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The primary purpose of the Grant Program is to support tourism related projects and programs through arts/cultural, sporting activities, recreation, heritage or community based activities. Funds must be used for marketing and promotional purposes only, such as hiring a marketing professional or advertising agency to push your event to audiences 50 miles away or more. This program is funded through the city share of state tax on lodging rentals (hotels/motels) with program funding and specific grant awards dependent on recommendations of the City Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC). The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 67.28.080 provides authority for cities to adopt a lodging tax. The City of Bothell has adopted a 1% lodging tax rate and may invest these revenues into events or programs that attract visitors in and around Bothell.The Bothell Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) is awarding up to $50,000 for 2020. These funds will be used for marketing/advertising for events/activities designed to attract overnight stays in Bothell. The City Manager’s Office provides administrative support to the applicant. Please contact the Tourism Manager at 425-806-6143 for any questions or assistance about the guidelines or application.Awards are typically up to $10,000 and the amount granted may not be the exact amount requested.
•Nonprofits, including main street organizations, lodging associations, or chamber of commerce are eligible to apply.•Municipalities are also eligible to apply such as Arts Commissions, Park Boards, and Planning Commissions.
Organizations producing events are encouraged to develop two day festivals where overnight lodging occurs. Creating special marketing packages with hotels in Bothell will be given additional consideration. Contact DeNae McGee at 425-806-6143 for ideas and suggestions.
•Projects must take place between January 1, 2020, and December 11, 2020.•Each applicant will define the service, product, event or activity to be provided and demonstrate how it will enhance visitor development to Bothell.•A detailed promotional plan on how the event or activity will advertise, publicize, and distribute information related to the project will also be assessed.
The following criteria will be used in evaluating and ranking the applicants.Tourist Marketing and Attraction – 30 pointsThe extent the event/activity demonstrates the ability to attract visitors from 50 miles or more away and generate overnight stays.Economic Impact – 15 pointsThe extent the event/activity will generate a positive economic impact by increasing visitor expenditures to Bothell.Project Scope – 9 pointsThe extent the event/activity improves the City’s overall image by providing a positive visitor experience and/or promoting the area’s existing attractions.Project Success and Sustainability – 9 pointsThe extent the applicant has a history in implementing a successful event/activity, and to secure additional funding sources beyond the City of Bothell.Community Collaboration – 9 pointsThe extent the applicant partners with other Bothell based events and organizations in leveraging resources and marketing efforts.Bonus Points – 15 pointsShoulder Season Impact events that take place in the shoulder season (October-April) and new, never before implemented events/activities may qualify for up to 15 additional bonus points.
After applications are submitted to the City, they will be reviewed by staff for completeness. Applications returned due to incompleteness may be resubmitted for consideration, if submittal falls before the deadline. Applications will be evaluated by the LTAC, consisting of one elected official, three representatives of businesses required to collect lodging taxes, and three members involved in activities potentially eligible to receive lodging tax revenue. The Committee funding recommendations will be forwarded on to the City Council for final decision in a public meeting.
Grant funds are supplied on a reimbursement basis. Projects must first incur costs and then request reimbursement with submittal of the final closeout report as stated in the contract guidelines. Any funds unexpected in the approved timeline for completion of the project will be returned to the Lodging Tax fund for future allocation for grants or other tourism related expenditures.Each grant recipient will be required to enter into contractual agreement with the City. The contract will cover such areas as definition of the project goals, definition of eligible costs, specification of payment procedures, limits of City liability, and other usual and customary requirements. Contracts must be signed prior to event start date. All projects must be executed no later than December 11, 2020, or the grant award is invalidated and returned to the Lodging Tax fund for future allocation for grants and other tourism related expenditures. When the project is complete, applicants will submit a Final Project Closeout Report within 60 days of project completion.All published materials must include the Begin At Bothell and City of Bothell logos, and announcements regarding the project must state: “This project made possible through support of Begin At Bothell's lodging tax dollars and the City of Bothell.”