Summit County organizations awarded around $4 million in grant funds |

Summit County organizations awarded around $4 million in grant funds

More than 50 applicants submitted proposals for events and improvements to the Restaurant Tax Advisory Committee

More than 50 applicants submitted proposals for Summit County Restaurant Tax Grant funds, including the North Summit Recreation Special Service District for work at Beacon Hill Park.
David Jackson/Park Record

Various organizations across Summit County will receive close to $4 million in grant funds as part of a longstanding program that was implemented in 1991.

There were more than 50 applicants in this year’s Restaurant Tax Grant cycle with funding requests totaling around $5.5 million; and with only $3.8 million available. The program is funded by a 1% tax on all restaurant sales in the county, which was implemented by the Summit County Commission 32 years ago to promote tourism in the area.

An advisory committee of community members ranks each grant application based on six criteria, including sustainable and cultural tourism, the ability to leverage grant funds from other sources, the project’s potential to increase the 1% restaurant sales tax, if the proposal is new or developing, and whether it provides an iconic asset that enhances tourism in Summit County.

Projects that sustainably attract day and overnight visitors from outside the county were a top priority for the Summit County Restaurant Tax Advisory Committee with a heightened focus on applicants that promote marketing and tourism as well as events that would bring guests to the area.

Several of the requests were fully funded with grant awards ranging from $2,500 to $375,000. 

The Park City Area Restaurant Association received the most money for its culinary scene application. The group works to market member restaurants that they hope will reach diners outside of Summit County. The money will be used to fund advertising campaigns on television, radio and social media that encourage overnight visitation. It will also go toward the cocktail contest held in July and the annual Dine About, which is scheduled for mid-October. The commission funded $375,000 of a nearly $450,000 request.

The success of the Delta Flight Voucher Program was also recognized by the commission. The group awarded the Park City Area Lodging Association $300,000 to help drive out-of-state visitorship, particularly during the shoulder season. The grant has helped the program generate more than $16 million in direct lodging revenue over the past six years.

An application from the North Summit Recreation Special Service District was also a top-funded project. The East Side group was awarded $264,000 for its plans to build phase two of Beacon Hill Park, which would include baseball and softball fields, pickleball and basketball courts as well as a concession building for food service. The completion of the sports amenities will provide opportunities for tournaments, camps and other recreational programming. The project was previously awarded $1.1 million in Recreation Arts Parks Tax Grant funds.

The North Summit Recreation Special Service District was awarded $264,000 in Restaurant Tax Grant money to support the second phase of construction at Beacon Hill Park. The work includes creating new baseball and softball fields, pickleball and basketball courts as well as a concession area to promote sports tournaments and other recreational activities.
David Jackson/Park Record

Other large grant awards include $250,000 to the Park City Chamber/Bureau for its 2024 spring marketing campaign; $204,500 to Park City Municipal to purchase a new snow groomer for winter trail maintenance at Round Valley; $180,000 to the Sundance Institute for the 2024 Sundance Film Festival; $175,000 to Oakley City for improvements to the Independence Day Rodeo; $150,000 to the Park City Institute to fund a new event at Canyons Village during the summer tourist season that would drive guests to a family-friendly concert series with profits supporting the organization’s youth art programs; and $141,000 to fund television production costs for the 2024 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup that’s hosted at Deer Valley Resort.

The Utah Symphony and Opera also received $100,000 to promote the Deer Valley Music Festival. Around 74% of tickets sold last year were to people outside of Summit County.

Various East Side events received funding, too. The committee awarded grant dollars to Frontier Days in Francis City, the Kamas Valley Fiesta Days, and the Coalville City Celebration scheduled for the summer of 2024. The money will be used to promote the events and to make other small improvements.

Many of the other applications requested Restaurant Tax Grant dollars for marketing in addition to website and social media maintenance, promotional materials such as brochures and other advertising ventures. Some projects requested the funds to support prize payouts, relevant travel expenses or facility upgrades.

No applications were denied grant funding based on late financial filings. However, the committee did not fund one of the requests. 

The Park City High School Baseball and Softball program requested $150,000 to support the turf complex project, which would provide an outdoor turf diamond for high school athletes. The applicant said an outdoor field would eliminate the need for indoor fieldhouses, therefore increasing access for students. The goal was to start construction in the spring or summer of 2023 with donor support – such as the Restaurant Tax program – but the group had yet to develop a full plan. 

Billy Demong, the chair of the Restaurant Tax Committee, told the Summit County Council on Wednesday the project did not have sufficient stakeholders or funding leverage to warrant grant funding this year. The applicant was encouraged to apply for the grant in the future.

He added that many of the new applications this year were from outside of the Park City area and closer to the East Side of Summit County. Members of the County Council indicated they were happy to see the diversification. The panel then approved the committee’s grant recommendations.


See more

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.