Events to enjoy tax boost
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
July 20, 2012
The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Joint Powers Board on Thursday approved funding to promote 24 events during the next fiscal year.
Board members unanimously approved the 23 events recommended for funding by a special events subcommittee. But members reversed the subcommittee’s decision to disqualify one event.
The approved event grants total $228,900. Individual events can get a maximum amount of $20,000.
The goal is to promote the off-season and winter. The money comes from a lodging tax imposed on hotel and motel rooms.
Three events received the maximum amount. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce WinterFest, Jackson Hole Youth Soccer’s Fall Classic Tournament and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Mountain Fest will each get $20,000 for promotion.
The International Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race omitted a required application until six days after the submission deadline. That caused the subcommittee to disqualify the event from funding.
Dog sled event organizers included event summaries and budget documents, but omitted their actual application.
Of the six board members that attended the meeting Thursday, four voted in favor of giving the race a $10,000 grant despite the missed deadline.
“It seems there was a good faith effort to turn it in,” board treasurer Jeff Golightly said.
Funding the race wouldn’t harm other events, since the original recommendations left more than $30,000 in the $250,000 grant pool, Golightly said.
Funding the sled dog race reduced the surplus to around $20,000.
The World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb, Old West Days and Elkfest were other well-established events receiving funding.
A number of entities received funding for athletic events, including Center Management’s Jackson Hole Adult Hockey Tournament Series, Jackson Hole Shrine Club’s cutter races and skijoring, and the Jackson Hole Figure Skating Club’s invitational figure skating competition.
Jackson Hole Youth Basketball, the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club and Jackson Hole Youth Hockey also received funding to host competitions. On Ice Weekend also earned a grant.
Other grantees plan a wide range of events. Central Wyoming College, Teton Science Schools, the Wyoming Council for International Visitors and the Cultural Council of Jackson Hole all received grants to bring speakers and academic-themed events to Jackson Hole.
The board also funded arts events such as Jackson Hole Public Art’s Open Air Exhibition, Stitch ’n’ Time’s Jackson Hole Quilt Festival and Grand Targhee Resort’s Spring Breakaway concerts.
Center for Advanced Medicine Jackson Hole, which has proposed a new Cancer Recovery Workshop, also got funding along with Teton Raptor Center’s Raptor Fest and The Whinnies’ Equine Film Festival.
The board made no decisions on what to do with the remaining funds, referring the issue to its marketing subcommittee for debate.