Earlier this spring, the Dare County Tourism Board approved 15 grant applications, providing $222,000 in assistance to fund 21 local events.
The events are all designed to increase visitation during the “shoulder” seasons in the spring and fall and to contribute to residents’ quality of life.
“The recent event grant awards are a testament to the Tourism Board’s desire to grow non-summer visitation through event development,” notes Lee Nettles, the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau’s executive director. “We’re giving our visitors a host of great reasons to come here, or to come back, beyond the traditional school calendar breaks.” The events within this grant window include fishing and surfing tournaments, live performances, Veterans workshops, holiday events, local heritage and cultural celebrations, and several running events, which have done much to establish the Outer Banks as a preeminent running destination over the years.
The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau has two types of event grants — the event grant and the established event developer grant. The Tourism Board follows a careful process in determining which grants to fund and the extent to which they can be funded responsibly with tourism dollars. The board’s Grants Committee first reviews the applicant’s written submission, which includes the event description and details, economic impact and out-of-market visitation projections and the applicant’s explanation of how the grant dollars will be spent, if awarded. After reaching consensus, the Grants Committee offers a recommendation to the full Tourism Board, which then discusses the matter and makes the final determination.
Event grant dollars are paid on a reimbursement basis, following proof of expenditure being provided to the Visitors Bureau. The established event developer grants are paid with a portion preceding the event and the remainder as a reimbursement. The process creates a clear set of expectations and helps the event developer to take steps to ensure their event’s long-term viability. Eligibility requirements, grant guidelines and application timing can be found at www.outerbanks.org/outerbanks-grants. Or, interested developers can contact the Visitors Bureau at 252-473-2138.
“We know that events drive visitation and offer fun activities for guests and locals, but often, the event is also a fundraising tool for Dare County non-profits,” says Nettles, “The Tourism Board’s decisions are based on tourism impact, but everyone recognizes that the value of an event can reach far beyond dollars and cents.”
EVENT GRANT RECIPIENTS
Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot: 20th Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot | November 25-27, 2015. $5,500
Cape Hatteras Anglers Club: Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament | November 4-7, 2015. $5,000.
Dare Co Arts Council: DASH Symposium/Surfalorus Film Festival | October 1-3, 2015. $6,000.
Dare Co Arts Council: Outer Banks Veterans Week |November 2015. $3,000.
Don & Catharine Bryan Cultural Series: Pirates of Penzance | September 18-19, 2015. $3,500.
Friends of Jockey’s Ridge: Celebration of Carolista Baum’s Birthday | August 30, 2015. $1,500.
Manteo Rotary Club: Inshore Slam Fishing Tournament | October 2-3, 2015. $9,000.
Roanoke Island Historical Association: PsycoPath | October 2015. $10,000.
Sudan Shrine Temple: Sudan Shrine Ceremonial | October 15-27, 2015. $12,500.
ESTABLISHED EVENT DEVELOPER GRANTS
Town of Duck: Duck Jazz Festival | October 2015. $6,000.
Eastern Surfing Association: Easterns | September 2015. $10,000.
Elizabethan Gardens: WinterLights | November-January 2015. $15,000.
Hatteras Village Civic Association: Christmas Parade; Storytelling Festival; Starry Nights; Day at the Docks | December, May, September 2015 and February 2016. $25,000.
Outer Banks Seafood Festival: Outer Banks Seafood Festival | October 2015. $35,000.
Outer Banks Sporting Events: Triathlon; Marathon; Flying Pirate Half; Storm the Beach | September, November 2015 and April, June 2016. $75,000.
The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Dare County’s Outer Banks. The Visitors Bureau is governed by the Dare County Tourism Board. Since 1993, the Tourism Board has awarded more than $9 million dollars through tourism infrastructure and community enhancing grant programs.