By ND Commerce Tourism Division
North Dakota Tourism is offering grants to develop new tourism attractions that can bring more visitors to North Dakota. This program is made possible by a one-time $750,000 appropriation from the 2015 North Dakota legislative session. Applications must be received at North Dakota Tourism by Thursday, October 1, 2015.
The 2016 Tourism Infrastructure Grant Program’s purpose is to fund new tourism operations capable of attracting visitors from outside of North Dakota for at least one overnight stay. Funds can be used for building new visitor attractions, major expansions, offering a new experience or supporting services for visitors. Funds cannot be used for marketing or ongoing operating expenses.
“This grant program is an investment in North Dakota’s tourism infrastructure that will not only increase the legendary experiences we offer our visitors, but will ultimately create new wealth by attracting more visitors who will stay longer and spend more of their money here,” said Sara Otte Coleman, director of North Dakota Tourism.
Elements that make a project a strong candidate for consideration:
The 2016 Tourism Infrastructure Grant Program is a matching grant, requiring the sponsor to provide one dollar for every one dollar of grant money being requested. Matching dollars cannot be from other State of North Dakota grants.
- Projects that clearly demonstrate their role as a tourism and recreation attraction in their community and region, as well as the benefits the project will provide through maintaining or expanding this visitor attraction.
- All project funding is in place and grant funding will complete a project rather than provide “seed money” to start a project.
- The demand for the tourism-related project is clearly demonstrated through research and analysis.
- All infrastructure needs are important and each application is judged on its own merit. Projects that offer unique or in-demand experiences and have the ability to attract and retain out-of-state visitors will score higher.
Requirements for the matching dollars include:
The grant-eligible portion of the project must be completed by June 1, 2017. Under certain circumstances, a project may be funded if the construction has begun, a final construction schedule has been approved, and all construction projects are signed.
- The match must be an actual money investment; in-kind services will not be considered part of the match amount.
- Money that has been put toward the project in the current and previous fiscal year may be considered as part of the hard match but must include documented verification.
- Due to the timeframe of this program, pledges will not be considered part of the cash match.
More details about the grant program and applications can be found at: NDtourism.com.
Applications must be received at North Dakota Tourism by Thursday, October 1, 2015. For more information or questions, contact Dean Ihla with North Tourism at 800-435-5663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.