TOMPKINS COUNTY — Just over $167,000 in grants were approved Tuesday by Tompkins County Legislature for dozens of organizations, projects and events in the community. The grants are funded by the county’s room occupancy tax.
Tompkins County collected about $2.4 million in room occupancy tax last year, legislator Jim Dennis said. The tax is used for tourism and community events, celebrations and projects. The funding is broken into new tourism initiative grants, community celebration grants, tourism marketing and advertising grants and tourism project grants.
Events like the Ithaca Festival, Streets Alive! Ithaca, the Dragon Boat Festival and Wizarding Weekend received grants. Funding also went to community organizations hosting events like the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and Southside Community Center.
Anyone renting out a room or rooms in Tompkins County for less than 30 days, whether it’s a big hotel or AirBnB, must collect and pay room occupancy tax to the county. The room occupancy tax is 5 percent for properties with 11 rooms or more and 3 percent for properties with less than that.
The grants approved by Tompkins County on Tuesday were four grant programs out of nine that come from the room occupancy tax. There will be a fall round of grants as well, Knipe said.
In addition to the grants, money collected from the room occupancy tax also goes to marketing, to Tompkins County Area Development, strategic tourism implementation, to beautification and public art programs, workforce development and other local projects. About 10 percent goes to administrative costs. The largest amount, about 37 percent, goes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tom Knipe, principal planner and tourism program director in Tompkins County, said the mission of the tourism program and tourism board is to invest in tourism in a way that promotes economic development and strengthens community institutions. That includes increasing visitor spending — which was more than $195 million in 2015 — and increasing overnight stays.
“We’re really interested in finding that nexus between tourism … while enhancing local quality of life,” Knipe said.
See how funding was allocated and check out what events are on the horizon in 2017.
|Applicant||Project Title/Group||Event Date(s)||Award|
|Ithaca Underground||2017-18: Big Day In, Naked Noise, November Music||12/02/2017-4/7/2017||$8,750|
|Center for Transformative Action/Cayuga Lake Floating Classroom||Market research to launch educational tourism on Cayuga Lake||N/A||$3,500|
|Coltivare Culinary Center||2017 Finger Lakes Farmers' Market and Culinary Experience||6/1/2017 - 10/26/2017||$3,300|
|Ithaca Children's Garden||2017 Visual Tour Guide Project||N/A||$5,100|
|Wizarding Weekend||2017 Wizarding Weekend||10/27/2017 - 10/29/2017||$15,000|
|Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County||2017 Spring Writes Literary Festival||5/4/2017-5/7/2017||$3,500|
|Ithaca Asian American Association||2017 Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival||7/8/2017||$10,000|
|Downtown Ithaca Alliance||2017 Ice Festival||12/7/2017-12/10/2017||$12,000|
|Ithaca Festival||2017 Ithaca Festival||6/2/2017-6/4/2017||$3,000|
|Ithaca Shakespeare Company Inc.||2017 Summer Shakespeare Festival||7/13/2017-7/30/2017||$6,627|
|Sciencenter||2017 Science Playground||N/A||$18,000|
|Wharton Studio Museum||Ithaca Fantastik 2017||11/4/2017-11/12/2017||$12,500|
|Ithaca Underground (marketing & advertising)||2017-18: Big Day In, Naked Noise, November Music Series, One Fest (marketing/advertising)||12/2/2017-4/7/2018||$4,050|
|Center for the Arts at Ithaca||2017 Come for the Gorges, Stay for a Show (marketing/advertising)||6/15/2017-8/26/2017||$5,000|
|Downtown Ithaca Alliance||Bite of Ithaca 2017 (marketing/advertising)||6/26/2017-7/1/2017||$2,500|
|Kitchen Theatre Company||Cable TV advertising for the 2017-18 Season||N/A||$5,000|
|Primitive Pursuits - Cornell Cooperative Extension||2017 Regional Marketing for Overnight Camp||N/A||$3,000|
|Trumansburg Chamber of Commerce||Marketing and Advertising 2017||N/A||$1,145|
|Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County||2017 Spring Writes Literary Festival (marketing/advertising)||5/4/2017-5/7-2017||$3,270|
|Ithaca Asian American Association||2017 Finger Lakes International Dragon Boat Festival (marketing/advertising)||7/8/2017||$3,000|
|Downtown Ithaca Alliance||2017 Ice Festival (marketing/advertising)||12/7/2017-12/10/2017||$2,500|
|Ithaca Festival||2017 Ithaca Festival (marketing/advertising)||6/2/2017-6/4-2017||$1,000|
|Ithaca Shakespeare Company Inc.||2017 Summer Shakespeare Festival (marketing/advertising)||7/13/2017-7/30/2017||$1,000|
|Paleontological Research||2017 Mapping the Planets (marketing/advertising)||N/A||$2,800|
|Wharton Studio Museum||Ithaca Fantastik 2017 (marketing/advertising)||11/4/2017-11/12/2017||$2,600|
|2017 Treasures of Groton's Past||Town of Groton||6/10/2017||$950|
|Town of Lansing Bicentennial Celebration Ag Day||Town of Lansing||7/4/2017-10/31/2017||$1,200|
|Celebrating Our Rural Heritage||The History Center in Tompkins County||6/17/2017-10/21/2017||$1,000|
|Dryden Lake Festival||Town of Dryden||7/22/2017||$1,700|
|Greater Ithaca Activities Center||2017 GIAC Festival||6/3/2017||$1,200|
|Groton Free Community Night||Village of Groton||8/1/2017||$700|
|International Mud Day||Ithaca Children's Garden||6/24/2017||$1,500|
|Latin@ Heritage Month||Latino Civic Association of Tompkins County||9/15/2017-10/15/2017||$1,600|
|Latino Multicultural Festival||No Mas Lagrimas||9/17/2017||$1,000|
|We are the Village! Community Concert||Village at Ithaca||10/21/2017||$1,200|
|Newfield Old Home Days||Town of Newfield||7/28/2017-7/29/2017||$1,700|
|Playdate in the Park||Child Development Council||6/6/2017||$850|
|Reuse Trail Extravaganza||Cooperative Extension Association of Tompkins County||10/14/2017-10/15/2017||$1,300|
|Historic Ithaca||Bicentennial Walk and Talks||5/13/2017-8/19/2017||$1,000|
|Triphammer Arts Inc.||Watermusic and Dancing on the Water||7/7/2017-7/9/2017||$1,200|
|Community Iftar||Islamic Community Outreach Services||6/3/2017||$1,700|
|Double Dutch Tournament of Champions||City of Ithaca||6/16/2017-6/18/2017||$1,200|
|Enfield Harvest Festival||Enfield Community Council||9/23/2017||$1,700|
|First Peoples Festival||Multicultural Resource Center||10/7/2017||$1,300|
|Juneteenth||Southside Communitiy Center||6/17/2017||$1,600|
|Kwanzaa||Southside Communitiy Center||12/28/2017||$1,400|
|Streets Alive! Ithaca||Ithaca Carshare/Bike Walk Tompkins||4/30/2017-9/17/2017||$1,600|
|Winterfest 2017||Trumansburg Chamber of Commerce||12/2/2017||$1,000|
Featured image: 2016 Ithaca Festival. Photo by Ed Dittenhoefer