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Coulee Dam OKs extra spending for tourism


The town council at Coulee Dam approved a budget amendment ordinance last Wednesday night that will provide the chamber of commerce $6,000 for a media campaign to promote the new Laser Light Show on Grand Coulee Dam.

The chamber had asked for the added funds from the town’s hotel/motel tax monies at the town’s last meeting and it was tabled to be brought up again Wednesday.

The chamber had asked for $6,000 from each of the three towns that collect the hotel/motel tax. The chamber received $6,000 from Grand Coulee and $9,000 from Electric City previously.

The town council had also tabled a request by the Coulee Area Parks & Recreation District for $9,000 from the same funding source for maintenance of North Dam Park and Event Center. That measure remained tabled and it will be until a council member asks that the request be reviewed.

A letter from the owner of Columbia River Inn, Michael Bradley, exhorted the council to reconsider the tabling of the chamber’s request two weeks ago.

He wrote: “Since my company is one of the main contributors of the hotel motel tax to Coulee Dam, I want you (Mayor Greg Wilder) and the city council to know that I strenuously object to your decision not to contribute to the advertising and promotion of our area to outside area locations beyond 200 miles; which is the main intent of those taxes collected by our motel and others.”

The ordinance to amend the town’s budget to supply the funds requested from the chamber received its first reading last Wednesday. It will have a second reading June 12, and then the money will be made available to the chamber.

The all new Laser Light Show was shown the first time May 24, to mixed reviews. Officials said the colors and show would be more vivid when the Bureau of Reclamation is able to spill water for a backdrop for the laser show.

The show was developed by LumaLaser, Inc., at a cost of $1.6 million with more than a dozen stakeholders advising the company on what they would like to see in the show.

The stakeholders were from the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, the area cities and towns, irrigation districts and the Colville Confederated Tribes.

The original show was developed and shown for the first time in 1989. This show is titled: “One River, Many Voices,” and has been in development for over a year.

The show currently is being shown nightly at 10 p.m.

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