YORK, PA-The York County Tourism Grant Committee has approved $611,932 in total funding for 17 dynamic projects and events during the first round of 2019, continuing the surge of momentum the local tourism industry has seen over the past several years.

The Explore York Board of Directors ratified the projects on June 4, 2019, with several projects spanning over multiple years. This year for the first time, recipients will need to incorporate the new county brand standards into marketing materials funded through these grants. Unveiled earlier this year, the county adopted the new have it made here strapline and logo to unify the area into one recognizable tourist destination.

“We received 33 applications, totaling a request for more than $1.7 million in 2019 Round One.  Today we’re funding an array of innovative projects that represent a broad range of ideas to grow tourism and enhance the visitor experience in York County,” said Grant Committee Chair Eric Menzer. “The Committee believes this latest class of recipients not only has the ability to draw visitors in through marketing efforts but to offer the very best in entertainment and attractions.”

The following projects were awarded grants:

  • Appell Center for the Performing Arts: $20,000 to fund the booking of eight acts in 2019 - 2020 season and marketing of those acts to visitors beyond 50 miles of York County.
  • Caputo Brothers Creamery LLC: $75,000 to fund the creation of interactive educational displays and experiences to attract visitors beyond 50 miles of York County.
  • Eichelberger Performing Arts Center: $20,000 to market the Eichelberger Center performances to visitors beyond 50 miles from York County.
  • Explore York: $59,032 to rebrand and integrate the new county brand into Explore York.
  • Hanover Chamber of Commerce: $23,000 to assist with the printing, development, production, and distribution of the Discover Hanover magazine.
  • Hanover Chili Cook-Off:  $5,000 to market the event to visitors beyond 50 miles of York County.
  • Susquehanna Folk Music Society: $30,000 over two years to fund the addition of the root stage which will have progressive folk music entertainment to attract the 25-30-year-old demographic. 
  • Susquehanna Heritage Corp.: $45,000 to fund development and marketing, stage III.
  • Wyndham Garden York: $28,000 to fund the Pennsylvania Bus Association and Maryland Motorcoach Association booth registration to increase participation of Explore York members.
  • YMCA of York and York County: $31,000 to fund improvements to the Graham Aquatic Center to encourage and sustain aquatic meets.
  • York Bar Foundation: $25,000 to assist with the building of the Hard Bargains sculpture located at Pershing Avenue and Philadelphia Street, across from the new History Center.
  • York County Brand Initiative, in conjunction with Explore York: $100,000 to further implement the new county brand.
  • York County History Center: $100,000 over two years to implement a marketing plan to promote the opening of the York County History Center to visitors beyond 50 miles of York, Pa.
  • York County Poultry Fanciers: $2,500 over two years to host a Poultry Show at the York Expo Center.
  • York Symphony Orchestra: $25,000 to fund marketing initiatives beyond 50 miles of York County.
  • York XL, in conjunction with Philanthropic Endeavors: $14,800 over two years to support the creation of a new event, A Million Dreams, to be held in downtown York, PA.
  • Young Women’s Christian Association of York: $8,600 to market the 16th Annual Y-Tri event to visitors beyond 50 miles from York, PA.

In addition to Menzer, the York County Tourism Grant Committee is comprised of Dave Hogg, Springwood Hospitality; Kevin Schreiber, York County Economic Alliance; Representative Kate Klunk; Emily Freiert, Hanover Chamber of Commerce; Rob Berkebile, RKL, LLP; and Kristy Bixler with the County of York.

The next application period opens on July 1, 2019, and will be for grant requests up to $10,000. The application process will close on August 1, 2019, and grant recipients will be announced in mid-November. All recipients will be required to provide grant reports no later than 90 days after the project is completed. When timely opportunities arise, the Grant Committee will also entertain funding requests outside the normal deadlines. All grant applicants must provide a 25 percent cash or in-kind match.

Grant requirements and restrictions can be found at www.yorkpa.org. Questions about the application process may be directed to Denise Restuccia, Grant Manager at Explore York, by emailing denise@yorkpa.org or calling 717-852-9675, ext. 113.

About the York County Tourism Grant Program

Explore York and the York County Commissioners established a matching grant program aimed at boosting tourism (visitation from beyond a 50-mile radius) in York County. The program, which is funded through a room tax enacted by the York County Commissioners, provides financial support to initiatives deemed capable of generating broad and substantial benefit to York County tourism. The York County Tourism Grant Committee accepts proposals for projects aimed at expanding and/or improving tourism promotion and development in York County. Visit The York County Tourism Grant Program for details.

About Explore York

Explore York’s mission is to maximize tourism expenditures and their economic impact in York County, PA, through comprehensive tourism sales and marketing programs. The vision is for a York County where tourism is recognized for the value of its economic impact and its role in raising the profile of York County as a sought-after destination. For more information on Explore York, call 1-888-858-9675 or visit www.yorkpa.org.