Tourism Promotion Area Funding Information

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

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

  • Ensure compliance with all regulations
  • Develop 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

Contacts:

Visit Spokane               

            Maureen Dodroe           mdodroe@visitspokane.com     742-9380           General questions

            Jamie Rand                   jrand@visitspokane.com         742-9373           Marketing Support

 

Spokane Sports Commission    

            Ashley Blake                 ashleyb@spokanesports.org     893-5449           Marketing Support

 

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.

 

2019 TPA Award Grant Recipients

2019 TPA Grants

 

BEFORE THE SPOKANE HOTEL AND MOTEL COMMISSION

IN THE MATTER OF CALLING A SPECIAL MEETING       )       NOTICE OF SPECIAL 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 Monday, December 9, 2019 commencing at 1:00 PM.  The special meeting will be held in the Terrace East Room, at The Davenport Grand, 333 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, Washington 99201. 

 

The purpose of the meeting will be:

 

  • To hear presentations by 13 applicants for 2020 TPA Grant funds
  • To determine recommendations to the Spokane County Board of Commissioners for 2020 grant allocations.  

 

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 742-9380.

 

                        DATED THIS 21st day of November 2019.

 

 

SPOKANE HOTEL MOTEL COMMISSION (aka TPA COMMISSION)

                                     

_______________________________________

Valerie Santillanes, Chair of the Commission

2020 TPA Grants

 

 
We are pleased to announce TPA funds totaling $50,000 are available to award to local events for the year 2020.  Events to occur from January 2020 through December 2020
  1. Events must work with Visit Spokane and/or the Spokane Sports Commission on the marketing focus:
    1. Destination positioning
    2. Website Content, e.g. Special Offers
    3. Organization newsletters
    4. Calendar of Events
    5. Ad Campaigns
    6. PR & Social Media
  2. Tips for a successful bid – IMPORTANT!
  • Applicants are urged to request exactly what is needed for their projects and not to inflate requests.  It is the goal of the Hotel-Motel Commission to make full grants rather than dilute projects with partial grants.
  • Estimate return on investment (ROI).  This is the ROI on travel-related economic impact, i.e. room nights, visitor spending. 
  • Tell how you will generate and report room nights.  What is your tracking system going to be? 
  • Set up special rates, codes with hotels.
  • Is the event scheduled for “off” season or a slow period? This can be beneficial.
  • Know what percentage of attendees will require rooms.
  • Know what area of Spokane County will be most utilized.
  • Indicate how will hotels be promoted.
  • Indicate other sources of funding that will be used and how much.
  • Will your event create new room nights or is it a continuation of an existing event? 
  • Will the event discontinue without TPA funds?
  • Award recipients must include on all promotional materials:
  • Visit Spokane website (www.visitspokane.com)
  • TPA funding/logo – The TPA logo will be made available to recipients.
  • Spokane brand logo
  • Applications not meeting the above requirements will be kicked back for revision and consideration.
  1. Application timeline:
    1. ‚ÄčComplete the application and submit 12 copies to Visit Spokane
      • Due date: Friday, November 15, 2019
    2. Funding applications will be considered by the Spokane Hotel and Motel (TPA) Commission at a meeting in December 2019, time and date TBA.  Applicants will be allowed 5-10 minutes for presentation followed by Q&A with the Commissioners. 
      • Presentation date: December 2019 – TBA, you will be notified of the date in advance.
    3. The Commission evaluates applicants on a point system to determine TPA funding awards
      • Award notification will be made at the end of all presentations
    4. Contracts between award recipients and Spokane County will be executed as soon as possible,       usually 45-60 days following the award notification announcement.
      • The contract will be specific in that expenditures must be used only for the marketing of approved projects and for the services set forth in the Summary Project section of the application/contract.
      • Upon event completion, award recipients must send a request for funds disbursement to the TPA Manager who will forward the request to Spokane County for payment.
      • Certified requests for grant funds can be made after contracts are executed and funds are spent in conjunction with the services described in the contract.
    5. Award recipients must provide a post-event final report detailing results. The due date will be noted on the contract.

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