SEVEN SPRINGS, Pa., (Feb. 6, 2019) – Thirty-six Somerset County tourism-related businesses and organizations were awarded a combined total of $369,497 during a presentation today at Seven Springs Mountain Resort. Thirty-nine applications were submitted for this year’s program.
The Annual Tourism Grant Program is funded by 40 percent of the Somerset County Lodging Tax which became effective September 2002. Awards are granted annually on the basis of merit as determined by the Somerset County Tourism Grant Review Committee and administered by the Somerset County Commissioners and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB). Since the program’s inception, more than $4.8 million has been awarded in tourism grants. A full list of grant recipients and their projects can be viewed online at www.laurelhighlands.org/grants.
“Tourism in Somerset County was on an uptick for 2018 as evidenced by a 3.2% increase in hotel occupancy and a 7.8% increase in lodging revenue,” said Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau. “We can attribute this growth to visitors extending their stays, increased special events and conference group visitation. The county’s an annual reinvestment of tourism dollars back into the tourism community enables improvements, allows for expanded marketing and cultivates collaboration among our tourism leaders to create an enhanced visitor experience.”
Previous high years include, $338,197 in 2015 and $319,392 was awarded in 2014.
Grant review committee members included: Commissioner Paul Terlingo; Eric Mauck, CEO of Seven Springs Mountain Resort; George Coyle, General Manager of Somerset Med Services; John Weir of PBS Coals; and Kristin Ecker, Senior Director of Marketing for the LHVB.
About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers some of the most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, classic family activities and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include three architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, and Duncan House – Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park and more.
Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at www.LaurelHighlands.org, calling 724.238.5661, www.facebook.com/LaurelHighlandsPA and www.twitter.com/LaurelHighlands. Established in 1958, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.