Key Dates for the 2022 Tourism Product Development Fund Grant Cycle
|Program Guide Released + Application Portal Opens for Phase I||Wednesday, April 27|
|Informational Webinar for Prospective Applicants||Wednesday, May 4, 3—4:30 p.m.|
|Phase I Applications Due – See sample Phase I application here||Wednesday, June 1, 5 p.m. ET|
|Phase I Applicants Notified (Invite to Phase II)||Wednesday, June 29|
|Phase II Applications Due||Wednesday, August 31, 5 p.m. ET|
|Phase II Review & Project Presentations*||Thursday, September 29 & Friday, September 30|
|Site Visits*||Monday, October 10 & Tuesday, October 11|
|Grant Awards Announced at BCTDA Board Meeting||Wednesday, October 26|
*Applicants required to be available at one of the two scheduled presentation and site visits dates
Tourism Product Development Fund Grant Program Policies, Requirements & Criteria
TPDF GRANT POLICIES & REQUIREMENTS
Applications are assessed based on the following grant requirements. The TPDF Committee may utilize a waiver to advance a project if the specifications fall outside the requirements yet represent a significant impact to overnight lodging and Buncombe County economic sustainability.
1. Funding must be for capital investments only (“bricks and mortar” projects – design not included). Operational expenses will not be considered for funding.
2. A project must demonstrate that it will create substantial new and incremental overnight lodging stays in Buncombe County.
3. The TPDF will only fund projects that have a minimum of a 1-to-1 funding match to the TPDF funding requested (excluding in-kind goods and services). Design fees already expended will be considered as counting towards the 1-to-1 funding match.
4. Projects which either directly increase overnight lodging stays by themselves or support a larger initiative that will increase room nights will be evaluated equally.
5. Projects may not solely benefit a single lodging property owner, lodging property, or be situated on a lodging property.
6. TPDF funds cannot be the first funds committed to a project.
7. For-profit entities are not eligible for TPDF funding.
8. Applicants must be registered as a federally recognized non-profit, if applicable.
9. BCTDA reserves the right to cancel the grant application cycle at any time and for any reason.
10. BCTDA reserves the right to award grant funding to any project for any reason consistent with the intent of the legislation.
11. Recognizing that its resources are limited, BCTDA may grant funding that is less than that requested by the applicant.
12. BCTDA will not make payment directly to any vendor or individual. Payment will only be made to the applicant organization.
13. If the grantee is unable to fund and/or complete the project, BCTDA may revoke all or part of the grant. The grantee may be forced to return some or all funding plus interest if the recipient is found to have used the funding inappropriately, if the project was not completed, or if the project scope or design was changed without approval of BCTDA.
14. The applicant assumes the burden of all expenses associated with this application.
CRITERIA BY WHICH PROJECTS WILL BE EVALUATED
Applications will be evaluated according to these criteria:
Viability of Project & Organization
Financial Stability of the Requesting Organization. Each applicant organization will be evaluated for financial sustainability and their perceived ability to raise additional funds as needed to bring the project to completion.
Strength of Business Planning. If applicable, the proposed business plan for the project will be evaluated on its accuracy, completeness, and likelihood to support a successful and sustainable operation once the project has opened.
Strength of Sales and Marketing Plan/Investment. If applicable, sales and marketing plans for projects will be evaluated upon the likelihood they will succeed in drawing visitation to the destination.
Timeliness of the Project. Projects which are “shovel ready” may rate more highly than those which are still two or more years from beginning construction.
1-to-1 Funding Match Exceeded. While it is a requirement for applying organizations to have secured a funding match equal to the amount for which they are applying from the TPDF, projects that exceed the 1-to-1 requirement may receive particular consideration.
Strength of Brand Alignment. Projects will be evaluated on whether they are consistent with the Asheville destination brand and provide additional support for the brand promise.
Uniqueness and Innovation of Project. Attractions and activities which are new to the region or not available to visitors living in key feeder markets for the destination may be valued more highly than those which duplicate offerings already available to visitors.
Ability to Promote and Support the Local Creative Sector. Projects which promote and support the community’s creators and makers and which enhance the destination will receive greater consideration.
Ratio of Overnight Lodging Generated to Funding Requested. The amount of TPDF funding requested will be analyzed versus the potential return of new overnight lodging demand in Buncombe County to be generated by the project.
Generator of New and Incremental Room Nights. The room night impact of a proposed project will be assessed on whether the project is drawing new visitors to the area, or simply pulling from existing visitors in Buncombe County while not increasing the number of new room nights.
Scope of Market to be Served. Projects that target audiences capable of filling area lodging are valued, but projects that draw new and untapped niche markets to Buncombe County may also be worthy of consideration.
Scope of Impact Upon Lodging. The impact of a project upon Buncombe County lodging will be considered not only in terms of demand generated, but also in terms of the geographic impact. Projects capable of generating lodging demand in more than one area of the county may rate more favorably.
Ability to Serve as a Contributing Asset. Projects which support an important generator of destination room nights, or which could stimulate additional activity, but which may not generate significant room nights by themselves, will be considered. Applicants should demonstrate the potential for additional community benefit if their project is built.
Encourage Safe and Responsible Travel. Projects which encourage care and respect for natural, cultural, and human resources, or supports the sustainability of outdoor recreation, will be given greater consideration.
Deliver Balanced Recovery and Sustainable Growth. Projects will be evaluated based upon whether they lead to balanced and sustainable growth through distribution of visitors geographically across the county or seasonally throughout the year or days of the week.
Supports Engagement with and Appeal to More Diverse Audiences. The committee will assess the ability of a project to diverse audiences and support of place making, community connections, and business opportunities throughout the county.
Project as a True Motivator of Visits. Projects will be evaluated based upon their ability to motivate new room nights, proven through sound analysis and data.