York County seeks new applicants for annual $1.2 million grant money

The York County Tourism Grant Committee is looking for the next group of projects that will put York County on the map.

The committee is looking for ideas focused on increasing tourism in the area, according to a news release from Andrew Staub, communications specialist for the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The committee is accepting applications now, and the best ones will aim to reach visitors from more than a 50-mile radius of the county and increase overnight stays, the release states.

Projects can also be dedicated to strengthening an existing attraction, Staub wrote.

The release states that York County has a $943 million tourism industry.

The latest use of the committee's grant money was for the county's rebranding project for York County and York City. 

More:Rebranding York County: A 'maker's spirit' meets history

North Star Senior Vice President Ed Barlow and Account Manager Jessica Mitton talk during the Downtown York and York County Research and Strategy Presentation at the Capitol Theatre Dec. 13, 2017. North Star, a destination firm out of Nashville, Tennessee, decided on the York County brand with input from a survey filled out by people who live and work in the county. The rebranding project was initiated after Downtown Inc and the York County Community Foundation received a tourism grant from the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau this summer. Bill Kalina photo

Downtown Inc and the York County Community Foundation received a tourism grant this summer, which helped them undertake a branding study to determine perception of the county and city locally and in neighboring communities.

The project has now moved into its creative stage of establishing a brand for the city, which will be implemented within the next few years.

The tourism grants are funded by money collected from local hotel-occupancy taxes, which were increased from 3 percent to 5 percent in May, allowing for a projected $1.2 million in additional annual revenue, The York Dispatch reported this spring.

More:Committee announces grants for tourism-boosting projects in York

Eric Menzer, chair of the committee and president of the York Revolution, called the grant program a "transformative force."

The program awarded more than $1 million to 30 projects this year, he said.

Any business, nonprofit or government agency using the money to advance tourism in York County is eligible to apply.

Applicants must apply for an amount of $2,500 or more, and each grant requires a 25 percent cash or in-kind match. 

To complete an application, visit yorkpa.org. Proposals may be submitted through a new online tool.

Questions about the process may be directed to York County Convention & Visitors Bureau Community Partnership Manager Denise Restuccia. She can be reached at 717-852-9675, ext. 113 or by emailing denise@yorkpa.org.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb.14., and grant recipients will be announced on June 6.