Over $95K available to promote tourism in Glenwood Springs | PostIndependent.com

Over $95K available to promote tourism in Glenwood Springs

Pete FowlerPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – People have until Feb. 1 to ask for a slice of the $95,344 in grant money from the city that’s available for tourism promotion.A new version of the application is available at http://www.ci.glenwood-springs.co.us. The city’s Financial Advisory Board (FAB) worked with city officials last year to craft a more thorough application. It’s expected to give decision-makers a better idea of how money is to be spent, what an event or project is all about and what the organization is that is applying for funds, said FAB chairman Ken Murphy.”It’s just clarifying for us what the actual funds are going to be used for,” Murphy said. “Last year had its growing pains. It’s because we wanted to find out some more information relevant to the project or the event. The last application didn’t give us the full answers. We found ourselves a couple times having to contact the applicant to answer further questions.”

Murphy said some of the new questions asked of applicants are whether an organization is a nonprofit, whether it predicts and measures the number of attendees at an event, and what other funding sources are available to it.

Last year was the first year that roughly 20 percent of accommodations tax revenues generated by the lodging industry was handed over to the FAB to distribute as grants. The grants are meant to go to special events, projects and improvements that attract visitors to Glenwood Springs or improve their aesthetic experience.Some events that received funds last year included 24 Hours of Sunlight, Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz, Friday Night Flicks, fireworks displays and a Frontier Historical Society plan to improve the trailhead leading to Doc Holliday’s grave.City finance director Mike Harman said the Frontier Historical Society was awarded $13,065 to improve the trailhead. The project description includes excavating and grading, installing a deck area and flagstone, replacing the steps of the concrete path to make the trailhead handicapped-accessible, and adding interpretive signage, low-level lighting, benches, a drinking fountain and a bear-proof trash receptacle. The group had asked for $32,000, and plans to wait until it has obtained all the necessary funding before beginning the work, Harman said.Last June, the FAB became frustrated and said the City Council “subverted” the FAB’s ability to perform its duties by deciding to grant $5,000 to a culinary festival. The FAB had recommended denying the application for funding for the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ Culinary Arts Wine & Brewfest. The FAB argued that the arts center already receives a lot of money from the city and that there seemed to be some “political muscle” involved. But the council argued the festival was deserving of the money and pointed out other organizations that received tourism promotion funds in addition to money from other city sources.

The FAB asked for clearer direction on criteria for allocating funds.But the new application has little to do with the culinary festival disagreement, Murphy said, adding, “Yes, we were upset. We’re sort of looking forward to 2008 and moving along and seeing how it evolves for this season. … I don’t see those same issues arising. I think a lot of it was growing pains and some complicated issues of who applies to discretionary funds, who applies to tourism funds and can you apply to both?”Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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