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Tourism Funding


In order to ensure a quorum of committee members in attendance at the TDC ranking and final funding recommendations meeting, the September 5 meeting was rescheduled to October 3, 2019, 9-11 a.m. Norkirk Room.

August 9, 2019—Tourism Funding Applications are due by 5 p.m.
August 22, 2019* 9 a.m.–1 p.m.—TDC hears short presentations from applicants, Council Chambers
October 3, 2019* 9–11 a.m.—TDC ranking and final funding recommendations, Norkirk Room

November 2019—City Council adopts budget and approves funding.
January 2020—Municipal Service Agreements emailed to approved projects and agencies for signatures.
February 2020—Municipal Service Agreement due back to City of Kirkland.
February–December 16, 2020—Submit Tourism Funding Reimbursement Form (with copies of receipts and invoices) and Tourism Funding Expenditure Worksheet for reimbursement.

*All TDC meetings are open to the public and located at City Hall (123 5th Avenue, Kirkland).

The Kirkland Tourism Program is pleased to announce the Tourism Development Committee (aka Lodging Tax Advisory Committee) Tourism Funding Application process for 2020 is complete. Please check back in 2020 for information about the 2021 grant cycle including an updated application. Thank you!

Note: To better assist you with the Tourism Funding process, please watch the following video: Tourism Funding Workshop tv_camera

Tourism Funding Information

The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 67.28.180 provides authority for cities to adopt a lodging tax. The City of Kirkland has adopted a 1 percent 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 $700,000 has been awarded to tourism events and programs. The Kirkland Tourism Development Committee (TDC) awarded $60,000 in 2019 for events that will take place in 2020. These funds are generally used to help the marketing or operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists to Kirkland. They are distributed on a reimbursement basis. The TDC looks supportively at new events, while also giving serious consideration to events with proven success at bringing visitors to the City and generating overnight stays.

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

Tourism Grant Recipient Requirements

Washington State Reporting Requirements:
In 2013, the Washington Legislature added a provision to the Lodging Tax Statute (RCW 67.28.1816(2)(a)) 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.

In addition to State requirements, the TDC has identified the following criteria that will be used in evaluating and ranking the applicants.

Tourist Attraction and Marketing—50 points
The extent the event/program demonstrates the ability to attract visitors from 50 miles or more away and generate overnight stays.

Project Scope—20 points
The extent the event/program improves the City's overall image by providing a positive visitor experience and/or promoting the area's existing attractions including the Kirkland Waterfront and Cross Kirkland Corridor.

Economic Impact—10 points
The extent the event/program will generate a positive economic impact by increasing visitor expenditures in Kirkland.

Project Success and Sustainability—10 points
The extent the applicant has a track record in implementing a successful event/program including contract and permit compliance, and the ability of the event to secure additional funding sources beyond City of Kirkland tourism funding.

Community Collaboration—10 points
The extent the applicant partners and collaborates with other Kirkland events and organizations in leveraging resources and marketing efforts.

Bonus Points:

New Event—15 points
New event/programs that have been in existence for less than three years qualify for up to 15 bonus points.

Shoulder Season Impact—10 points
Events that take place in the shoulder season (October–April) qualify for up to 10 bonus points.

Non-Reimbursable Expenses:
Awarded funds may not be used to reimburse anything other than marketing and operations of programs 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 holding events in Kirkland are required to obtain a City of Kirkland business license. Business license information can be found on the City’s website under Business Licenses or by calling (425) 587-3140. 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 1, 20.

For questions or additional information, please contact Lorrie McKay, Intergovernmental Relations and Economic Development Manager, at (425) 587-3009 or


Applications were due August 9, 2019. Please submit your electronic Tourism Funding Application to and cc:


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

General Inquiries
T. 425.587.3001 | F. 425.587.3019