Grants Increase Visitation to Cumberland Valley & Enhance the Visitor Experience

CUMBERLAND VALLEY, PA (November 12, 2014) - In May 2014, Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) and Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau (CVVB) kicked off the sixth installment of the annual Tourism Grant Cycle. A portion of Cumberland Valley's Lodging Tax Income is designated each year for grant funding to support Marketing Initiatives and Tourism Capital Improvement projects in Cumberland County. Projects received full and partial funding based on merit. The half cash-match grant program was designed to support the CVVB's core need of expanding capacity and reach in its destination marketing and branding initiatives. All awarded projects will either increase visitation to Cumberland Valley or enhance the visitor experience.

Marketing Initiatives and Tourism Capital Improvements are defined as projects that: Increase visitation and/or visitor experiences by improving or creating marketing materials including printed experiential brochures, professional photography and video, tourism product development or major event-related advertising in approved CVVB target markets; Increase visitation and/or visitor experiences by improving wayfinding, non-public transportation, interior or streetscape appearances, event facility improvements or technology; or Enhance visitor experiences by increasing Historic Markers, interpretive signage, banner flags, trailhead information centers, information centers, outdoor and agricultural support.

2014 grant awards were announced this morning at the 5th Annual Cumberland Valley Tourism Conference held at the Catering Barn in Mechanicsburg. The Grant Review Committee received 17 applications and awarded 11 grants. See a breakdown of the awarded grants below.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy - $10,000 - Installation of new kiosk to match surrounding streetscape and printing of seven brochures to distribute at kiosks and events.

Appalachian Trail Museum Society - $18,000 - Retrofit basement of A.T. Museum for museum use and create and install displays for youth activities.

Audubon Pennsylvania - $1,031 - Professionally design and print a South Mountain Birding brochure.

Carlisle Arts Learning Center - $2,315 - Enhance S.E.E. Art Salon program by installing building sign; purchasing a projector, screen and folding chairs; and purchasing sidewalk signs.

Central Pennsylvania Conservancy - $1,000 - Install addition to existing sign to designate the Ironmaster's Mansion as a hostel and event facility and reprint 5,000 promotional brochures.

Cumberland County Historical Society - $14,000 - Pave rear parking lot to make commute between Visitor Center and Historical Society safer; increase available parking including an ADA space and two Visitor Center spaces; and enhance space to allow for hosting events in parking lot.

Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club - $500 - Update and print brochures, print contact cards and update photos for display board in efforts to gain new volunteers to maintain the A.T.

Cumberland Valley Rails-to-Trails Council - $8,404 - Install two new trail kiosks, warning, interpretive and wayfinding signage, and print 1,000 brochures. Matching funds provided by South Mountain Partnership Mini Grant.

Downtown Carlisle Association - $9,000 - Creation of 28 Welcome to Carlisle banners for use on car show weekends, advertising for Harvest of the Arts through flyers, posters and radio placement.

Shippensburg University Foundation - $15,000 - Purchase of 20 person shuttle bus for use of Shippensburg attractions including Conference Center, H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, new Courtyard by Marriott and Volvo Construction.

South Middleton Township - $3,750 - Installation of at least two gateway signs coming into Boiling Springs.

Since 2010, CAEDC has awarded nearly $189,000 in grants to fund over 40 projects representing heritage, cultural, agricultural and experiential tourism.

"We are very proud of our annual tourism grant program that allows us to find new ways to promote our destination while assisting local businesses and non-profits with their mission and growth," said Shireen Farr, CAEDC COO.

CAEDC is very pleased to be able to offer grants to these organizations that relate directly to the CVVB's mission of increasing overnight stays and enhancing the visitor experience. CAEDC's intent is to continue the grant program in 2015.

CAEDC is Cumberland County's authorized agency charged with leveraging and promoting Cumberland Valley's economic development and tourism assets to drive growth, create jobs and improve the quality of life. Offices are located at 53 W. South Street, Carlisle PA. For more information, visit and