CAVE CITY — Four grant requests were approved on Monday by the Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission. Two of them were in support of the Cave City Proud Days festival, which will take place Sept. 27-28.
J.P. Merlo, a member of the Cave City Chamber of Commerce's board of directors, requested $2,500 in grant funding from the tourist commission to help cover the cost for marketing via television, newsprint, Facebook advertising, radio and for a Cave City Proud Days website for the festival.
Cave City Mayor Dwayne Hatcher also requested $2,500 for the festival. The grant will help fund the cost of live musical entertainment and various activities.
“Basically, funding for our entertainment does bring in a lot of folks, Hatcher said. “We usually try to have some good bands and other activities.”
He continued there is quite a bit of cost involved in putting on the festival and that the Cave City Proud Days Committee appreciates whatever funding the tourist commission can provide.
Hatcher, who is not a member of the tourist commission but sits in on the meetings, pointed out he was making the request as a private citizen and not as mayor of the town.
David and Vikki Froggett, owners of Froggett's Guntown Mountain LLC in Cave City, were awarded a grant for $2,500 to fund marketing and signs for their attraction.
The Froggetts reported having a busy weekend at their attraction during Monday's meeting. At present, the attraction is only open Saturdays and Sundays, but the couple said they have plans to be open Thursday through Sunday the week of July 4.
“On the bottom, we will try to be open more days of the week with the escape rooms, the haunted hotel and black light golf and all of that through the week,” Vikki Froggett said.
Melinda Reynolds, who was representing the Cave City Chamber of Commerce, also requested funding in the amount of $2,500 to help cover the cost for the Cave City Community Fireworks Show on July 3.
Emily Moss, a member of the tourist commission, abstained from voting, due to the community fireworks show taking place at her place of business — Jellystone Park Camp Resort off Mammoth Cave Road. The campground partners with the chamber of commerce and the city to do the community fireworks show.
The tourist commission also approved changes to its grant application.
Included in the changes that were made was the elimination of a portion of the grant application that says governmental entities are not eligible for applying for grant funding through the tourist commission.
The tourist commission discussed allowing governmental entities, such as the city of Cave City and Mammoth Cave National Park, to apply for grant funding after it had already agreed to strike a section from the grant application that referenced governmental entities.
During the tourist commission's discussion, Greg Davis, executive director of the tourist commission, said: “The park service really, technically, has no funds to advertise, so let's say that the National Park Service had the opportunity for something then technically, we wouldn't be able to help them out, or the city.”
Moss pointed out that MCNP can't print its own cave tour schedules, but that she and her staff do it as a courtesy to the campground's guests.
“I'm using my money to do that,” she said.
Tourist Commissioner Brian Wilson pointed out that every situation is going to be different when it comes to governmental entities requesting grant funds.
Davis agreed and said if the city or MCNP wanted to present an application, then the tourist commission has the authority to approve or disapprove it.
Other changes to the grant application included: Changing the minimum amount of funding that can be requested from $1,000 to $500; removing the section of the grant application that states applications must be submitted a minimum of three months prior to an event and/or before expenditures are incurred; removing the sections of the application that references off-site signage and websites; and to remove the section regarding post-event reports.