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A Douglas County committee is giving $5M in funding to promote Omaha tourism

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jul 09, 2024
  • The Douglas County Community Service Committee is giving out $5 million to promote tourism
  • The Visitor Improvement Fund was created to improve attractions and visitor facilities
  • Watch to learn more about who qualifies for this funding

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:
The Douglas County Community Service Committee met to discuss grants they're giving out to promote tourism, the committee invited community members to share suggestions like: giving money to smaller organizations not just bigger players.

The Visitor Improvement Fund was created to improve attractions and visitor facilities around the county, with money from hotel taxes.

Chairperson Jim Cavanaugh says the funds have a multiplier effect, if the city invests into attractions and events- tourists will spend their money here over and over again.

"We have different categories for ethnic and diversity, for sports, for entertainment for cultural offerings, everything that you'd like to go out and see," said Cavanaugh.

Only nonprofits and government entities qualify for funding and they have to report how many people that attend their event are from out of state, which can be a tough metric to track for some smaller non profits like Hallins Corporation, who put on Jazz Concerts in Midtown.

"How do we make sure that we are counting whether that is through geofencing or what have you while that concert, festival or event is going on," said Shontell Price.

Some of the suggestions given at Tuesday's meet are:

-More Flexibility for who can receive funding

-Help tracking attendees

-Take greater consideration for groups hosting more than one event

"So, what we're talking about is maybe some of the bigger organizations helping some of the smaller organizations through the Douglas County administration to find ways to track those numbers," said Cavanaugh.

In 2024 they're giving out five million dollars over 77 groups.