Garfield County announces grants to fund tourism-related projects

Old Bryce Town, Bryce Canyon City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Ruby's Inn, St. George/Cedar City News

GARFIELD COUNTY — Garfield County’s Office of Tourism wants to help area towns and community organizations enrich life for visitors and residents alike in Bryce Canyon country.

Bryce Canyon covered in snow, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Inn/Bryce Canyon Country Tourism Office, St. George News

The office is now accepting applications for two grants for 2019: the event grant and the cooperative marketing funding grant. Nonprofits and municipal governments interested in planning or promoting local events can apply for up to $3,000 in grant funding.

“The grant money is to help enhance and encourage economic vitality and quality of life in Bryce Canyon country,” Tourism Office Executive Director Falyn Owens said in a press release. “Every year we’ve been able to offer more funding for events, which increases the number of visitors who experience the area’s charm. There is a cause and effect here as events attract more visitors, which prompts more money for next year’s funds.”

In 2018, $119,000 was distributed to event planners and local organizations, which was $10,000 more than the previous year. Events such as the “Panguitch Lake Ice Fishing Derby,” the “Canyon 2 Canyon Bike Ride,” “Moqui Motor Madness” and the “Color Me Fun Run” were partially funded by grants. Some organizations and towns used the marketing grant to update travel guides, websites and other promotional materials.

Community organizations can apply for up to 65 percent of their annual budget for marketing and for promotional expenses outside of Garfield County. They can also apply the cooperative marketing funding grant to any tourism-related enhancement projects within the community.

The application deadline for the event grant is Dec. 28. In addition to the application, organizers must give a five-minute verbal presentation to the Tourism Advisory Board at their Jan. 8 meeting. Those seeking the marketing grant have until Jan. 29 to submit their application, with presentations to the board on Feb. 7.

“We heard about the event grant through the Chamber of Commerce and applying for the event grant was a very simple process,” Suzanne Catlett, co-organizer Moqui Motor Madness, said in the press release. “The grant was a great fit for our non-profit’s goal to enhance our town’s sense of community. Thanks to our partnership with the tourism board, the event was fun and successful. It provided the opportunity to collect donations at the show for Escalante’s volunteer first responders.”

Those applying for both grants are required to demonstrate that the activity or project can increase visitor stays in the county or generate visits in the slow season. Other requirements include verification that the organization is financially stable and that it is a nonprofit organization or Garfield County municipality.

If applicants need to create a nonprofit organization, the tourism office will provide limited assistance to do so. The marketing grant funding can be used to help applicants fulfill the financial obligation of becoming a nonprofit organization.

Application requests will be reviewed by the Garfield County Tourism Advisory Board. Applicants will then be notified via email and invited to participate in an interview process with the Tourism Board.

For more information on the criteria, request process and applications for event funding and co-op marketing visit the Garfield County Office of Tourism website.

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