Carbon Commissioners Discuss All Things Tourism



The Carbon County Commissioners hosted a meeting on Wednesday, welcoming both Economic Development and Tourism Director Director Shanny Wilson and Tourism Specialist Tina Grange for discussions.

First, Grange spoke with the commissioners regarding the ratification of two media co-op agreements between Carbon County and Love Communications. It was explained that the two agreements were for a traditional co-op grant and a Forever Mighty co-op grant. Grange told the commissioners that the reason for ratification is due to the one of the deadlines occurring already and the need to complete the paperwork.

The agreements cover native articles and banner ads that will promote tourism fun, such as the geo tour, the roundabout, the Scofield jeep tour and possibly the Carbon County Fair.

Not to be confused with the proposed roundabouts on US-6 by the Utah Department of Transportation, Grange explained that the roundabout is a regional project where Carbon County Tourism and Emery County Tourism partnered together to launch certain projects, attend shows together and bring money into both counties.

That project was started and a grant was applied for with Forever Mighty, partnered with Emery County. The two-to-one grant was received and closes at the end of September. The entire process has been reviewed and was just launched, with brochures and a press release distributed.

This particular roundabout is being promoted as Utah’s hidden loop and takes visitors throughout Carbon and Emery counties in circle while encouraging them to visit rural communities, interact with locals, eat at the dining establishments, lodge and shop.

Commissioner Casey Hopes then stated that the concept is centered around different types of activities as well, such as multiple days of golfing throughout the counties, visiting archaeology sites and more. With this information, both of the agreement ratifications were approved.

Next, Wilson presented the information for the second cycle of the Rural County Grant funding. This is grant money that comes from the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. Each year, the county applies for $200,000 and Wilson stated that they received a lot more applicants this year than they have in the past.

The dollars are used to expand existing businesses or assist new businesses that are just getting started. In the past, the grant funding has assisted local businesses that have since hired 85 employees.

Wilson mentioned that during the first cycle of funding, the Community Economic Development (CED) board decided to allow different businesses to apply through three different cycles rather than granting it all at once. The second cycle had four applicants and they are in the process of the third cycle now.

Of the four businesses that applied for funding, there were three that were awarded. Ruben’s BBQ was awarded $8,000, West Coast Show Support in Helper was awarded $5,000, and Craft Designs by Jody, who is moving the craft store onto Price’s Main Street, was awarded $3,000.

Wilson said that there was additional funding that was left over and they went through the first round of applicants to award eight more. This included Flawless Sheeting, Helper Brewing, Swell Pet Supply, Intermark Steel, Merit 3D and more.

Each cycle has $66,000 set aside and the third cycle will be presented to the commissioners in April. Wilson told the commissioners that the businesses awarded are all happy that they applied and were allowed the funding.

To apply for funding, visit Carbon County’s website, go to the Department of Economic Development page and click on the link for the rural county grant. Wilson stated that businesses can apply online or print a PDF.

The recommendations were ultimately accepted by the commissioners and the funding was awarded.

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