By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The funding comes from a 4 percent lodging tax on motels, campgrounds, RV parks and Olympic National Park lodges within unincorporated Clallam County.
The Port Angeles-based Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau gets about 85 percent of the projected lodging tax revenue.
It works “to promote and develop a multifaceted, year-round tourism industry in Clallam County,” according to the personal services agreement that commissioners approved Tuesday.
“This was the amount of money that was both put in the budget and was recommended by the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee to you back in November,” County Administrator Jim Jones told the three commissioners Monday.
The nonprofit Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau may get a “little extra” if lodging tax revenue exceeds projections, Commissioner Mike Doherty said.
“That's been the rule,” he added.
The Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau administers tourism enhancement grants on behalf of the county for projects and events that encourage overnight visitation.
Diane Schostak, executive director of the visitor bureau, said it is still accepting applications for $35,000 in tourism enhancement grants this year.
Other grant recipients
Past recipients of such grants include the Olympic Adventure Trail Run, Olympic BirdFest, Tour de Lavender and the sprint boat races at the Extreme Sports Park.
Schostak was meeting with state legislators in Olympia on Tuesday as part of the Washington Tourism Alliance's fourth annual state Tourism Summit. She said the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau is developing a marketing plan to leverage its resources with partners across the Olympic Peninsula.
“We're doing good stuff for Clallam County,” Schostak said.
A $20,000 share of the county's lodging tax revenue will go to the Clallam Bay-Sekiu Chamber of Commerce.
Another $24,500 was budgeted for the county Parks, Fair and Facilities department, and $1,500 will be divided among other chambers of commerce in the county.
“Everything has got to have a link to heads and beds,” Jones said.
For information on the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau, visit www.olympicpeninsula.org.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.