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County Budget Workshop Aims to Bolster Local Tourism

Cascades Park

Leon County Commission set to discuss new tourism program at Tuesday afternoon budget workshop. 

Leon County Administrator Vince Long says the proposed Legacy Grant Program would reward some of Tallahassee's most popular events. Long tells WFSU the grant program will “support, at a greater level, those events in our community that have a long established track record and it would put them in a three year grant cycle so they could have some budget certainty.”

The program would use $200,000 from the Tourist Development Tax. For events to receive funding, they need to generate more than $1 million annually and have been around for more than five years. Events like Springtime Tallahassee, Red Hills Horse Trials, and Market Days qualify for the grant.

The county is also requesting that the Cascades Concert Series receive $92,000 from the Tourist Development Tax. In the past, the concert series hasn’t been successful because of less attractive acts and complications with booking them.

In 2017, the Board of County Commissioners set a five-year plan with specific goals to have completed by 2021. The Board has a goal of expanding its local tourism economy to $5 billion. As of March 2019, the board reports it is almost halfway to its “bold” goal.