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Williamsburg News – Economic Development

Posted on: November 6, 2023

City Council Approves Seven Projects for Tourism Development Fund Grants

The Williamsburg City Council voted unanimously on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, to approve Tourism Development Fund (TDF) grants for seven projects in Fiscal Year 2024:

  • African American Heritage Trail: $316,900 in FY24 and earmark $200,000 in FY25, includes construction of the trail plus the purchase of an app with audio as well as trail maps for visitors.
  • Colonial Williamsburg Arrivals Center: $500,000 in FY24 and earmark $500,000 
     for FY25, includes funding for design and development of the center.
  • First Baptist Church Improvements: $250,000 in FY24, includes completion and installation of a redesigned and updated exhibition space.
  • Stryker Center Gallery Enhancements: $35,000 in FY24, includes addition of new interactive and digital displays and improved methods for showcasing three-dimensional artwork.
  • Wayfinding Phases 2 & 3: $425,000 in FY24, includes parking signage and digital kiosks.
  • Wayfinding Phase 4: $100,000 in FY24, includes gateway features.
  • Williamsburg Entertainment Venue: $100,000 in FY24 and earmark of $100,000 in FY25 and $1 million in subsequent years until project is paid, includes design and development of the venue as well as debt service.

All seven projects were recommended by the Tourism Development Grant Review Committee, which reviewed the applications and selected qualified applicants to present their proposed project to the TDGRC earlier this year.

City Council’s action completes the FY24 grant cycle for the Tourism Development Fund. This year’s application cycle is the second TDF after an extended pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first application cycle concluded in November 2019.

The purpose of the TDF is to increase patronage to restaurants, hotels, and events in the City of Williamsburg through financial assistance and reinvestments in tourism products, place-making projects, and public-private partnerships. The TDF is funded through half of the 1% sales tax collected by the City that was established by Senate Bill 942 (2018). The other half of the 1% sales tax is allocated to the Williamsburg Tourism Council to market the Williamsburg region to visitors.

More information on the Tourism Development Fund can be found at williamsburgva.gov/tdf.

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