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.
2022 TPA Grant Application Announcement
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
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:
- 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.
- The marketing of convention business that benefits local tourism and lodging businesses in Spokane County.
- 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.
- 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.