Also in Centre County. More federal COVID relief. Funding is going to bolster the tourism and hospitality business, as Gary Sinderson reports,
It coincides with the announcement of a new sports and entertainment commission in the county. Tourism has long been one of Centre Countys Leading Industries Center County Commission Chairman Michael Pike.
“Prior to the pandemic, we were on on point to be a 1 billion dollar tourism economy, and so we know what the COVID pandemic is going to probably take us a little bit of time to get back to that.
A lot of that money, of course, tied to Penn State football business. And in recent years, the focus has been on diversifying tourism promotion and business. From April of last year to this past August, State College near the bottom in terms of hotel and motel occupancy rates compared to some other well-known college towns.
“What that said to to us was it it exposed how overly dependent we are on Penn State to generate travel to Center County.”
Happy Valley Tourism Bureau President Fred Smith says $250,000 the county previously provided in COVID relief funding to the bureau has paid off big.
It was used to promote the county’s attractions and tourism business Here is up. Tuesday. The commissioners allocate another $250,000 to the Tourism Bureau, with County Commissioner Steve Dersham saying it’s vital in keeping jobs inthe hospitality industry.
“We need to keep our finger on the pulse of what we can do to keep our economy strong because a lot of folks really, if these jobs collapse, they will never come back.”
The Happy Valley Tourism Bureau also announcing Tuesday the formation of a new Center County Sports and Entertainment Commission