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Central Pa. Convention and Visitors Bureau announces availability of grant applications

Betsey Howell, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, speaks during the announcement ceremony for the 2013 Tourism Grant recipients. Applications are being accepted until March 30 for this year’s grants.
Betsey Howell, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau, speaks during the announcement ceremony for the 2013 Tourism Grant recipients. Applications are being accepted until March 30 for this year’s grants. Centre Daily Times, file

From recreation to the arts, several local nonprofits are set to get a boost in 2017.

The Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau and Centre County Board of Commissioners announced Tuesday the opening for Tourism Grant applications. The program has awarded more than $3.2 million since its inception in 2002.

“The intent is to provide financial assistance to 501C 3 nonprofit groups and organizations in Centre County with tourism projects aimed at increasing overnight visitation to the area and/or enhancing the tourism experience,” according to a press release from the bureau.

In 2016, 33 nonprofits were awarded grants totaling $341,638.

Applications are being accepted until March 30, and the awards will be announced by May 31, according to the release. Applying entities must be located within Centre County.

A percentage of the county’s hotel room tax revenues fund the program. According to a bureau annual report, 49,736 room nights were used for 2015-2016 related to meetings, conventions, sports and groups.

For the 2015-16 fiscal year, the county hotel room tax generated $1,842,050 in revenues and gains, according to the bureau’s annual report.

Past grant recipients include the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, Historic Bellefonte Inc. and the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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