Thurston County’s Board of County Commissioners voted on Feb. 27 to approve 2018 Lodging Tax Grant Awards to five organizations who met the necessary criteria.

The funds were awarded through the Public Stadium, Convention, Arts, and Tourism excise tax fund. Money from the fund is earmarked to be awarded to organizations that promote tourism with their events or facilities.

The goal of the grants is to attract out-of-town visitors to the region, and in turn, stimulate the local economy. The tax revenue can also go to capital, operating, and marketing costs for select facilities and convention agencies that lure in tourists and their dollars. Grant funds must be used the same year in which they are awarded.

Overseeing these grants is The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC). The LTAC received five applications in 2018. All five applicants were awarded grants, for a total of $41,000.

The events and organizations that received awards:

• Olympia Air Show at the Olympic Flight Museum – $5,000

• Washington State Senior Games – $5,000

• Wolf Haven International Public Sanctuary Support and Education – $5,000

• Dragon Boat Festival at Saint Martin’s University – $6,000

• Thurston County Fair – $20,000

“This is a great program for our citizens and visitors to our County,” Thurston County Commissioner Gary Edwards stated. “We need to do everything we can with this dedicated funding source to help these organizations succeed and bring additional tourism to Thurston County.”