Volume 2, Number 4 - April 25, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Joint tourism board approves $13,919 in grants
The Sublette County Joint Tourism Promotion Board (JTPB) approved $13,919 in grants at a public meeting regarding grant applications in the Sublette County Courthouse on Thursday evening. Funds for the grant monies come from $94,124.39 the Sublette County lodging tax has generated for the county. The board, which is made up of nine individuals, two from Pinedale, two each from Big Piney and Marbleton, and three representing Sublette County, currently does not have a set percentage of its funds to be earmarked for tourism advertising grants.
Prior to the grant application hearings, Board Chairman John Godfrey told those gathered at the meeting that the board was "working religiously to bring the county together ... we’re tired of the north county and south county."
Godfrey said the board had received nine applications totaling $19,333, which a grant committee had screened prior to their going before the full board. These grants must meet statutory guidelines.
Some of the applications required more discussion than others, and one in particular was somewhat controversial, if only for members of the audience.
Requests from the Sublette County Historical Society/Museum of the Mountain Man (MMM) and the Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC) resulted in the board deciding it needs to update its regulations in regard to funding for any one event.
Representing MMM, Executive Director Laurie Hartwig requested $2,500 for advertising the annual Green River Rendezvous on KTWO Television in Casper. PFAC also requested $2,500, for advertising the Michael Terry Living History Exhibit, which takes place during the annual Rendezvous. Godfrey said they were "the same event, technically ... and we fund only one event."
A decision regarding the museum’s application was tabled until after PFAC’s presentation by Gayle Kinnison. Kinnison said the PFAC advertising "targets the Plains Indians Culture Exhibit" and that some people come just for the Terry exhibit and not for the Rendezvous.
In the end, the board approved both projects, but reduced the PFAC request, awarding $1,586 to be used "strictly for out-of-county advertising."
Martin McIntyre represented Moose Productions in its quest for $2,500 for promotion of the Blues Festival, budgeted at $83,300, to be held at the Sublette County Sporting Association Rodeo Arena on June 29 and 30. There were positive comments from audience members about the number of people who attended the festival last year.
However, Hartwig, concerned about liability issues on the premises where the Rendezvous is held, asked McIntyre if they were bonded. She wondered who would repair the rendezvous fort if something happened to it during the festival, with only two weeks until the Rendezvous.
McIntyre stated that they have adequate insurance to cover such things, and the board advised him to provide the museum with a certificate of insurance.
With ticket prices set at $80 each (they were $40 last year) and available online, Dawn Svalberg of Pinedale Online asked if there was any manner of refund available for those who purchased a ticket in case the event is not held. McIntyre said if the weather was that bad, the festival would only be postponed, and said that if someone has a change of plans and cannot make the event, there is no refund of the admission price.
Prior to a vote on the motion to approve McIntyre’s application, Godfrey told those in attendance that he has "no problem with the event ... but I do have a problem with the promoters," referring to rumors that there are unpaid bills from last year’s festival. "How are we assured we won’t be left with egg on our faces?" Godfrey questioned McIntyre.
McIntyre responded that they "took a giant risk last year ... we gambled and lost," but that this year will be a bigger event, they "added an extra day and eight more bands."
Boulder resident Bubba Larsen, who said he took part in the event last year and also lost money with his pork burger food concession stand was in support of McIntyre’s involvement with the festival.
"I don’t see how the community can lose," Larsen said. "I’m an advocate for the Blues Festival and the wealth it will bring to this community."
The board finally voted to approve Moose Production’s $2,500 grant with the stipulations that all grant money will be paid after the event, that a complete advertising budget must be presented, the event must be held, the board will be provided with proof of advertising, and a tag line regarding funding from the Sublette County Joint Tourism Promotion Board must be on the ads. Godfrey voted against issuing the grant money to Moose Productions.
In reviewing the Green River Valley Museum (GRVM) application, Vice Chairman Bobbi Wade told Carrie Anderson, who represented the GRVM in Big Piney, that the museum had "the most complete and best application of all" those the board had received. The board unanimously approved their request for $2,275 to fund Wyoming Public Radio (WPR) advertising for the Wardell Buffalo Trap Exhibit during the 2002 summer. The GRVM application stated that the total cost of the exhibit is $21,525, including the WPR promotion.
Tom Thompson represented Pinedale Sporting Clays Inc. in its application for $1,808 in grant funding for the three-day Sage Chicken Open. JTPB approved $1,308 of the application, for advertising in the National Sporting Clays Association magazine. The request was reduced by $500 because that was the amount the group planned to spend for signage within the county, JTPB will not provide funds for in-county advertising. The group’s application projected total expenses for the open at $10,061.
Pinedale Snow Explorers’ application for $2,500 for promotion money for the grass drags to be held Sept. 7 and 8 was also reduced by $500. Peggy Winters represented the snowmachine club in its request for funds for flyers, posters and newspaper ads. Svalberg commented that the drags is a "perfect event" for promoting winter sports, even though it is held in September. "People bring their families and eat out and stay for at least two days," she said.
Last on the list of application was Fremont Lake Yacht Club’s application for $2,500 to advertise the annual sailing regatta with brochures and in sailing magazines. Because the event has never been advertised much in the past, Tom Brown’s request, which was reduced to $1,500, was "for development of promotional materials and advertising for the regatta," according to Godfrey.
Trinni Jensen represented the Wind River Riders 4-H Club in its request for $250 to help pay for flyers, entry forms, rental costs of the Sublette County Ag Center and awards for the Bits and Spurs-sanctioned horse show held locally. Jensen said the show draws contestants from four counties. In approving the request, Wade told Jensen that the board was "tickled to get this application ... it’s the only youth one we got."
One application, from Buckskin Bridge Inc., did not make it past the grant committee.
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