Tourism board seeks new events for grants
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
June 12, 2012
Event organizers only have a few more days to submit applications so they can promote their shoulder season events with lodging tax dollars.
Members of the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism board are accepting applications through Friday for the program. They will award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for events in Teton County.
Last week, the group only had received one application — for an event that would feature NHL alumni facing off against Jackson Hole Moose players and music provided by Nashville song-writers.
Board members approved the first round of funding last year for existing events. This year, they opened the program to new events.
The program is open only to events that are held between Sept. 28 and Dec. 20 and between Jan. 1 and June 24.
The application says that events should help attract visitors and boost retail sales, restaurant business and bolster hotel occupancy. Board members said events also will be judged on how well they fit with other events and whether they help balance the valley’s event calendar.
Additionally, events should take into account year-round residents and offer “meaningful community interaction.”
The application says board members will consider whether the event is sustainable and if it has potential to grow.
The money is supposed to help organizers boost their marketing plans for their respective events in hopes that they would be able to attract a wider audience.
Grant recipients have to turn in a report about their event once it is complete. The report is supposed to provide an overview of the event and some kind of accounting of its results.
Board members last year awarded more than $150,000 in grants to 22 events in the valley, turning down nearly two dozen other proposals. Recipients included the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Mountain Festival, Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce’s Winter-Fest and Vista 360’s Fire Festival, among others.
During its first year of funding, the board appointed a separate committee of various business owners and residents to vet the applications. The committee members recommended which events should be funded and to what amount.
Board members then reviewed the recommendations and voted.
Applications for the grant program can be found at www.tetonwyo.org, www.townofjackson.com or www.jacksonholechamber.com/visitor_tax. They should be submitted to Kate Sollitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.