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Davis Journal

Tourism grants bring in visitors to ‘Discover Davis’

Sep 15, 2022 02:15PM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—The Utah Office of Tourism awarded more than $5.2 million to local tourism organizations recently and Discover Davis was among them. The Davis County Tourism Office applied for two grants this year and was awarded $235,375.

“Each year the Utah Office of Tourism opens up the Traditional Co-op Marketing Program which allows destination marketing organizations and non-profit tourism-related entities to apply for up to $250,000 in matching money for out-of-state promotions,” said Davis County Tourism Director Jessica Merrill. “The intent of the cooperative program is not only to market your project, area, or event but also to extend the brand of the state.”

Each applicant must follow the program guidelines, she said. “We have to present a solid marketing and promotion campaign, outline projected economic impact generated from the proposed campaigns and provide details on how we plan to achieve those results. Planning for this grant is months in the making to ensure we are putting forward the best possible campaigns that guarantee the highest return and successes.”

They submitted two applications this round, Merrill said. “One targeting leisure travelers and the other is focused on bringing in more meetings, conventions and sports tournaments to our area.”

The first application “Leisure – 3 Seasons” is focused on attracting leisure travelers to the area during the off season, she said. “The marketing campaign for this project is focused on ‘Discover Real Life’ which is built on the foundation of encouraging visitors to live authentically, build real-life experiences and connections and break away from online influences that give the false impression of what a perfect life is supposed to look like.”

Merrill said they will be marketing Davis County as a destination that provides opportunities to live life outside of the online illusions and make real connections. “The campaign will run in the spring, fall and winter with messaging designed to educate and attract potential visitors on all the amusement and excitement that continues to be available even after amusement centers like Lagoon or Cherry Hill are no longer open for the season.”

The second application, “Meetings and Sports-B2B” focuses on promoting and marketing Davis County as the ideal location for business audiences to host large regional events, said Merrill. “Davis offers several venues to host and welcome visitors for various needs. We plan to heavily promote the soon to be expanded and remodeled Legacy Events Center (expected to be completed in 2024) for sports tournaments and the Davis Conference Center for meetings and other events.”

Both of these campaigns combined will generate around $3.2 million of economic impact to Davis County, she said. “By marketing different opportunities for people to come to our area, whether it’s to leisure travelers or to businesses, the grant funds give us additional resources to be able to make a bigger impact by bringing in additional spending to our local businesses that generate more taxes for our cities that ultimately go back into the community and its residents – creating a better quality of life.”

The legislature appropriated the funds that allow the Utah Office of Tourism to offer the grant program each year, Merrill said. “We’re very grateful to the State Legislature. It’s incredibly beneficial to all county tourism offices throughout the state and gives applicants that are awarded a way to stretch their dollars even further to make a bigger impact for our communities, with a great return on investment for the state.” λ