Arts & Culture, and Tourism

Arts & Culture

The Pierce County Arts Commission (Commission) was formed in 1985 to serve as a volunteer advisory group to Pierce County government. This nine member Commission is recognized by the State of Washington and Pierce County for the important role it plays in delivering programs and services that stimulate participation and growth in the arts throughout Pierce County. The Commission is administered by Pierce County’s Economic Development Department. For more information, please contact the Economic Development office at (253) 798-6150. 

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Programs and services:

Take a look at what our Arts Commission accomplished in 2021!


Tourism is an important industry in Pierce County. Visitors come from all over the country and even all over the world to visit our mountain, golf our courses, kayak and fish our shores, visit our museums and fairs, and sample our rhubarb pie, Almond Roca, craft beers and distilled spirits.

The Economic Development Department administers the funds generated by the tourism industry in the form of taxes and fees paid on overnight stays. Two advisory boards recommend how these funds should be invested—the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and the Tourism Promotion Area Commission. For more information, please contact Mike Gommi at (253) 798-6914 or [email protected]

Application period for the LTAC and TPA 2024 Funding Cycle is open from March 10 to April 14, 2023. See links below for details on each grant program.   

New Tourism Funding Direction

As a result of the Pierce County Tourism Strategic planning process, a new tourism funding direction has been launched. Pierce County’s tourism efforts are focused on generating incremental overnight stays through four key priorities. Projects submitted through the application process must support these four priorities:

  1. Drive Overnight Visitors — All funded programs must proactively generate overnight visitors
  2. Leverage Proven or Identified Demand Generators — All funded programs must incorporate and leverage the existing demand generators
  3. Focus on Specified Target Markets — All funded programs must include identified target markets and how the program will reach and convert them to overnight stays
  4. Balanced Funding Approach — Funding Allocations are:
Lodging Tax
Tourism Promotion Area
  • Event Marketing
  • Individual Leisure Marketing
  • Asset/Product Development
  • Event Development
  • Sports Development
  • Personnel & Administration
  • Event Marketing
  • Individual Leisure Marketing
  • Sports Marketing
  • Conventions & Meetings
  • Personnel & Administration


Visitor Profile

Pierce County conducted a study in 2015 surveying visitors to Pierce County.

View the comprehensive profile.

Visitors At a Glance

  • Average household income: $98,000 
  • Generally from the West: top origin states include Washington, Oregon, and California. 70% are married.
  • Average travel party: about 3 people 
  • Average Age: 46 32% of visitors are accompanied by minor children.


2015 U.S. Open Championship

The 2015 U.S. Open Championship was marked by its many firsts. It was the first U.S. Open in the 115-year history of the championship to be played in the Pacific Northwest. Click here to learn more.

U.S. Open At a Glance

  • 235,000 Gate Entries over 7 days
  • An economic impact of over $140 million 
  • Over $8 million in State Tax Revenue generated
  • 150 million people watching the event