Tourism Grant Program
The Tourism Grant Program supports projects and events that bring out of town visitors to Lake Oswego. Projects contained within existing city master plans, capital budgets or city council goals will be given priority. Each year the City awards funds to qualifying organizations through an application process. The program was created in 2017 by the Tourism Advisory Committee to advise Council on recommendations on the use of Tourism Funds.
Legal Uses and Definitions
The source of funding for the grants is the local transient lodging tax, also known as hotel-motel taxes. The City of Lake Oswego’s lodging tax is 6% of which, per state law, 1.4% must be used for tourism promotion or tourism related facilities.
"Tourism Promotion" means any of the following activities:
a. Advertising, publicizing or distributing information for the purpose of attracting and welcoming tourists;
b. Conducting strategic planning and research necessary to stimulate future tourism development;
c. Operating tourism promotion agencies; and
d. Marketing special events and festivals designed to attract tourists.
"Tourism-related facility" means:
a. A conference center, convention center or visitor information center; and
b. Other improved real property that has a useful life of 10 or more years and has a substantial purpose of supporting tourism or accommodating tourist activities.
"Tourist" means a person who, for business, pleasure, recreation or participation in events related to the arts, heritage or culture, travels from the community in which that person is a resident to a different community that is separate, distinct from and unrelated to the person’s community of residence, and that trip: (a) requires the person to travel more than 50 miles from the community of residence; or (b) includes an overnight stay.
Due to COVID-19, there has been a substantial decline in hotel/motel tax revenue, which funds tourism grants. Unfortunately, the City is unable to fund tourism grants for the upcoming 2021-2022 fiscal year.
Evaluation and Award Process
The Tourism Advisory Committee will evaluate the applications following the application due date and provide funding recommendations to the City Council. Applicants will be notified following the City Council’s award meeting. Approved funds will be released in July.
Use of Grant Funds Report
If an organization receives a Tourism Grant from the City, the organization is required to report to the Tourism Advisory Committee how the funds were expended. The report shall be made within one year of receiving the grant funding.