With new events sweeping the Nisqually Valley and the official designation as a Gateway to Mount Rainier, city officials will accept grant applications for special events to increase tourism.

The city has been collecting about $20,000 per year in lodging tax funds which have accumulated to about $230,000 in the account. The city attributes the large balance to nearly 11 years of lack of investment in events that positively affect Yelm.

The city created a group — the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee — to establish and review processes for fund allocation.

“In anticipation of great ideas coming from the community that meet the required state guidelines, we have set no limit for this one-time kick-off year of the LTAC,” said Margaret Clapp, owner of Prairie Park Properties and LTAC member.

Members of LTAC were appointed by the Yelm mayor and city council and are in charge of evaluating and approving applications for the funding of activities that promote Yelm, attract tourists and for programs that attract guide visitors.

LTAC does not have a specific funding limit for the next two years. In the years following, the committee plans to allocate the entire amount of $20,000 in annual revenue minus 10 percent to create a reserve account which can be used to create a large event in the future.

“This is an exciting community venture promoting creativity in the City of Yelm,” said Cynthia Schmier, Real Estate Broker and LTAC member. “All ideas are welcome to market our incredible community and increase tourism.”

Applications for 2018 expenditures in 2018 must be submitted by 4 p.m. June 15 and applications for 2019 must be submitted by  4 p.m. August 31. Applications are available at www.yelmwa.gov.

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