More fun in Glenwood Springs? | AspenTimes.com

More fun in Glenwood Springs?

Dennis WebbGlenwood Springs correspondent

Aspen, CO ColoradoGLENWOOD SPRINGS There could be more organized events to promote tourism in Glenwood Springs next year thanks to new funding from city bed tax revenues.Glenwood Springs will make nearly $108,000 available for events funding, beautification projects and capital improvements that draw visitors to town. A reallocation of revenues from the city’s 2.5 percent tax on lodging establishments is the source of the money.Over the years, the tax’s revenues have gone to contracting with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association for tourism marketing and operation of a visitor center. The bulk of the money will continue to go for those purposes under action the City Council took in June. It stipulated that at least $500,000, or all available funding if the tax brings in less than that, continue to be used for tourism marketing and the visitor center, with that $500,000 minimum increase as necessary for inflation.However, council established a general goal of spending 20 percent of the lodging tax revenues on tourism promotion grants.”This is a significant expansion of event funding for Glenwood Springs,” said Marianne Virgili, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber.She said that for several years, the chamber had allocated about $25,000 per year from tourism marketing funds for special events.Mike Harman, the city’s finance director, said applications for the funding will be available after the start of the year. Virgili said she’s already received calls about the grant program.”I think there’s a lot of interest among event organizers,” she said.She doesn’t see a concern about the reallocation of the city’s lodging tax revenues, which have been showing healthy increases over the last few years. Virgili said the city’s tourism marketing board recognizes a need for “putting heads in beds,” especially during offseasons. Recent research showed that tourists want to see more events in Glenwood’s offseasons, Virgili said.She said the chamber planned to apply for some of the grants itself. The applications would be for new events, not existing ones such as the summer Strawberry Days festival, she said.She said the idea is for the funds to provide seed money to help launch new events that could turn into long-term ones.The city also supports events through its discretionary fund, which totaled $127,815 this year. The money went for events such as the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz, as well as to community organizations such as YouthZone and other recipients.

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