UNIONTOWN, Pa., (Jan. 18, 2019) – Twenty-six Fayette County tourism-related businesses and organizations were awarded a combined total of $469,122 during a presentation today at the State Theatre Center for the Arts. Thirty-nine applications were submitted for this year’s program.

The Annual Tourism Grant Program is funded by 50 percent of the revenues generated by the Fayette County Hotel Room Tax, a three percent tax that became effective in 2008. Awards are granted annually on the basis of merit as determined by the Grant Review Committee and administered by the Fayette County Commissioners and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau (LHVB). Since the program’s inception, more than $4.6 million has been awarded in tourism grants. A complete list of grant recipients and their projects can be viewed online at www.laurelhighlands.org/grants.

“There is positive energy in Fayette County, especially when $469,122 is being made available through tourism grants today,” said Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, LHVB. “Another sign of a positive uptick for Fayette County is that we saw a 12.4 percent increase in hotel occupancy and a 10.2 percent increase in hotel revenue. Double-digit increases mean visitors are coming to the Laurel Highlands and they are staying in Fayette County. Collaboration is key to the success of tourism and we commend the County Commissioners for recognizing the importance of tourism as an economic driver. Working together makes our product much stronger and more cohesive.”

The Fayette County Tourism Grant Review Committee was comprised of Dawn Rice, Community Engagement, Outreach and Recruitment, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; Tammy Stemson, McMillan Engineering; Warren Hughes, Fayette County resident; Sean Sypolt, Vice President of Business Services, Private Industry Council; and Ann Nemanic, Executive Director, LHVB.


About Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands

A magnificent mountainous region, the Laurel Highlands spans 3,000 square miles in southwestern Pennsylvania. Located east of Pittsburgh, the beautiful four-season destination offers some of the most spectacular natural scenery, outstanding outdoor recreation, historic sites and attractions, classic family activities and world-class resorts. Notable destinations within the region include three architectural masterpieces by Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob, and Duncan House – Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Flight 93 National Memorial, Idlewild and Soak Zone, whitewater rafting at Ohiopyle State Park and more.

Located within 200 miles of the major metropolitan areas of Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington D.C., the Laurel Highlands can be easily accessed from exits 67, 75, 91 and 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Visitors to the Laurel Highlands can find information online at www.LaurelHighlands.org, calling 724.238.5661, www.facebook.com/LaurelHighlandsPA and www.twitter.com/LaurelHighlands. Established in 1958, the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.