Tourism Grant Program
The Explore York grants program took a hiatus in fiscal year 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In December 2021, the program came back in full force, awarding $136,000 to five recipients from 2020 Round one and $640,500 to eight recipients for 2022 Round one, plus two Timely Opportunity grants totaling $55,797, for a total of $832,297 to 15 recipients. Those who had applied for grants before the program shut down in 2020 and whose applications were still viable were reviewed for funding first.
Total Grant Awards: 107 to date
From 2021-2022, 15 grants were awarded for a total of $832,297
Attracting Visitors to York County
In fiscal year 2021-2022, Explore York also received an additional $875,000 in ARPA funding for distribution to York County applicants. That funding will be utilized in future grant rounds.
The focus of the Explore York grants program remains to attract visitors to York County, enhance the local market, and encourage overnight stays. The program is funded through the hotel occupancy tax, which is then invested back into tourism partner businesses, organizations, and events as they continue to support the industry.
Each year, Explore York offers two rounds of grant funding which begin January 1 and June 1. Since its inception in 2017, the program has awarded $3.9 million to more than 60 organizations.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations, businesses, and event planners to get creative in their planning. Many grant recipients focus their funds on marketing efforts to get the visibility needed to attract visitors from targeted markets.
BAPS Motor Speedway: $25,000 to market "Adrenaline Made Here" to support three 2022 events.
Crispus Attucks Association of York PA: $16,000 to fund the ongoing marketing and development of the Goodridge Freedom Center.
Cultural Alliance of York County: $95,000 to fund a comprehensive cultural tourism marketing campaign.
Timely Opportunity Grants:
RRFT Enterprises: $45,797 to support a volleyball tournament in December 2022 that is estimated to bring in over $1 million dollars in economic impact to York County.
Mid-Atlantic Women's Motorcycle Rally Association: $10,000 to enhance visitor experience at the 2022 Rally. Benefits from the rally are donated to support women fighting cancer.
Borough of Spring Grove: $10,000 to support event and advertising costs for the "Smoke in the Grove BBQ Festival" happening Summer 2022.
Hanover Chamber of Commerce: $23,000 to develop and print the Discover Hanover Magazine as a tool to promote the greater Hanover area as an attractive destination for visitors.
Have It Made Here Brand - Marketing plan managed by Explore York: $450,000 to broaden the marketing efforts for York County's "Have It Made Here" brand.
Maple Lawn Entertainment Inc.: $12,000 to support marketing the new "Lavender Harvest at Maple Lawn" event premiering in Summer 2022.
Miss PA Scholarship Foundation Inc.: $22,500 to promote York County as the home of the Miss PA Scholarship Foundation competition and to draw increased spectators to the competition happening in Summer 2022.
Northern Central Railway: $42,000 to attract increased tourist visitors through digital marketing and signage advertising Northern Central Railway.
Penn-Mar Irish Festival: $6,000 to market the in-person return of the Penn-Mar Irish Festival happening in Summer 2022
York County Rail Trail Authority: $75,000 to fund the expansion of the Hanover Trolley Trail and to further the development of the Hanover Trolley Trail as a regional destination.
York County Tourism Grant Committee
Chair: Eric Menzer, President of the York Revolution
Treasurer: Rob Berkebile, RKL LLP
Kate Klunk, State Representative
Kevin Schreiber, York County Economic Alliance President and CEO
Caitlin Johnson, Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce Marketing and PR Manager
Bryan Tate, York County Register of Wills & Clerk of Orphans' Court
Kristy Bixler, County of York Pennsylvania Executive Director of Human Resources