8 Tourism events get funding from LTAC for 2011

LTAC sets funding budget for 2011

UPDATED The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) met on August 3, 2010 and recommended that eight organizations receive funding in 2011 at the levels specified. The total amount of funds requested from various organizations was $109,400. This year, the committee offered $40,000, acknowledging the struggle that organizations are having securing funding, and agreed that a mid-year review of the budget would be appropriate to determine whether any additional funds could be allocated.

The LTAC goals include increasing hotel occupancy, promoting tourism and attracting businesses to Kirkland. Funding comes from a lodging excise tax established by the Kirkland Municipal Code.

The committee discussed a number of criteria in evaluating the 14 applications received: the tourism impact of the event or program, the community or business connections made by the event or program, whether the event was established or new, and the event’s ability to obtain funding elsewhere. There were 2 events that the committee determined did not have a significant tourism impact and removed those from further consideration (Carillon Outdoor Movies, Criterium). The committee members rated the 12 applications left individually on a number scale based on those criteria. Those scores were tabulated and the totals shared with the group. The committee then determined levels of funding based on those scores. There were an additional 2 applications that were determined to not be eligible for funding this year based on the scores, though they would consider them for funding next year (7th Hills, Laughs, 12K’s, 1⁄2 Marathon). The results are listed in the table below:

LTAC Funds Criteria & Tourism Goals

  • Increase hotel occupancy in Kirkland by extending length and frequency of overnight stays.
  • Increase overnight stays during the off season (October–May).
  • Provides visitor attractions and/or promote the area’s existing attractions.
  • Attract more businesses to Kirkland and thereby generate additional business for hotels and motels.
  • Improve the City’s overall image to stimulate positive customer awareness.

RCW 67.28.080 (taken from the definitions section)

"Tourism promotion" means activities, operations, and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; operating tourism promotion agencies; and funding the marketing of or the operation of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.

"Tourist" means a person who travels from a place of residence to a different town, city, county, state, or country, for purposes of business, pleasure, recreation, education, arts, heritage, or culture.

Tip of the hat to the readers who sent this in.