By REGGIE ROSS
The Grenada Tourism Commission recently set its budget for the next fiscal year and granted funding for some of the area’s biggest festivals and tournaments.
The tourism commission set the 2018-19 budget at $261,767, and it was finalized by a motion from Commissioner Steve Robinson and a second from Phillip Mixon.
Tourism Executive Director Gary Worsham said he feels good about this year’s budget and expects a great year in tourism for Grenada.
“We’re set to have a record year,” Worsham said. “We wanted to be conservative with this budget, but we’re also set to see about $20,000 more than last year. There’s a reason why these numbers are up, it’s because more people are visiting Grenada and now it’s reflecting.”
The biggest increase in this year’s budget, according to Worsham, was grant funding and funding for special events.
This year $15,000 was divided and will go toward funding area events.
Thunder on Water received the most tourism dollars and was granted $5,000 for next year’s festival. Both the Downtown Jubilee and the AfterGlow Film Festival were granted $4,000.
This year was a first for the Friends of Chakchiuma Swamp. Tourism granted $2,000 toward the swamp in hopes of further promoting the Lee Tartt Nature Preserve.
“My dream one day would be to get kayak rental at the swamp,” Worsham said. “This is one of the reasons we chose the Friends for this year’s grants.”
Commissioner Jan Walton made the motion to accept grant funding and it was seconded by Nick Liberto, the Chamber of Commerce representative for tourism.
Sporting events got the bulk of tourism funding with the possibility of seven crappie tournaments at the lake.
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