000 to implement a new tourism strategy focused on bringing people to town in the summer months.

There is $150,211 available for tourism grants for 2010.

According to Kate Collins, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s vice president of tourism marketing, the funds would provide sponsorship dollars for between two and six proposed sporting or athletic endurance events to be hosted in Glenwood Springs between May and October this year.

Collins said the idea is to attract running races, cycling events, triathlons, endurance and adventure races that will take place in town, that will ultimately attract out-of-town residents to Glenwood for a night or two.

So far, the chamber has at least two events that have expressed interest in Glenwood as a host for their events. Discussions for a third are ongoing, and are dependent upon the approval of this grant, according to Collins.

“The grants will secure a destination sponsorship, and the funds will be used to offset the hard costs of executing the event, at the discretion of the individual promoters,” Collins wrote in a letter to the Financial Advisory Board, which was attached to the grant application.

The funds would be between $5,000 and $15,000, depending upon the scope of the event and needs of the promoter, according to Collins.

“Essentially, in order to sponsor these promoters, who are professional promoters of events, we wanted to be able to offer destination sponsorship,” Collins said. “The funds from these grants will be used to do that.”

Promotional efforts shifted in 2009 to focus more on the summer season, with occupancy rates down substantially from previous years when energy workers filled local hotels and motels.

“Now, we don’t have limitations on available occupancy in the summer,” Collins said.

The hopes of securing events like these is to boost the sagging lodging occupancy, sales tax, and accommodations revenues for the town.

Accommodation tax revenues were down 27 percent from 2008 to 2009, while sales tax revenues were down 17 percent on the year, the Glenwood Springs Finance Department reported.

“It’s a good strategy, based on the current times,” Collins said. “We have the infrastructure and bed base, and we need to do what we can to boost occupancy in all 12 months of the year.”

Chamber estimates that the two confirmed races could generate approximately $326,000 in mixed accommodation and miscellaneous sales revenues for city businesses. That number was based on 400 participants and 250 additional guests, for the two events that are already being planned.

Collins said also that these types of events, which attract visitors to Glenwood Springs, is exactly what the Tourism Grant Funds are to be used for.

The FAB recommended approval of the funds, and the item was placed on the consent agenda for Thursday’s meeting.

According to the FAB meeting minutes of Feb. 10, the board discussed accountability reporting from grant recipients and the possibility of ensuing audits. FAB member Alyssa McCoy recommended that each grant recipient submit a report at the end of the year showing how the money was spent, according to the meeting minutes.

Councilman Matt Steckler suggested that the current grant award letter be modified to include the requirement of the year-end report.

The FAB also recommended $2,500 to Glenwood Spring High School DECA, $5,000 to Green Sprouts Foundation, $3,300 to the Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club, and $5,000 to Valley Events for Friday Night Flicks.

Other items on Thursday’s agenda:

• Discussion regarding Geothermal Task Force

• Adoption of the Strategic Housing Plan

• Award of the Wastewater Treatment Plant bid

• Discussion regarding city support for the Colorado Mountain College Baccalaureate Degree program.

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