ATHENS, Ga. (March 20, 2017) –The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), along with The Classic Center and Classic Center Cultural Foundation, have established a matching grant program to assist local entities in developing new tourism products and experiences that will attract new overnight visitors to Athens-Clarke County.

"We are thrilled to offer this new matching grant program," says CVB Director Chuck Jones. "By collaborating with the local creative community, we can make the best use of funds to enhance our tourism products and increase the economic impact through growth in overnight visitors."

An investment in tourism means big dividends for the community: a stronger, more diverse economy, an influx of substantial revenue, increased sales tax collection, and an improved quality of life for Athens residents who share in the variety of restaurants and retail operations, cultural and recreational attractions, and entertainment that are supported and sustained through visitor spending.

Up to $15,000 may be granted as a one-to-one match to one or more selected applicants. A total of $15,000 is available for this grant program in FY17.

Funding decisions will be made by a grant committee and will be based on the strength of the applicant's intent and ability to attract visitors and lodging nights from outside Athens.

Application packets are available at the document download link below and at the CVB's offices inside The Classic Center, at 300 N. Thomas St. All application materials must be received by April 17, 2017. Questions may be directed to Hannah Smith, Director of Marketing & Communications, at 706-357-4430,