State College

Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau announces tourism grant recipients

Betsey Howell has been the executive director for the Central Pa. Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for 31 years. She plans to retire in May.
Betsey Howell has been the executive director for the Central Pa. Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for 31 years. She plans to retire in May. Centre Daily Times, file

The Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Centre County Commissioners announced the 2017-18 tourism grant recipients on Thursday at the Centre County and Penn State Visitor Center. The grants, awarded to 42 organizations, totaled a record $504,214.

“We have the committee to thank for that,” said Betsey Howell, who is retiring on May 12 after more than three decades as the CPCVB’s executive director. “They see how this program is working and they see the benefit to it.”

The Tourism Grant Review committee selected recipients based on an application process. The money is required to be put toward marketing and capital expenses.

About 2 million people visit Centre County annually, generating more than $720 million in tourism spending, according to the CPCVB.

“It’s been an amazing time to appreciate all the different things we have here,” Commissioner Michael Pipe said. “In Centre County, we are growing. We are a growing community.”

Funded by the Centre County lodging tax, the tourism grant program has awarded more than $3.7 million to local nonprofits since it was established in 2002.

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