Agency issues $93,300 in grants to 16 tourism projects

Rick Shrum

Sixteen public and private organizations will receive grants totaling $93,300, the Washington County Tourism Promotion Agency announced Friday.

Funds from the agency will go to capital and marketing projects for the 2021 tourism season, with the intent of boosting economic development.

Diana Irey Vaughan, chair of the county commissioners, said in a news release: “Washington County’s economy is not only being driven by energy, education and advanced manufacturing, but by a strong tourism industry. Tourism continues to be one of the largest industries in the county with well over $700 million in direct visitor spending and supporting nearly 6,000 jobs, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.”

Jeff Kotula, president of the tourism agency, said in the release: “The nearly $100,000 in new investments ... will prepare and position Washington County to take full advantage of the new opportunities that will arise when we emerge from the pandemic.”

The organizations are broken down into two categories, with five capital projects receiving $27,800 and 11 marketing programs getting $65,500. A list of recipients and the amounts they received are:

Capital projects: The Crafty Alpaca, $2,800; Mingo Creek Craft Distillers, $10,000; Mon Valley Alliance, $10,000; National Pike Trail Council, $2,000; and West Alexander Agricultural Association, $3,000.

Marketing programs: Aquatorium Innovations, $5,000; Family Festivals Association Inc., $7,500; Little Lake Theatre, $9,000; McDonald Volunteer Fire Department, $3,500; Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village, $4,000; Monongahela Area Historical Society, $1,500; National Duncan Glass Society, $4,500; Pennsylvania Trolley Museum, $7,500; Washington Wild Things, $13,000; Washington Symphonic Orchestra, $5,000; and Whiskey Rebellion Festival, $5,000.

The tourism agency operates in partnership with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce.