Chamber of commerce distributes $71,200 to Riverton organizations

May 30, 2013 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The funds come from a countywide lodging tax.

Riverton organizations and events are getting an extra financial boost from the Riverton Chamber of Commerce this year.

During a Riverton City Council meeting May 7, the chamber presented a list showing how tourism asset dollars funded various events, mostly in the form of advertising for the programs. The tourism asset dollars are generated by a lodging tax that comes from every room rented in the county. The funds are distributed to individual chambers so they themselves can distribute it in their communities.

"We take 25 percent of the funds and then it is re-distributed back to the individual chambers based on the collection percentage," chamber executive director Jim Davis told the council. "In Riverton that's 51 percent of the 25 percent."

Many requests are received each year, and the chamber distributes what they decide to grant, once a year. This year, with Fremont County School District 25 joining in on the requests, a total of $121,000 was requested and $71,200 was granted.

Groups that were granted funding included the 1838 Rendezvous association, the Paws for Life Animal League, Wyoming State Mineral and Gem Society/Riverton Mineral and Gem Society, Fremont County 4-H, Riverton Rendezvous Committee, USA Wrestling Club, Ready to Ride Rope Your Dreams, The Wrangler Classic Team Roping and Barrel Race, Rocky Mt. Rebels Car and Motorcycle Club, Wind River Heritage Center and several tournaments from Riverton High School.

Some of the rules on the use of money pertain to the advertising portions or for creating the event or to keep them going.

Davis said the list is valuable in showing that the chamber is funding District 25 events.

"That helps (and) lets the school district know and the school board that the community is really buying into their events," Davis said. "That was what I was concerned about, that they were talking about maybe moving some of these tournaments."

Yellowstone Journal

The Riverton Chamber of Commerce has its spot in the Yellowstone Journal this year through an advertisement. The publication is about 99 things to do in the Yellowstone area.

"We had the opportunity to buy a $14,000 ad for $5,000 and we did use (tourism asset dollars) for that," Davis said.

Roughly 150,000 copies have been printed and 200,000 have been placed in racks at airports, hotels and restaurants in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. Also, 50,000 copies were distributed to 5,000 news stands and cost $8 each.

The magazine came out about three weeks ago and Davis said five requests were received this week asking for additional information on Riverton and some surrounding areas. The requests came from Utah, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho and California.

"It's just another exposure that we have," Davis said.

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