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Throwback Thursday: Reliving the '80s with Southern Railway 630 on the Missionary Ridge Local

The Chattanooga Tourism Co. is pleased to announce the awarding of $605.5K to 28 local culture, heritage, and arts partners through the second round of the Cultural Tourism Advancement (CTA) Grant. This year’s process was highly competitive, with 39 applicants requesting $1.3 million in assistance for events, enhancements, exhibits, and more.

“We are proud to help elevate our tourism community through the CTA Grant. This program is a great collaborative opportunity for us to support our partners in enhancing their offerings for our community’s economic and social prosperity,” said Barry White, CEO and President. “The travel and tourism industry is a vital economic driver for Hamiton County, welcoming 15.6 million visitors annually, and we strive to ensure a constant pulse of positive and diverse experiences to excite the traveler’s imagination in finding their way to Chattanooga.”

The 2022 CTA Grant was awarded to the following organizations:

  1. Association for Visual Arts, 4 Bridges Arts Festival
  2. Bessie Smith Cultural Center
  3. Chattanooga Presents
  4. Chattanooga Segway Tours
  5. Chattanooga Theatre Center
  6. Chattanooga Zoo
  7. Creative Discovery Museum
  8. Davis Wayne’s
  9. Friends of the Festival, Riverfront Nights
  10. Gate 11 Distillery
  11. High Point Climbing
  12. Hunter Museum of American Art
  13. Lookout Mountain Conservancy
  14. National Medal of Honor Heritage Center
  15. Oddstory Brewing Company & Taproom
  16. Outshine Adventures
  17. Sculpture Fields at Montague Park
  18. Songbirds Foundation
  19. SoundCorps
  20. Splash Summer Arts Festival
  21. Stove Works
  22. String Theory
  23. Tennessee River Gorge Trust
  24. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
  25. The Company Lab
  26. The Hot Chocolatier
  27. The Land Trust for Tennessee
  28. The Pop-Up Project

CTA Grant funds are sourced from lodging taxes paid by visitors when spending the night in Hamilton County lodging establishments. With those visitor-generated funds, we inspire more people to visit and connect them with unique experiences.

Each year, Hamilton County hosts over 15 million visitors who spend $1.5 billion in our community. On an average day, that’s 43,000 visitors spending $4.1 million in our community; 15,000 of those visitors stay the night in our hotels. Visitor spending is taxed, and those taxes result in each household saving $868 on their property tax bill each year. A healthy visitor economy is imperative to the lifestyle we enjoy and what makes Chattanooga the special place we all know and love.

The grant is designed to enhance a wide range of tourism-related projects focused on increasing brand awareness for Chattanooga and driving visitor demand. Each grant supports the Chattanooga Tourism Co.’s mission of promoting and developing visitor experiences that enhance the economic and social prosperity of Hamilton County.

In awarding funds, the greatest consideration is given to a project/program’s ability to attract diverse audiences, create economic impact, encourage visitors to travel to or extend their stay in Hamilton County, enhance the visitor experience, collaborate with other local organizations/artists, and improve our quality of place.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2022 Cultural Tourism Advancement Grant. Stay up to date and find additional details on funded projects here.

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Missionary Ridge Local Train Ride

January 1, 2024 - December 31, 2024 EDT

Embark on a journey aboard our historic short-line locomotive! Our most regularly scheduled voyages, fondly known as “The Local,” initiate from our distinguished Grand Junction Station, heading towards East Chattanooga. Here, you’ll enjoy a stopover featuring an intriguing demonstration of a classic turntable, followed by a tour of our workshop.