Tri-Cities, Wash. – The Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau announced today that with the support of the Tri-Cities lodging industry and the cities of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, the Bureau will contribute $60,000 to the Tri-City Water Follies organization to help retain the 2007 Hydroplane Races. Kathy Balcom, president of Tri-City Water Follies stated, "This grant is a very generous contribution that will allow us to continue the legacy of Water Follies and its significant economic impact to our community." The Tri-City Water Follies organization made presentations to both the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau Board of Directors and the Tri-City Area Hotel-Motel Commission in February outlining potential ramifications if adequate sponsorships could not be secured. The Tri-Cities hospitality industry agreed the event should be retained, and the Bureau's Board of Directors voted to provide funding to the event in 2007, pending approval by the city councils. The councils' approval was required since the request asked that Tourism Promotion Area (TPA) reserve funds be transferred to the TPA's operating budget to cover a portion of the Bureau's destination marketing expenses; in-turn allowing the Bureau to provide un-restricted membership dollars to support the Water Follies event. Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland's city councils recognized the significant economic impact from this event, and approved the Bureau's TPA funding request during council meetings earlier this week. "The Tri-City Water Follies Hydroplane Races have been a wonderful event in our community for many years; generating both community pride and significant visitor spending. Many spectators experience the Tri-Cities for the first time as boat race fans and return again based on their positive impressions of our area," stated Kris Watkins, president & CEO of the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau. "We are pleased to be able to assist the Tri-City Water Follies in their efforts to retain this worthwhile event for our community."

by Colleen & Joe Laneby Colleen Lane
The Lane Real Estate Team
(509) 438-9344 - Colleen cell
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