Marketing support for off season tourism events

The Manzanita Off Season Tourism Advisory Committee is calling for proposals  for marketing support  for off season events.  Up to $15,000 is available, and the Committee will recommend to the City Council how much should be spent from the City’s Tourism Promotion and Facilities Fund for marketing support.  An application packet is available on the City’s website and proposals are due by January 23, 2017.

The City raised the city transient lodging tax from 7% to 9% in 2012, and by State law 70% of the tax revenue from that increase is required to be used for tourism promotion and tourist related facilities. The City set up the Tourism Promotion and Facilities Fund within its budget to account for these dedicated funds. About 85% of the Fund is used to pay for the expenses related to building and operating the Manzanita Visitors Center. However, some funds are available to promote and advertise events designed to attract tourists to the city.
In 2015, the City completed an Off Season Tourism Marketing Plan, which suggests ways to attract visitors to the community in the off season (October through May). The plan explains that the community is concerned about maintaining the quiet village character of Manzanita, while recognizing that some events in the off season that are consistent with the community’s character are needed to provide a more stable year round economy for local businesses and employees. An Off Season Tourism Advisory Committee has been created by the City to evaluate proposals for marketing support of off season events and to recommend to the City Council how much should be spent from the Tourism Promotion and Facilities Fund for marketing support.
Allowable uses of Off Season Tourism Promotion Grants
ORS 320.300(7) defines “tourism promotion” as any of the following activities: 1) Advertising, publicizing or distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; 2) Conducting strategic planning and research necessary to stimulate future tourism development; 3) Operating tourism promotion agencies; and 4) Marketing special events and festivals designed to attract tourists. “Tourist” is also narrowly defined by ORS 320.300(10) as someone required to travel more than 50 miles from their community of residence or someone making an overnight stay.
In response to previous questions on the possible use of these grants, grant money may NOT be used for equipment or facilities needed to carry out an event nor to hire persons to coordinate and/or plan an event. Grants will be limited to advertising, publicizing and marketing off season events and projects.
Although grants are technically available for marketing events held any time from October 1 to May 31, the Off Season Tourism Advisory Committee has indicated that sponsors of events held from January 1 to February 15 will need to demonstrate that their event has the ability to draw more tourists than would normally be in the community during this very slow period of time.

Process for grant applications
The Off Season Tourism Advisory Committee will call for applications for event marketing grants in January and June. The Committee will review applications at a public meeting and will make recommendations to the City Council as to which applications should be funded. Upon approval by the City Council, the sponsor will receive a grant award from the City.
The Off Season Tourism Advisory Committee will review applications and evaluate them using the following criteria:
Event takes place during the off season defined as October to May (Pass/Fail)
Sponsor provides a budget for the proposed event (including the
proposed marketing and advertising support) (Pass/Fail)
Extent to which the event is consistent with Manzanita’s atmosphere
and values of maintaining a small village feel (40 points)
Involvement of local community members, businesses and non-profits (30 points)
Anticipated benefits to the community (20 points)
Quality of strategy for marketing and promoting the event (10 points)
The Committee will use the numerical scores as a guideline, but will be free to adjust scores based on Committee discussion.
Grant awards will be conditioned on the following:
50% of the grant award will be paid up front upon the signature of the grant agreement by the sponsor.
Sponsor will submit copies of paid invoices and a summary of the event prior to payment of the final 50% of the grant award. The summary of the event will include specific evidence that the event attracted tourists as anticipated.
See the attached sheet for the schedule and total amount available this round of funding.

Off Season Tourism Promotion Grants
Schedule for January, 2017 round
Total amount available : $15,000
January 3, 2017 Call for applications for grant funding
January 26, 2017 Off Season Tourism Advisory Committee meets to review applications
February 8, 2017 City Council reviews and approves any recommendations for funding