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New Funding Opportunities for Growing Tourism in Cumberland Valley

CUMBERLAND VALLEY, PA (October 9, 2017) – Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) has increased opportunities for businesses to apply for tourism funding through a new product development grant program.

Since 2010, CAEDC has awarded Tourism Grants to 126 projects with $753,000 in funds with a total investment of over $1.7 million. CAEDC also conducted a destination sales study which resulted in the recommendation to focus more on growing our tourism assets and the reasons why people travel here. The success of the existing grant programs and the sales study recommendations led to CAEDC dedicating more funds for tourism product development and marketing grants.

The goals for focusing on tourism product development are to: increase the number of products, experiences and services available for visitors and residents that CAEDC can market; grow the number of visits, length of stay and spending by visitors; improve the profitability of tourism businesses; and keep this destination competitive with other destinations.

To achieve these goals, CAEDC will now be taking an active role in developing and/or enhancing tourism products and experiences through funding opportunities and dedicating staff resources to identifying and assisting in development opportunities.

For the past 9 months, CAEDC has been developing the tourism product development strategy and meeting with community members, non-profits and municipalities to uncover issues that could be resolved through funding or staff assistance. These efforts are being led by Valerie Copenhaver, CAEDC Director of Marketing.

Past Tourism Grants have been used to fund product development projects including Appalachian Trail Museum improvements, TCO Outdoors store renovations, and most recently, the addition of a beer garden at Market Cross Pub & Brewery.

“Our structure as the economic development and tourism promotion agency for the County continues to allow us to be innovative and put our hotel tax dollars to the best use for visitors and residents of Cumberland Valley,” said Copenhaver. “Since we have expertise in marketing this area as a travel destination, as well as development and financing resources, we are able to get these projects started and off the ground.”

Those interested in discussing developing tourism assets through CAEDC’s variety of resources should contact Valerie at 717-240-7193 or [email protected].

“Please do not hesitate to think creatively about how your prospective project could make a positive impact on the visitor experience in Cumberland Valley and to engage the CAEDC staff as a sounding board for your ideas,” said Jon Cox, CAEDC Tourism Development Committee Chair & Board Member. “I would like to commend the CAEDC staff and Board members who have worked so hard to make this new initiative a reality.”


Below is a brief outline of each program available through CAEDC. A few programs are available now and others are available starting January 2018. With the addition of the Tourism Product Development Grant, the annual Tourism Marketing Grant and Seasonal Application Program have seen slight changes. These grants are competitive matching programs based on merit.

Find more details about each program, along with applications, here.


Tourism Product Development Program: applications accepted year-round (up to $100,000)
Eligible Projects: Thematic Trails/Tours; Asset, Event or Meeting/Conference Expansion or Development; Technical Assistance

Tourism Infrastructure Loan Fund: applications accepted year-round (low-interest rate, $50,000 minimum)
Eligible Projects: Real Estate Acquisition & Construction; Machinery & Equipment 

MMAP (Meetings & Motorcoach Application) Grants: applications accepted year-round
Eligible Projects: Covers Early-Bird registration rate at Tourism Tradeshows


Tourism Marketing Grants: applications accepted year-round ($5,000 – $15,000)
Eligible Projects: Collateral; Photography; Video; Advertising for Major Events; Select Signage; Website

SNAP (Seasonal Application) Grants: applications accepted year-round ($500 – $5,000)
Eligible Projects: Collateral Printing; Photography; Video; Advertising for Major Events; Select Signage Manufacturing; Website

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 www.cumberlandbusiness.com and www.visitcumberlandvalley.com.

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