$10,000 from state to pay for promotion of Carroll tourism

August 09, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County can promote itself to a wider audience thanks to state grant money.

"The Carroll County Office of Tourism has received a matching grant from the state," Director Joan Meekins said yesterday. "The grant has a $10,000 cap per county."

Ms. Meekins, who was to meet with the Carroll County commissioners today "to let them know the money is here," said she already has "the dollars in the tourism budget to match the state funds."

The money, which comes from the state Department of Economic and Employment Development, will be available through June 30, 1995. It will pay the advertising costs to market Carroll events across Maryland and in neighboring states.

"We will discuss how to best utilize the funds," said Ms. Meekins. "We hope this will encourage the private sector to become more involved in efforts to promote tourism here."

The grant will also allow the staff to attend more travel shows.

"The state will pay for two booths at shows which we pick," said Ms. Meekins. "Our office will pay for travel expenses and meals."

Ms. Meekins is working with colleagues in Frederick County to select shows "which will be beneficial to both of us."

"We are targeting areas in Virginia and may participate in a show together in Philadelphia," she said.

Travel shows often entice visitors to local events, such as next month's Maryland Wine Festival, and are invaluable marketing tools, she said. The grant will cover the frequently high cost of participation.

"Any time the state opens up a grant opportunity, it is wonderful for us," said Ms. Meekins. "We are establishing a good partnership with the state. I imagine the figure will increase next year."

The county also received $1,250 to promote its "Buckle Up for Safety" program. Ms. Meekins said her office will work with the county Health Department on a poster to promote seat-belt use.

"The grant will pay for designing and printing a poster," she said. "It will also be used for key chains and public service announcements on the radio."

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