Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) Funding

The TPA was created as a mechanism to provide targeted funding to help Spokane County compete with other cities to gain overnight visitors.

TPA Meeting Notice

BEFORE THE SPOKANE HOTEL AND MOTEL COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF CALLING THE ANNUAL MEETING ) NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Spokane Hotel and Motel Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to the provisions of RCW 42.30.080, that a special meeting will be held by the Commission on Thursday, November 5, 2020, commencing at 4:00 PM. The special meeting will be held online via Zoom technology.

The purpose of the meeting will be:

  • Recommendation for the City of Spokane Valley requested changes to the Interlocal Agreement.
  • Other administrative business

The terminology “action” as used herein shall mean deliberate, discuss, consider, review, evaluate, make a collective decision or take a vote on the above-listed item.

Any person may appear at the time, place, and date set forth hereinabove and observe the action(s) of the Commission. No public testimony will be accepted on the item listed above. The Commission may hold an executive session during the special meeting for any reason set forth in RCW 42.30.110. The public will not be allowed to attend any executive session.

Additional information may be obtained on this notice by contacting Maureen Dodroe at (509) 742-9380. If you wish to attend this meeting via Zoom, please send an email request to mdodroe@visitspokane.com.

DATED THIS 4th day of November 2020.

SPOKANE HOTEL MOTEL COMMISSION (aka TPA COMMISSION)

_______________________________________

Valerie Santillanes, Chair of the Commission

2020 TPA Award Grant Recipients

JAKT Foundation / Vision Marketing LLC

Event: Crave NW

Grant Amount: $7,000

Spokane Hoopfest Association

Event: Hoopfest with Olympic Style 3on3 addition

Grant Amount: $30,000

Spokane Valley Jr Soccer Association

Event: 2020 Spokane Summer Classic Adult Soccer Tournament

Grant Amount: $1,630

The Family Fun Guide & WOW China

Event: Northwest Winterfest

Grant Amount: $25,000

Vision Marketing LLC

Event: Mt Spokane Hucks, Bikes & Brews

Grant Amount: $5,000

2020 Total Amount Awarded: $68,630

Pictured: 2019 TPA Award Grant Recipients

Tourism Promotion Area Grant Funds – 2021

Due to COVID-19 which has affected significant shortfalls in hotel occupancy and TPA assessments, TPA grant funds for special events will not be offered for application going into 2021. For years beyond 2021, the Spokane Hotel and Motel Commission will assess the recovery of hotel occupancy and the assessment fund at its 2021 annual meeting. We will post notice on this page no later than October 15th each year of the availability of grant funding.

A brief history of the Spokane Tourism Promotion Area (TPA)

The purpose of the TPA fund is to grow our tourism economy through increased visitor spending in Spokane County lodging establishments as well in retail, restaurant, transportation, attraction, and other hospitality establishments.

In 2004, Spokane-area lodging establishments petitioned Spokane County to establish a TPA assessment collection that began in June of 2004. State RCW 35.10 provides the legislation for TPAs.

TPA funds are made available through the support of Spokane County, City of Spokane Valley, and City of Spokane lodging businesses.

The rate is $2 per room night, collected by lodging establishments from direct charges to overnight visitors. TPA funds are an assessment, not a tax, added to the cost of a hotel/motel room with permission from the Spokane Hotel and Motel Commission.

NOTE: “Lodging Tax” is a rebate from the sales tax collected on room sales, returned to the city/county to help promote tourism. These are separate funds from TPA funds, with different rules for use and different advisory commissions.

Why tourism is important. ¹Visitor spending in Spokane County was approximately $1.3 billion in 2018. This spending supports more than 10,750 jobs in the local tourism industry and generated $109 million in non-resident tax revenues collected in Spokane County.

The County has contracted with Visit Spokane to act as the administrative manager for the TPA. As managers we:

  • Ensure compliance with all regulations
  • Develop an annual estimate of income and budget
  • Administer contracts with funded agencies
  • Perform administrative duties for the Spokane Hotel and Motel Commission

The Spokane Hotel and Motel (TPA) Commission is made up of eight members, representing the three jurisdictions. Members are hoteliers appointed by City and county elected officials. This Commission evaluates applications for funding and makes recommendations to the County for fund disbursements.

¹Source: Dean Runyan Associates County Travel Impacts 2018p

County Ordinance 4-0141, section 4 reads as follows:

USE OF SPECIAL ASSESSMENT REVENUES FOR THE PROMOTION OF TOURISM AND CONVENTION BUSINESS IN SPOKANE COUNTY.

The revenues from the Special Assessment levied by Spokane County on the Operators of Lodging Businesses situated within the Spokane County Tourism Promotion Area shall be used for the following purposes only:

  1. The funding of all activities and expenditures designed to increase tourism promotion and convention business within Spokane County as specified in the Spokane County Tourism Promotion Area Budget.
  2. The marketing of convention business that benefits local tourism and lodging businesses in Spokane County.
  3. The marketing of Spokane County to the travel industry in order to benefit local tourism and lodging businesses within the Spokane County Tourism Promotion Area.
  4. The marketing of Spokane County to recruit major sporting events in order to promote local tourism and to benefit lodging businesses within the Spokane County Tourism Promotion Area.