Some of those attending the Board of Trade Tourism Grant workshop included (top photo, front row) Marjorie Nowlin, Sean Malis of Fort Tejon State Park, Teresa LeGault of FOCUS Central, Richard Hoegh from the Mountain Communities Town Council (MCTC), Mary Main and Kat Fair from the Mountain Shakespeare Festival, (back row) Daisy Cuddy, Carl Marsee, Don Weideman of the Ridge Route Communities Museum, Eric Anderson of MCTC and Lloyd Weins of Frazier Ski and Pack. (Bottom left) Lori Murphy, president of Rotary Club of Frazier Park and Mountain Communities and Pam Sturdevant of The Mountain Enterprise listen to Pam Low, president of the Mountain Communities Chamber of Commerce (center) ask whether organizations can coordinate grant-planning to create complementary projects. (Bottom right) Sean Malis coordinates Civil War battle reenactments and immersive history days at Fort Tejon State Park?such as this one on September 15?that attract more than 60,000 visitors, large and small, each year to the Lebec area.
By Patric Hedlund
They gathered like eager students, drawn to the Kern County Board of Trade Tourism Grant workshop by dreams and visions of bringing ecotourism to these mountains. About 30 talented members of the community came to learn how to win up to $25,000 each in grants designed to help lure tourists from outside of Kern County and to encourage those visitors to extend their stays.
Dave Hook of the Board of Trade (BOT) reports that $3.5 million per day-over $1 billion dollars a year-is already being earned by Kern County from tourism-related business. That includes service stations, lodging, restaurants, retail and service businesses.
The board of supervisors allocated $250,000 this year to provide seed grants throughout the county for nonprofit 501c(3) and 501c(6) organizations to establish projects that will add to the effort to attract more visitors.
Many of those attending the workshop hope to bring jobs to this region, developing economic opportunity without carving up the beauty that make this place unique.
Rick Davis, Dave Hook and Allison Kimmel from the Board of Trade arrived with grant applications and a presentation that gave a crystal-clear explanation of how to apply.
Applications and explanations are also available online at www.kerncountyboardoftrade.com.
"Synergy Energy" is definitely encouraged, Davis said, referring to the Synergy Summits held in November 2006 and February 2007 to encourage ecotourism development locally. "I’m for people pulling on the rope in the same direction," Davis said.
This is part of the September 21, 2007 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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