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Winand Letter: YCCVB Working Diligently to Implement Grant Program

Published: 08/29/2016
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August 25, 2016

Greetings members of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tourism Stakeholders,

Thanks to our state legislative delegation, Governor Wolf and our County Commissioners, York County's tourism industry will benefit from the revenues created by increasing our room tax from 3 percent to 5 percent. The playing field has at last been leveled, and we can finally embark on a new opportunity to benefit our community by investing in our tourism industry and increasing the economic benefits (jobs, taxes and revenues) tourism creates.

York County's room tax increase from 3 to 5 percent will generate approximately $1.2 million of additional revenues. The Expo Center will receive 14 percent of the total revenues. The remaining balance of the revenues will go to the YCCVB, of which a portion will be put into a Tourism Grant Program for our community. The York County Tourism Grant Program will allow for annual and multi-year grants to organizations and businesses for tourism-related projects.

The YCCVB has been working diligently to ensure that the revenues collected from York County's room tax will be handled in accordance with the law as detailed in ACT 18. The new law requires investment of these funds by the county's recognized tourist promotion agency (YCCVB). It is our mission to ensure that the investment of these revenues meets legal requirements including transparency and investment on tourism, travel marketing or promotion programs.

The YCCVB board of directors assigned a Task Force to develop a tourism grant program based on best practices. That Task Force met four times from November to April and was comprised of Chairman Eric Menzer, York Revolution; Dave Hogg, Springwood Hospitality; Robert Berkebile, RKL; Jane Conover, York County Community Foundation; Anne Druck, YCCVB; Ronald Hershner, Stock and Leader; Bev Mackereth, Ridge Policy Group; Mark Sindicich, Victor's Italian Restaurant; Mary Anne Winkelman, Cultural Alliance, and Jan Herrold, facilitator. The outcome of those meetings was a thoughtful, concise strategy for the grant process to ensure that monies expended through it are not only in accordance with the law, but that they will benefit tourism in our county. The YCCVB board approved the Task Force Program Design and Process Recommendations in May 2016.

In June and August, the YCCVB executive committee held meetings with Representative Kate Klunk, County Commissioner Doug Hoke and Solicitor Glenn Smith to reach agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] between the County of York and YCCVB.

As we finalize that MOU, our new grant committee will work to open our grant program for York County. Committee members will consist of representatives from the County of York, York County's state legislative delegation, City of York, Hanover Chamber of Commerce, York County Economic Alliance, YCCVB and a member jointly appointed by the delegation and county.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Anne Druck, YCCVB president, at adruck@yorkpa.org or 888-858-YORK (9675) x 104. We look forward to seeing you at our Annual Tourism Industry Event on Thursday, December 1 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center.  Invitations will follow.

Thank you, 

Liz Winand

YCCVB board chair

Owner Shanks Mare Outfitters