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Visitors & Convention Bureau grant program awards $13,000 to area tourism organizations
CAMBRIDGE, OHIO (July 22, 2014) – As part of its second annual Grant Assistance Program (GAP), the Cambridge/Guernsey County Visitors & Convention Bureau awarded $13,000 to area tourism organizations and special events earlier this year. The VCB indicated recently the area is already feeling the benefits.
“We launched the program in 2013 to enhance and stretch the marketing dollars of our non-profit events and attractions that exhibit positive tourism potential in this region,” said Debbie Robinson, Cambridge/Guernsey County VCB Executive Director. “We had eight area organizations apply and receive grants totaling $13,000 in 2014. That’s an increase from $10,000 we distributed in 2013. The program is growing and so are our events.”
Robinson cited the Hopalong Cassidy Festival as an example of success. In May 2014 the festival welcomed more than 800 people (an increase of nearly 100 people from 2013) from 22 states and Canada and Australia. The festival estimates (from the visitors who completed an economic impact survey) the local economic impact was roughly $45,600.
Festival organizer Laura Bates said, “This is the second year the festival participated in the bureau’s GAP. The grant funding we received went toward enhancing the festival’s offerings. We also conducted a brief survey to learn more about our visitors, their interests, and how they heard about us. We will compile the data and use it in 2015 to streamline the event and determine additional avenues for publicizing.”
The program, designed to directly increase lodging occupancy in designated periods throughout the year, creates publicity for the Cambridge/ Guernsey County area at large and enhances the tourism environment in the immediate area.
“Special events contribute much more to the economic success of our community than one might initially think. When visitors attend an event they shop, dine, eat, and sleep locally. The also fill up at our gas stations and visit other attractions. It’s a win, win, win for everyone,” said Robinson.
The bureau’s Grant Assistance Program requires applicants to provide programs and activities beneficial to drawing tourists from a 100+ mile radius; and features new or expanded events, projects, or programs.
Robinson indicated grants are available from a minimum of $500 to $1,500 and are contingent upon the amount of overnight stays an event, project, or program generates. The bureau will seek new grant applicants for the 2015 program later this year.
For more Cambridge/Guernsey Co. event information, call the VCB office at 740-432-2022 or go to www.VisitGuernseyCounty.com.
2014 Cambridge/Guernsey County GAP Recipients
• Cambridge Lions Club
• Cambridge Main Street
• Dickens Victorian Village
• Hopalong Cassidy Fan Club
• Living Word Outdoor Drama
• National Cambridge Glass Collectors, Inc.
• Ohio Arts & Crafts Foundation
• The National Whitetail Deer Foundation