GREENSBURG, PA., (Jan. 9, 2019) – Thirty-eight Westmoreland County tourism-related businesses and organizations were awarded a combined total of $474,542 during a presentation today at The Palace Theatre. Fifty applications were submitted for this year’s program.
The Annual Tourism Grant Program is funded by one-third of the revenues generated by the Westmoreland County Hotel Room Tax, a three percent tax that became effective in 2003. Awards are granted annually on the basis of merit as determined by the Grant Review Committee and administered by the Westmoreland County Commissioners and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB). Since the program’s inception, more than $5.4 million has been awarded in tourism grants. A complete list of grant recipients and their projects can be viewed online at www.laurelhighlands.org/grants.
“In 2018, Westmoreland County experience both increased occupancy and increased revenue among our lodging properties,” said Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau. “This was a first to see a significant increase in over eight years. We can attribute the growth to visitors spending more time in the region and expanded growth in brand properties along our major corridors. An annual reinvestment of tourism dollars back into the tourism community enables improvements, expanded marketing and collaboration among our tourism assets. We are stronger as a region because we continually assess the needs and wishes of our visitors and provide authentic experiences that satisfy the mind, body and spirit.”
Previous high years include, $413,624 in 2013 and $392,271 was awarded in 2017.
The Westmoreland County Tourism Grant Review Committee was comprised of Westmoreland County residents Carol Wentzel and Michael Langer; Michael Simons, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Pittsburgh-Latrobe; Mary Lou Hugus, retired Hempfield Area School District teacher; and Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, LHVB.
About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands
A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located an hour’s drive east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers some of the most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, 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 – Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone and whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park.
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. Check out the 2018 Laurel Highlands Destination Guide!