Alliance’s outdoor recreation business contest starts today

From staff reports

The Oil Region Alliance’s outdoor recreation business contest is starting today.

The Alliance seeks to award up to $5,000 to a business or individual with an idea to provide services to nature-based outdoor recreation users in Venango County, Hydetown, Oil Creek Township and Titusville in Crawford County, Foxburg in Clarion County, and Parker in Armstrong County.

“As our region grows as an outdoor recreation destination, we need to be able to accommodate visitor needs in terms of equipment rentals, lodging, transportation, and unique shopping and dining offerings,” said Kim Harris, the Alliance project manager and outdoor recreation specialist who facilitates the contest.

The application period for the contest will be open starting at 6 p.m. today and continuing until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 14. Contestants will be required to submit a concept paper along with their application.

Finalists will be selected from those submitted concept papers. All finalists will be required to submit a full business plan and give a presentation to a panel of judges.

Applicants should pay special attention to the judging criteria available at

Winners will be announced Dec. 3 during Oil City’s Christmas Past celebration. A $5,000 first place and $3,000 second place prize will be awarded.

Support for this contest is provided by Venango County Act 13 funds.

“This is a terrific opportunity for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses into the lucrative recreation market,” said Alliance president and CEO John R. Phillips II.

Past winners include A Bite of History, Trailasana Yoga Studio, Allegheny River Rentals, TrAils to Ales Brewery, Peddlers and Paddlers B&B, and Core Goods.