Tourism-marketing grants available for communities impacted by floods, fires

DENVER — Nonprofits and quasi-governmental agencies in 19 counties in Colorado — including Boulder, Larimer and Weld — can apply for grants up to $150,000 to be used for marketing efforts to attract visitors to communities that suffered economic losses from floods and fires in 2012 and 2013.

Organizations in counties impacted by the September 2013 floods, and the High Park, Black Forest, Waldo Canyon and Royal Gorge fires, are eligible to receive the grants.

Quasi-governmental agencies are those that receive operating funds from a government, usually a municipality or county, but operate independently, such as chambers of commerce, visitor bureaus and business associations.

The grants are being dispersed by the Recover Colorado Tourism Marketing Grant Program offered through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

OEDIT has $728,300 in grant funds available, which it received from the state’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds provided by the  

the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Susan House, a program manager at OEDIT, said in the first round of funding of $500,000, applications were received from chambers of commerce, visitors bureaus and business associations.

Grant proposals are due by April 15 and will be evaluated for quality of proposal and use of funds, reliance on tourism, documented per capita and total impact of the disaster, matching funds and in-kind contributions.

The other 16 eligible counties are Adams, Arapahoe, Clear Creek, Crowley, Denver, El Paso, Fremont, Gilpin, Jefferson, Lake, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Sedgwick, Teller and Washington.

The guidelines and application can be found online here.