Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars Available to Bring Concerts, Festivals and Events to Everett

TPA Grants

Got an idea? Big money is available for events in Everett and Snohomish County.

Do you have a plan to host the next big event in Everett? Money is available. Lots of it. Tens of thousands of dollars. TPA grant applications are being accepted every month to bring events to Everett and Snohomish County. TPA stands for Tourism Promotion Area and is a fairly recent program developed and managed by Snohomish County where one dollar from every night’s stay at a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast in Snohomish County goes into a fund to promote events, tourism and most importantly…future overnight stays. The grant money is unique in that it can be given to non-profit agencies, private businesses, cities and any other group or individuals who can show that their event will generate overnight stays. Jessica Voelker is the coordinator for the program. “We’re looking for the next big idea,” said Voelker. “From homegrown shows and festivals to bringing the X-games to Everett, we want to see what people can come up with.” Projects in Everett that have applied for funding so far include the Heroes Half Marathon, Everett Aquasox baseball and the Future of Flight.

The grants can be made available to any project within Snohomish County. The project must be clearly defined and meet certain criteria. Here’s a brief explanation of what the funds can be used for:

TPA funds may include, but are not limited to: advertising and marketing materials, marketing and publicizing events, community development programs, bid fees, officials’ fees, conference/convention or trade show costs, transportation costs, operation of a tourism destination marketing organization or the distribution of information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists to Snohomish County that result in overnight stays. Previous median project funding has been $40,000.

Each month a board made up of lodging and tourism professionals meet to review applications. Once applications have been approved they are then sent to the Snohomish County Council and Snohomish County Executive’s Office for a final review. Voelker is the advocate and intermediary between the applicant and the board and she helps advise people on their applications before they are submitted. One other note, no taxpayer dollars are being used. “This is an assessment on room nights from lodging,” said Voelker. Could Salty Sea Days make a come back using these funds? Is there a battle of the bands, multi-day event, comic book convention or huge arts festival in Everett’s future. “Think big,” said Voelker. “The bigger the better.”

Click here to visit the Tourism Protection Area website for complete details and an application.

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