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Room tax grants awarded

Three new and two existing events will receive grant funds from the city hotel/ motel room tax committee.

On Tuesday, committee members agreed to fund five room tax grant requests totaling $10,000. Between cash on hand and the transfer from the city scheduled to occur later this week, the room tax committee had a total of $19,507 available for allocation. Room taxes are collected quarterly and since the start of the pandemic have been about a third of the historical average. This quarter’s transfer of $14,250 saw the amount return to close to normal levels.

The room taxes are granted to organizations that promote tourism in the community as a way to encourage people to visit the area and support businesses in the city.

Grant requests presented included: Medford Area Chamber of Commerce Community Movie requested $2,000 to help cover the cost of providing a free allages movie event at Broadway Theater on December 19. The event will include a free movie and snack for those attending. According to Chamber president Sue Emmerich they are working with Dave Fleegel of Broadway Theater to get a classic holiday family movie with a wide range of appeal. She noted that theaters have been one of the hardest hit industries in the pandemic.

There was a $500 request for The Stone Dragon medieval/fantasy cosplay event scheduled to take place in April. The event will be held at the Medford Curling Club and include table top gaming and other activities. The event seeks to draw people from around northcentral Wisconsin.

Huey’s Hideaway requested $1,500 to hold four “Parents’ Night Out” events where families can utilize the children’s museum to provide structured and educational care for their children while they enjoy a night out. The “Parents’ Night Out” events will be held on December 3, January 7, February 4 and March 4.

The Chamber of Commerce requested $3,000 for Women’s Weekend to help with the cost of bringing a speaker to this year’s event. The event has drawn about 350 attendees in the past. While it was held in 2020, it was among those events canceled in 2021 due to the pandemic and they hope to bring it back in 2022. The event is scheduled for February 25-26.

The Chamber of Commerce requested $3,000 to pay for a speaker for the Home and Business Expo scheduled for March 25, 26, 27. The event which typically draws several thousand attendees was canceled due to the pandemic restrictions in 2020 and was not held in 2021. Emmerich said the hope is to bring it back strong in 2022. “We are trying to think outside the box,” she said.