HOT Fund Application

  

Guidelines

1.  Eligibility: Those who wish to apply must be an organization or corporation governed by a board of directors. The applicant must demonstrate that the associated event or project will be open to the public and directly enhance and promote the tourism, convention, and hotel industry by attracting visitors from outside of Huntsville and into the city or its vicinity. Marketing efforts for the event must have a focus on an audience outside a radius of 50 miles from Walker County. Applicants may not receive funding from any other city board or commission who distributes Hotel Occupancy Tax funds.

2.  Application Requirements: Applicants must provide the following documents for their application to be considered.

  1. HOT Fund Reimbursement Grant Application
  2. HOT Fund Reimbursement Grant Agreement Form
  3. Event or Project Marketing Plan – should include target audience, list of media to be used, timeline and proposed event budget.

3.  Use of Funds: The Texas Tax Code Chapter 351 provides a set of rules that states how HOT funds may be use. Use is limited to the following:

 

  1. Funding the establishment, improvement, or maintenance of a convention center or visitor information center
  2. Administrative costs for facilitating convention registration
  3. Advertising, solicitations, and promotions that attract tourists and convention delegates to the county or its vicinity
  4. Expenditures that promote the arts. Please note that it is not enough that a facility or event promotes the arts; state law requires that the expenditure also must be likely to directly promote tourism and the hotel and convention industry.
  5. Funding historical restoration or preservation programs
  6. Certain sporting event related expenses
  7. Signage directing tourists to attractions frequently visited by hotel guests.
  8. Transportation systems for tourists 

4.  Evaluation Criteria: The HOT Board will use the following categories to evaluate applications:

 

Program Quality

30%

Does the applicant’s organization have a thorough strategic marketing plan for the event, or project?

Expected Attendance

& Overnight Stays

30%

How many people are expected to attend and how many of those in attendance will be staying overnight in Walker County?

Promotion of Tourism

30%

Does the marketing plan for the event or project focus on an audience outside a 50 mile radius of Walker County?

Event or Project History

10%

Special event or project funding may be limited to a three (3) year cap. After three (3) years of a successful event or project the applicant must show an increase in hotel stays year-to-year. If the applicant’s event or project does not increase in hotel stays it may be considered a community event and become ineligible for funding.

 

5.  Award of Funding: Upon evaluation of all applications, the HOT Board will award funding based upon the budget provided by City Council. The total funds available at any given time may restrict the City’s ability to fully fund a reimbursement grant. Applicants may not receive funding from any other city board or commission who distributes Hotel Occupancy Tax funds.

6.  Reimbursement Process: All applicants that are awarded funding from the HOT Fund Reimbursement Grant must submit a Post Event Form before receiving reimbursement. Failure to submit a Post Event Form will result in the ineligibility for reimbursement and future funding from the HOT Board. The City of Huntsville reserves the right to decide the following:

  1. How funding will be dispersed.
  2. If partial or full awarded funding should be reimbursed based upon review of the post event form.
  3. Deny the award of the HOT Fund Reimbursement Grant if the event or project is canceled.

A budget worksheet is recommended and available here: https://huntsvilletexas.com/DocumentCenter/View/862/Event-Budget-Worksheet

To complete an application click here: https://laserfiche.huntsvilletx.gov/Forms/HotApp