The window of opportunity to submit grant applications for tourism-related projects to the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau (EMVB) will soon close. Non-profit organizations in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties are encouraged to apply now for grant monies that will be disbursed in 2015.
Applications must be postmarked no later than Thursday, Sept. 25 to qualify.
Museums, arts councils, historical societies, trail and way-finding organizations, and the boards of annual fairs, festivals, and special one-time events are prime examples of successful grant applicants since 2004.
The three percent room tax levied on guests staying in hotels and bed and breakfasts in the four-county Endless Mountains region and collected by the state is returned to EMVB for redistribution to the respective counties.
The funds can be applied to cultural, historical, and recreational projects,as well as for marketing and promoting projects and historical preservation projects geared to increase tourism to a specific venue or attraction.
The final determination of how the funds are distributed is decided at the county level. The room tax grants were devised to help non-profit organizations bring people to the Endless Mountains from outside the area, and each room tax committee assumes the task of ensuring that projects meet that criteria.
It is the job of EMVB Executive Director Jean Ruhf and her staff to make the applications available, provide explanations of the forms as necessary, and to coordinate the returned applications for the final process, which is conducted by a Room Tax Committee in each county.
“We oversee the program to make sure that all of the grant applications are in line with Pennsylvania legislation regarding the room tax program,” Ruhf related. EMVB can reject applications that do not meet the guidelines or do not include all necessary information.
EMVB’s mission is to attract guests to the area, which is achieved via advertising and participation by the agency’s staff in numerous trade shows and events where EMVB’s annual Calendar of Events and addition literature is distributed.
The application for the 2015 tourism season is available under the Media tab at www.EndlessMountains.org. Applications may also be obtained by stopping by the Endless Mountains Visitors Center at 5405 State Route 6 west of Tunkhannock, calling 570-836-5431 or 800-769-8999 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.