Redmond City Council awards funds to tourism projects

Redmond awarded a combined $274,500 to local and city projects that could increase tourism in the city at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The money come from revenue generated by the Lodging Tax, which levies a 1 percent tax on each overnight stay at hotels in the city.

Funding recommendations come from the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee comprised of various city and community stakeholders and is broken down into tourism fund matching grants and funding for community events and arts programming.

The city council approved $114,500 to go to matching grants for private organizations that operate in Redmond, and $160,000 to go toward community events and art.

There were 14 grant applications from both non-profit and for-profit organizations, of which 12 were approved.

The largest sums were given to the Nike Crossfire Challenge for $25,000, the Pacific NW Chalk Festival for $20,000 and the Redmond Running Festival for $15,000.

Crossfire Select Cup received $12,000 and the Ananda Mela festival was awarded $10,000.

Other organizations that received grants included SecondStory Repertory, the Redmond Arts Festival, Marymoor Grand Prix, Flag Football Frenzy, Sounders FC Rave Green Run, Redmond Fashion Week and the Overlake Medical Center Labor Day Half Marathon.

For community events and arts programs, Derby Days and Redmond Lights received a combined $70,000.

Derby Days has been around for 78 years and consists of a bicycle criterium, parades, music, food and fireworks and city staff expects up to 16,000 to turn out for the event.

Redmond Lights has also been around for decades, with this year being the 20th anniversary.

Holiday lights will return to city hall, the Redmond Central Connector and the Redmond Town Center.

For arts and cultural projects there was $65,000 approved.

The funding will go toward arts in Redmond, the Moving Art Center, which is a public art sculpture and mobile stage, and other street art and marketing for arts programs.

This includes the city’s poet laureate, artist in residence and the public art program.

Performance and artist schedules would be implemented at the Downtown Park and throughout the city with $10,000 in funding.

Redmond’s Downtown Park is scheduled to open this summer and will feature a plaza, pavilion and grass open space.

Finally, the remaining $15,000 was allocated for the So Bazaar event, which turns five this year and features food, performances, a market and a beer and wine garden.

It is a multi-week event in August and is expected to attract up to 18,000 people.

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