Local tourism projects get funding boost

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The Walla Walla County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners have selected a slate of local tourism projects to receive $35,000 in grant funding for 2014.

The grants are designed for tourism-related events that draw visitors. Recipients went through an application process that was initially reviewed by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee last December before commissioners voted Jan. 13.

Recipients are:

Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance: $12,500 for “Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine” June 20-22.

Shakespeare Walla Walla: $10,000 to expand to a full year of programming.

Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival: $5,000 for the 2014 musical program series.

Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce: $4,500 for the Walla Walla Business Summit, April 11.

Waitsburg Celebration Days: $3,000 for the community interest event May 16-18.

The county’s lodging tax designates a portion of proceeds for tourism promotion. The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee is the tourism promotional and marketing review entity responsible for making recommendations to the commissioners for awarding funds for eligible projects from lodging tax proceeds. Grant recipients are asked to compile outcome-related information, including the number of people staying overnight in paid accommodations.

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