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Tourism Funding

2017 Tourism Funding Information

The Kirkland Tourism Program is pleased to announce the Tourism Development Committee (aka Lodging Tax Advisory Committee) Tourism Funding Application is available for 2017. Applications are due August 10, 2016. Please submit your electronic Tourism Funding Application to and c:

A workshop to assist applicants with questions regarding tourism funding requirements is scheduled for Monday, July 18, 2016 from 3:30–4:30 p.m. in the Peter Kirk Room of Kirkland City Hall. Please RSVP your attendance to this workshop by contacting Philly Marsh at or 425-587-3013.

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 67.28.080 provides authority for cities to adopt a lodging tax of up to 4% of lodging charges made by hotels and motels. The City of Kirkland has adopted a 1% lodging tax rate and may invest these revenues into events or programs that attract visitors to Kirkland.

Kirkland’s Tourism Program has been in operation since 2002. During that time, over $550,000 has been awarded to tourism events and programs. The Kirkland Tourism Development Committee (TDC) has proposed to make up to $60,000 available for 2017. These funds will be awarded for the marketing or operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists to Kirkland and be distributed on a reimbursement basis. The TDC will look supportively at new events, while also giving serious consideration to events with track records for bringing visitors to the City.

The goal of this Tourism funding is to attract visitors who come to Kirkland from 50 miles or more. Overnight stays not only improve the tourist environment of Kirkland; their revenues sustain the Tourism Program budget.

The schedule for accepting, reviewing and awarding funding is as follows (all meetings are public and at City Hall):
July 18, 2016, 3:30–4:30 p.m.—Tourism Funding Application Workshop, Peter Kirk Room
August 10—Tourism Funding Applications are due by 5 p.m.
August 24, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.—TDC hears short presentations from applicants, Council Chambers

September 8, 9–11 a.m.—TDC ranking and final funding recommendations, Norkirk Room
January, 2017—Municipal Service Agreements e-mailed to approved projects and agencies for signatures.
February—Municipal Service Agreement due back to City of Kirkland.
February–December 10—Submit Tourism Funding Reimbursement Form (with copies of receipts and invoices) and Tourism Funding Expenditure Worksheet for reimbursement.

Tourism Grant Recipient Requirements

Washington State Reporting Requirements:
In 2013, the Washington Legislature added a provision to the Lodging Tax Statute (RCW 67.38) which requires:
Applicants applying for use of revenues in this chapter must provide…estimates of how any moneys received will result in increases in the number of people traveling for business or pleasure on a trip.

At the end of the award period, the legislation requires organizations to report on their success in attracting those visitors. All funds are awarded on a reimbursement basis and will not be awarded until the Tourism Funding Expenditure Report Worksheet and the Tourism Funding Reimbursement Form are submitted.

City of Kirkland Criteria:
In addition to State requirements, the TDC has identified the following objectives and criteria that it would like applicants to address with their event/program:

  1. Provide visitor attractions and/or promote the area’s existing attractions including the Kirkland waterfront and the Cross Kirkland Corridor.
  2. Partner with other Kirkland organizations including government, nonprofit and for-profit enterprises.
  3. Improve the City’s overall image to stimulate positive customer awareness.
  4. Demonstrate capacity to implement a successful and sustainable event or program.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses:
Awarded funds may not be used to reimburse anything other than marketing and operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists. Non-reimbursable expenses include but are not limited to: alcohol, pre-paid Visa cards, staff gifts, parking tickets, traffic citations, rental cars, and off-duty police contracts.

City of Kirkland Special Event Permits:
All applicants must contact the Special Event Permitting Office prior to submitting this application to understand the requirements necessary for the production of their event. Please contact Sudie Elkayssi, Special Event Special Projects Coordinator at or call 425-587-3347 to determine permit needs and requirements. If an event is awarded tourism funding but is unable to receive special event permitting approval, awarded tourism funding will be subject to reallocation by the Tourism Development Committee for the current or a future funding cycle.

City of Kirkland Business License:
Organizations will be required to obtain a City of Kirkland business license. Business license information can be found on the City’s website under Business Licenses. Proof of a City of Kirkland business license is due 30 days prior to your event. 

Publicity/Promotion Policy:
Prominent display of the Explore Kirkland logo (and link to where applicable) is required of tourism funding recipients in all publicity materials including, but not limited to, electronic promotion (website, social media), brochures, press releases, programs, posters, public service announcements, flyers, newsletters, and advertisements. The Explore Kirkland logo will be provided at the same time as the Municipal Services Agreement. Events will be required to submit promotional material and/or electronic screenshots with displayed Explore Kirkland logo with reimbursement forms.

Event Photos:
In order to assist with tourism event promotion we ask festival and event coordinators to submit five to eight high resolution (300 dpi) photos. We may use these photos in tourism promotion collateral, web and social media promotions, and publicity outreach. Please submit these photos no later than February 28, 2016.

For questions or additional information, please contact Philly Marsh, Special Projects Coordinator, at (425) 587-3013 or, or Ellen Miller-Wolfe, Economic Development Manager, at (425) 587-3014 or


City Manager's Office
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries
T. 425.587.3001 | F. 425.587.3019