St. Petersburg, Fla. – The Salvador Dalí Museum won support from a tourism panel Wednesday for the county to commit $2.5 million in hotel bed tax revenue to complete construction of its new building.
The county’s Tourist Development Council, which oversees how hotel taxes are spent, voted 8-4 to give the museum $500,000 annually over five years, starting in 2015. The grant still needs approval from the County Commission.
Fundraising for the $36 million building along the downtown waterfront stalled last year. Last week, the St. Petersburg City Council approved Mayor Bill Foster’s plan to give the museum $2.5 million — but only if the county matched the contribution.
That leaves the Dalí less than $1 million short, said development director Marcia Crawley. Officials expect to raise the amount by the Jan. 11, 2011, opening date through individual contributions and naming rights for galleries in the building, she said.
“It’s been difficult during this economy to raise funds,” said Crawley. “To know the city and the county leadership would support the arts as they have is reassuring to the community.”
The 5 percent tax on lodging in the county raised $23.5 million for the year ending last Sept. 30.