By Michael Roknick
Herald Business Editor
MERCER COUNTY —
VisitMercerCountyPA, the official tourist promotion agency for Mercer County, said Wednesday the organization approved a total of $60,000 in funding for three projects designed to draw tourists to the area.
• Brewtus Brewery will get $30,000 toward opening a brewpub in the former Tap House Bar and Grille on Chestnut Street in Sharon. Brewtus plans to open a restaurant and entertainment venue where beer will be brewed onsite.
The owners plan to connect with breweries in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Meadville and Slippery Rock to develop bus tours throughout the region.
• Shenango River Watchers was granted $10,000 toward the construction of an access point on the Upper Shenango Water Trail at New Hamburg in Delaware Township. Once the access point is operating on a reach of about 9 miles, it will be broken into two sections of 4 and 5 miles respectively.
The Upper Shenango Water Trail provides 23 miles of easy paddling starting at Pymatuning State Park, running through Jamestown and Greenville, and ending at an Army Corps of Engineers facility at Shenango River Lake.
• A $15,000 grant was approved for Quality Inn of Hermitage to assist in the construction of a pool. The hotel feels that the pool will attract more families to the hotel, extend a guest stay by at least one day and encourage more return visits.
The Tourism Attraction Development Grants come from a hotel excise tax that is levied on every hotel overnight stay. It amounts to 9 percent of the overall bill, with 6 percent going to the state and the remaining 3 percent going to the county for tourist promotion.
“These projects will greatly enhance the tourism experience in Mercer County, Pa.,’’ said Karen Anderson, president of VisitMercerCountyPA. “Our organization hopes to fund more tourism development projects that will increase our ability to draw greater visitation to Mercer County.’’
On the net: www.mercercountypa.org