Tourism grants handed out to York County institutions

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

Tourism is a billion-dollar industry in York County.  

In an effort to make the industry continue to grow, the York County Tourism Grant Committee awarded more than $670,000 in grants to 17 projects or events to help attract visitors to the county. 

The grants help support events or projects that bring visitors from outside a 50-mile radius to York County, enhance their experience when they get here and generate overnight stays that impact the local economy. 

Zimmerman Center for Heritage manager and tour guide Paul Nevin, right, leads the first official Susquehanna National Heritage Area River Discovery Tour beginning at the heritage center in Wrightsville, Saturday, July 13, 2019. The Heritage Area was among the round two grant recipients from the York County Tourism Grant Committee. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“The selected events and projects have the potential to increase the economic impact and draw tourists into all corners of York County,” Eric Menzer, president of the York Revolution and chair of the York County Tourism Grant Committee, said. “These selected grants continue our mission of strengthening tourism in York County, which is so vital post-COVID." 

According to Menzer, the committee has awarded more than $3 million in funding since the grant program's inception in 2017.

This was the second round of grants handed out by the committee in 2022. It previously awarded $640,000 in grants to eight projects during the first round of funding in April.

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The second-round grants were capped at $50,000 and also required a 25% cash or in-kind match. Those that earn the grants must provide post-grant reports no later than 90 days following project completion, Menzer said. 

The following round two grants were awarded: 

  • Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education ($10,000): Marketing the Pawpaw Festival to visitors outside York County 
  • Brewery Tours ($10,000): Strategic marketing efforts to bring visitors to York County Breweries 
  • LR Productions ($25,000): Funding to assist with competitive gymnastics meet in 2024 in York 
  • Eichelberger Performing Arts Center ($50,000): Integrated marketing and support for 2022 fall-winter Theatre Series 
  • Panthers Select Softball ($25,000): To improve Crist Field Softball Complex with the addition of permanent fencing 
  • Racing Xtravaganza ($30,000): Advertising and event costs to support the 2023 Racing Xtravaganza 
  • Northern Central Railway ($24,420): Strategic marketing efforts to support Cowboy Weekend 
  • Susquehanna National Heritage Area ($9,230): Marketing support for Chief Uncas boat attraction 
  • International Slow Pitch Softball ($50,000): Support new slow-pitch Softball Tournament coming to York County Spring 2023 
  • Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association ($5,000): Support 4th Annual Dam Bridge Challenge 
  • S&S Events ($50,000): Support the addition of an under 18 boys bracket in 2023 AAU York Grand Prix Volleyball Tournament 
  • S&S Events ($50,000): Support expansion of 2023 AAU PA State Championships 
  • York College ($20,000): Marketing White Rose Music Festival to increase visitor attendance outside a 50-mile radius 
  • Downtown Inc. ($65,950): Six-month digital marketing campaign to promote Downtown York and further propagate the destination brand for York County 
  • Keystone Oral Histories ($50,000): In partnership with an ARPA eligible sponsor to further develop the Heart of Hanover Walking Trail
  • White Rose Figure Skating Club ($15,000*): To host the 2023 Keystone State Games Figure Skating Championships, bringing this event back to York County 
  • Downtown Inc. ($200,000*): One-year marketing campaign designed in collaboration with Explore York to promote tourism to downtown amenities 

The application process for the next round of grand funding will begin in January. Questions about the application process may be directed to Elizabeth Waite, grant program manager at Explore York, at Elizabeth@yorkpa.org or 717-852-9675, ext. 113.