On the heels of the release of the Roger Brooks Downtown Branding, Development and Marketing Action Plan in August of 2014, the City of Wisconsin Dells and the Village of Lake Delton, respectively, raised their room tax rates by .5% for the purpose of establishing a Wisconsin Dells tourism economic development fund. The Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau (WDVCB), the recipient of 90% of room tax collected, established a Tourism Economic Development Committee in early 2015 to review and recommend projects for funding to the WDVCB Board of Directors. The Committee began accepting applications for tourism economic development projects in the summer of 2015.
Definition of Qualified Tourism Development Project
The purpose of the Tourism Economic Development Committee will be to make recommendations to the Board with respect to proposed funding of qualified tourism development projects using all or any portion of the hotel room taxes allocated to and received by the Bureau. “Qualified tourism development projects” (or “qualified projects” or individually, a “qualified project”) shall mean projects that: 1. are likely to be of benefit to the greater majority of all businesses in the Wisconsin Dells/Lake Delton tourism industry, 2. are unlikely to be developed by the private sector without financial assistance, and 3. are not with respect to the development of businesses that offer overnight sleeping accommodations or are directly associated with an existing business that offers overnight sleeping accommodations.
It is highly recommended that interested parties wishing to pursue a grant do the following:
2) Read through the grant application, paying particular attention to the criteria and purpose of the grant.
3) Complete and submit the grant application. Incomplete applications (meaning the application form and all required attachments) will not be brought before the Tourism Economic Development Committee for review.
The City of Wisconsin Dells has established an Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund and has announced that a Façade Grant Program is in the works. Information on the City’s loan/grant programs can be found here.