(LAWERNCE CO.) - The Lawrence County Tourism is announcing two important programs for local businesses and events.
The tourism office has developed new grant guidelines and changed the application process while also implementing a new tourism awards program which gives local businesses and events an opportunity to be known as the best in the county based on votes received from the public.
$20,000 has been set aside by Lawrence County Tourism to help fund the marketing of businesses and events that exhibit positive tourism potential for the county.
These funds are meant to help qualified organizations promote tourism activities that will directly increase hotel occupancy and create a positive economic impact for Lawrence County.
The new guidelines focus on four main points: the ability to draw visitors from outside of Lawrence County, the potential for growth of the event or attraction, generation of overnight stays, and the potential for food and beverage sales throughout the community.
The first deadline for submitting a grant application is January 31, 2014. The second deadline will be June 30, 2014 for events taking place later in the year or early 2015.
The first annual Tourism Awards program for Lawrence County is currently in progress. Based on votes from the public and local community leaders, one attraction, event/festival, lodging property and restaurant, will be given a tourism award for being the public favorite. Local businesses in the running this year are:
Lodging Property - Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Spring Mill State Park Inn and Guthrie Meadows Bed & Breakfast.
Restaurant - Salt Creek Brewery, Downtown Stone Pig Smokehouse and Golden Corral.
Attraction -Spring Mill State Park, Lawrence County Recreational Park and Bluespring Caverns Park.
Event/Festival - Limestone Heritage Festival & BBQ @ the Quarry, Mitchell Persimmon Festival,Lawrence County History Festival & Pow Wow and the Bedford Christmas Parade.
Lawrence County Tourism will hold a reception hosted by the Growth Council in late January to announce the winners. Awards will be presented along with brochures to help promote their businesses, and plaques to display.
You can find the voting polls through the Lawrence County Tourism Facebook page if interested in voting.
One lucky voter will also be randomly selected to receive gift certificates from the tourism office with a value of approximately $150. Voting will take place until the end of the year.
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