Non-profits receive grants to help increase tourism
June 29, 2012
The more people who eat out in Summit County, the more events will be held here. That is the logic behind the Summit County Restaurant Tax Grants, which allows organizations in the area to apply for grants in order to increase tourism and overnight visitors to the area.
This year, the Summit County Council awarded 12 organizations over $1 million in grants to hold large events, improve buildings or advertise an event.
According to Summit County Assistant Manager Anita Lewis, a one-tenth of one percent sales tax is added to customers’ bills at restaurants in the county and those funds are then distributed to non-profits who have plans to draw additional tourists to the area.
"Any non-profit can apply for a grant but we usually have the same organizations that apply every year," she said. "We have some restrictions on how they can use their funds, but usually people describe in their application exactly what the money will go to."
This year, the Sundance Institute received $100,000, the largest grant that was offered. Other recipients include: the Egyptian Theater-$60,000; the Kimball Art Center -$38,000 and the Alf Engen Ski Museum at the Utah Olympic Park-$60,000. The Utah Symphony in conjunction with the Deer Valley Music Festival was granted $70,000 to continue holding large-scale outdoor concerts at the Snow Park amphitheater.
"Often the same organizations apply for the Restaurant Tax Grants that apply for the cultural portion of the Recreation and Arts Tax," Lewis said. "So we are working with all the grant advisory committees to streamline the process in the future and have one application and one application date."
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Previously, the County Council has awarded different grants periodically throughout the year. Lewis said this often creates confusion and extra work for non-profits.
"We just need to make sure awarding the grants all at one time would not hurt an organization that may be relying on this money in January instead of July," she said.
The County Council, the Park City Chamber Bureau and heads of the grant advisory committees discussed the change at a meeting last week and will hold another work session to discuss the best way to integrate the various grant applications.