The purpose of the Rio Grande County Tourism Board is to advertise and market tourism for the benefit of the unincorporated areas and municipalities where the County lodging tax is collected. In furtherance of this goal, the Rio Grande County Tourism Board will consider funding for Advertisements, Maintenance, and Events. The Board reserves the right to grant or refuse funding based on economic conditions both current and/or anticipated. Additionally, if any major funding is requested, current Board members with any relationship to the entity requesting funding must fully disclose that relationship. If in the estimation of the Board this relationship will cause a conflict of interest, the member must abstain from voting on the request.
“FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY THE RIO GRANDE COUNTY TOURISM BOARD THROUGH COUNTY LODGING TAX COLLECTED. ALL PROJECTS/FUNDING MUST INCLUDE THE TOURISM BOARD LOGO AND WEBSITE. IN ADDITION TO QR CODE AND TAG LINES WHEN APPLICABLE. THE TOURISM BOARD MUST BE INCLUDED ON ALL LISTINGS AS A SPONSOR.”
1. Advertisements should be placed outside of Rio Grande County and are used as a tool to attract tourism to the area; these can include but are not limited to: Magazines, Newspaper, Radio, Television, Web, and Email based media.
2. Maintenance will cover only necessary costs of keeping a visitors center open like utilities (electric, gas, water), and basic building repairs. Items that will not be allowed include Staffing and Capital Improvements.
3. Events should be those designed to draw in outside guests, and encourage overnight stays, not those that are established just to keep the locals busy. Advertisements for events should be placed outside the county.
Tourism: Economic activity resulting from tourists, which may include sales of overnight lodging, meals, tours, gifts, or souvenirs.
Tourism promotion: Activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism, including but not limited to advertising, publicizing, or otherwise distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists; developing strategies to expand tourism; and funding marketing of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
Who May Apply?
The funding program is open to organizations with the demonstrated ability to achieve tourism goals as outlined below:
- Increase hotel occupancy in Rio Grande County by creating overnight stays.
- Increase overnight stays during the off season.
- Provide visitor attractions and/or promotes the area’s existing attractions.
- Attracts more businesses to Rio Grande County thereby generates additional business for hotels and motels.
All organizations seeking funding under this program must submit a completed application form along with all required documentation in order to be considered for funding. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Funding through the Rio Grande County Lodging Tax is not meant to be a lifetime funding source.
- A. Year 1-5 are considered start up years, with funding requests reduced annually by 10% as the event/project becomes established.
- B. After 5 years, the event/project should show enough community/sponsorship/matching funds as to need no more than 50% of its whole budget from the Tourism Board, at which time the Board should become a standard sponsor versus funding source.
MINOR PROJECTS: Are considered individual projects requiring $2500 or less to complete. Minor projects can be submitted to the Board at any time for consideration.
GRANTS/MAJOR PROJECTS: Are large, multi-faceted projects requiring funding more than $2,500.00 for completion.
In addition to the standard application form, Grants/Major Projects require a written proposal, a detailed project budget, timeline and a final report detailing how the project met its stated goals. Requests for major project funding should be submitted to the Tourism Board for consideration in September/October, when the Board is preparing its budget for the following year. In special circumstances the Tourism Board may consider out-of-cycle funding requests, but it is anticipated that such requests will be rare, entail exigent circumstances and will require significant justification.
PROJECT PROPOSAL: The project proposal will consist of a detailed description of the purpose of the project, the project’s goals and impact on tourism within the County, measurements to assess the project’s effectiveness and a timeline showing how/when the different project components will be completed and how they will fit together. The project’s goals must be measurable and the proposal must contain specific, measurable milestones. The project timeline is critical to the effective organization of the project and is an efficient tool for the Tourism Board to use to assess the proper management of the project. It will also be used in determining the scheduling of periodic disbursement of funds. The proposal must include the name(s) of the individual(s) who will have fiscal responsibility for the funds provided by the Tourism Board.
PROJECT BUDGET: The project budget should include, but not be limited to, the various matching fund, income and expense categories associated with the project.
PROJECT FUNDING: Major projects will be funded as a matching grant, requiring a 20% cash match from organization(s) other than the Rio Grande Tourism Board (‘in kind’ matching will not be considered as meeting this requirement). Funding will be disbursed according to the following schedule: 25% initial payment, 30% when the project is 50% complete, 35% when the project is 75% complete, 10% final payment on completion of the project. It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to request funding disbursements and to provide appropriate invoices.
Organizations awarded funds will be required to provide “follow up report” within 60 days of completion of event, or as agreed upon and stated in reporting schedule. Funding will be disbursed as a single payment and only to the agency/individual noted on the application. This agency/individual is responsible for proper utilization of the funds and for submitting a final report to the Tourism Board upon completion of the project. This report must include copies of receipts, ad copies, and/or other details of how the funding was spent. Advertising and Event Funding should also include statistical data that can be used to help determine the value of future funding. All unused funds must be returned to the Tourism Board.
PROGRESS REPORTING: The project manager, or other responsible project representative, must provide the Tourism Board with periodic progress reports at a schedule agreed upon by both parties.
FINAL REPORT: The Final Report will be a project critique showing the strengths and weaknesses of the project and, most importantly, the measurements of the project’s effectiveness. Disbursement of the final payment will not be made until the Tourism Board receives the Final Report. The final report must include receipts for work in which Tourism Board funds were utilized. All unused funds must be returned to the Tourism Board.
FUNDING REQUEST PROTOCOL: In order to be considered by the Board, all funding requests must be accompanied by the appropriate paperwork as outlined in the Board’s Granting Policy. Applicants may present an idea to the Board Prior to submitting a formal funding request to explore if it is something that would interest the Board. However, no action will be taken until a formal request has been submitted.
All proposals must contain sufficient specific details to enable the Board to fully understand the proposal and to make an informed decision.
No changes may be made to an approved funding request without prior approval of the Board.
As required by the Granting Policy, recipients of Board Funding must submit all require follow up reports. Failure to do so will have a negative impact when considering future requests from the organization.
When considering co-op ads initiated by other parties, the Board may grant preliminary approval; however, final approval form participation will not be granted until the Board has reviewed and approved the final copy of the ad. The initiating party will be required to pay all costs of the ad an on receipt of an invoice which includes a published copy of the ad and copy of the original funding request, the Board will reimburse for it’s agreed upon share.
The Board may, at its discretion, review and act on a minor project funding request at the same meeting. However, in the case of a major project or grant proposal the Board will only review the request at a regular Board meeting and then take action on the proposal at the next regular Board meeting. This will allow Board members sufficient time to fully review, understand and vet the proposal. It is incumbent on the applicant to submit all proposals and funding requests in a timely manner. The Board will not hold special meetings, nor go to extraordinary lengths to accommodate an applicant’s compressed schedule.