The 2013-14 Clackamas County Tourism Development Program grants are available. According to Jae Heidenreich, program manager, this year’s grant funds, which will be awarded to enhance the county’s tourism assets, have doubled from last year to $200,000.

All tourism grant programs are funded by a county Transient Room Tax and are administered by the Clackamas County Tourism & Cultural Affairs Department under the guidance of the Clackamas County Tourism Development Council.

The application process is open to public, private and nonprofit organizations whose projects benefit the greater public interest in tourism development.

This year, tourism development grant applicants can seek a grant minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $100,000 for a single project. Applicants are required to attend a grant application workshop. Two workshops will be offered in September 2013 for those interested in submitting an application.

Successful applications likely will focus on at least one of the “three pillars” of Clackamas County tourism: outdoor recreation, agritourism or cultural/heritage tourism. Eligible projects might range from tourism-infrastructure development to employing technology to capture visitor feedback to developing new heritage experiences. Projects building on local tourism assets and highlighting Clackamas County’s unique qualities will be of particular interest.

“We were encouraged by the caliber of projects that emerged from last year’s streamlined grant program, and are seeking leading-edge business ideas with strong commercial potential,” said Daphne Wuest, TDC board chairwoman. “We are excited to support tourism projects that inspire overnight stays and have the strength of community energy and private/public partnership to back them up.”

Pre-applications are due by Oct. 14, and the Development Grant Application Packet must be completed in its entirety no later than Nov. 18. Program overview, application packets and all details are available at Award decisions will be announced in December.

Tourism in Oregon is defined as: “Economic activity resulting from tourists. Tourist means a person who, for business or pleasure, recreation or participation in events related to the arts, heritage or culture, travels from the community in which that person is a resident to a different community that is separate, distinct from and unrelated to the person’s community of residence, and that trip requires the person to travel more than 50 miles from the community of residence; or includes an overnight stay.”

Successful grant applications will showcase tourism-related projects that have the potential to become significant and self sustaining, and are aligned with the goals and priorities outlined in the TDC’s 2012-17 Master Plan and in CCTCA 2013-14 Priorities

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