Tourism Enhancement Grants Awarded To 25 Tennessee Communities

Monday, April 16, 2018

 The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced 25 communities will receive more than $1.5 million in the third round of Tourism Enhancement Grants to assist with tourism infrastructure assets.

The two agencies partnered to assist counties and cities improve local tourism assets to increase the economic impact of their communities. Tourism Enhancement Grants are designed for cities and counties seeking to invest in local tourism infrastructure assets, such as stages, signage, enhancement to attractions or venues and other resources that target expanding local tourism.

“Assisting a partner in shoring up a tourism asset is critical to rural areas,” Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development said. “Tourism development is economic development and in some rural areas, tourism is a main industry. We appreciate our partnership with TNECD and the willingness that team has to invest in upgrades that not only increase opportunities for visitation but enhance the quality of life for the citizens of these communities.”

The Tourism Enhancement Grant program, in its third round, is funded through the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, which is designed to improve the economic indicators in rural communities across Tennessee. Each application was supported by the community’s senator and representative in the Tennessee General Assembly.

“Tourism is one of the most important economic drivers in many Tennessee communities, and in partnership with the Department of Tourist Development, we want to continue to help communities promote and grow their tourism assets,” Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development said. “In the first two rounds of the program, more than $2 million was awarded to nearly 60 projects across the state. I congratulate the 25 communities selected in the third round as these projects will have a profound and lasting impact on Tennessee’s tourism infrastructure.”

“We have seen an incredible amount of positive activity happening throughout the state thanks to the passage of the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, and the tourism enhancement grants are no exception,” Amy New, TNECD assistant commissioner of Rural Development, said. “I am proud of these 25 communities for proactively taking the necessary steps to improve their tourism assets, which will in turn strengthen Tennessee’s economic development efforts.”

An advisory committee made up of staff from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture selected the 25 communities out of 39 grant applications.

The grants awarded include:

·         City of Oak Ridge -  $56,250

·         Town of Wartrace - $53,900

·         City of McKenzie - $71,250

·         Carter County - $51,400

·         Town of Alamo - $35,000

·         Decatur County- $75,000

·         City of Pulaski - $20,000

·         Grundy County - $75,000

·         Hardin County - $75,000

·         City of Brownsville - $57,950

·         Hickman County - $75,000

·         City of Loudon - $75,000

·         City of Jackson - $50,000

·         Marion County - $50,000

·         McMinn County -  $75,000

·         Metropolitan Lynchburg/Moore County - $75,000

·         Polk County - $75,000

·         City of Baxter - $75,000

·         City of Cross Plains - $36,250

·         Town of Smyrna - $36,000

·         Town of Huntsville - $75,000

·         Town of Carthage - $55,147

·         City of Portland - $42,450

·         Town of Erwin - $60,688

 ·         City of Martin - $75,000



Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr., Music, Larger-Than-Life-Sized Balloons Highlight Pigeon Forge’s New Music In The Mountains Spring Parade On May 4

With Cal Ripken, Jr. leading the way, Pigeon Forge’s (Tennessee) new Music in the Mountains spring parade is set for May 4 at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on the city’s Parkway with entries from Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia plus several new elements to extend the celebration into the weekend.   Mr. Ripken, a member of the National Baseball Hall ... (click for more)

This Week’s Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Spend a date night around the campfire, experience a 3D Rolling Stones’ concert, find out the latest runway fashions, interact with dinosaurs, savor barbecue or a slawburger and take a Tennessee Whiskey adventure. Here’s what’s going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list of events, visit tnvacation.com/calendar. Ongoing  Nashville – Fifty photos in ... (click for more)

TBI Puts Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House On Its "10 Most Wanted" List

A man who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning is still on the loose and has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. He was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., was arrested last year when he was in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C. Reinking ... (click for more)

Dayton Teen Arrested After Running From Deputies On Highway 60; Passenger Caught With Drugs

Hamilton County Sheriff deputies caught up with a Dayton teen who drove off at a high rate of speed on Highway 60 on Sunday afternoon. A passenger in the vehicle was caught with drugs. At approximately  5 p.m. , deputies observed a white Chrysler 200 traveling south in the 7800 block of Highway 60 at a high rate of speed. The driver was improperly passing other vehicles ... (click for more)

Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers - And Response

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)