North Dakota welcomes 22 million visitors each year, creating the demand for expanded experiences. If you are considering starting or helping a new tourism business and need assistance, the resources here can help. Below is a listing of agencies and organizations that can help with a variety of issues from strategic planning, developing a business plan, marketing advice and ideas for funding sources.
Tourism Development Assistance
North Dakota Department of Commerce
- Tourism - The Tourism Division staff can assist in providing insight and research needed to build business plans and grant requests.
- Click here for an overview on research and data. Three areas the division focuses on for tourism business development include:
- Tourism Primary Sector - Most of the state's economic development tools and incentives are targeted toward primary sector businesses.
- Economic Development & Finance - The ED&F Division offers funding options including the North Dakota Development Fund which offers market rate interest loans to primary sector certified tourism businesses. For information on funding programs, contact Jessica Tooke email@example.com.
- Community Services - Community vibrancy in key in attracting visitors. The division of community services manages the Community Development Block Grant Program which could assist with tourism related projects tied to eliminating slum or blighted areas or job creation. Contact Tonya Forderer firstname.lastname@example.org The Renaissance Zone Program is also available to improve the vitality of a community by supporting development through tax incentives. Contact Rikki Roehrich at email@example.com.
- Workforce - The same activities and amenities that attract visitors also attract and retain our workforce. The workforce division and tourism & marketing division work closely in workforce and talent attraction- under the Find the Good Life in North Dakota brand.
Ag Products Utilization Commission (APUC)
600 E. Boulevard Ave, Dept. 602, Bismarck, N.D., 58505. APUC creates new wealth and employment opportunities through the development of new and expanded uses of North Dakota's agricultural products through a grant program.
Regional Councils are non-profit organizations authorized by state statute and charged with the responsibility to assist units of local governments in carrying out economic development planning and technical assistance, including funding of tourism business.
NORTH DAKOTA SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Gamble Hall Room 140; 293 Centennial Drive, Stop 7308; Grand Forks, N.D. 58202-7308; 701-777-3700. The center provides free individual counseling to small business owners. It assists businesses in solving problems or taking opportunities in all areas of business endeavors. The center's needs assessment process helps target the kind of help a business owner needs. Information on the Eight Regional Centers can be found on the website http://ndsbdc.org.
NORTH DAKOTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
1025 N. Third St., PO Box 387, Bismarck, N.D. 58502; 701-222-8349. The foundation serves North Dakota communities statewide with the goal of improving the quality of life for the state's citizens. The foundation administers many different types of funds. Most of the funds are restricted to a specific purpose.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION
The NDSU Extension offers many programs to help develop tourism, from community leadership development, strategic planning to agritourism workshops. Contact Director Lynette Flage at 701-231-7782 or Extension Leadership and Civil Engagement Specialist Jodi Bruns at 701-349-3249, ext. 127 for more information.
NORTH DAKOTA COUNCIL ON THE ARTS
105 N 4th St, Bismarck, ND 58501; 701-328-7590. Grants are available to organizations, communities and schools for a variety of projects that involve at least one arts discipline. Grants are also available to artists, volunteers, board members and administrators for workshops and other forms of professional development. The council will provide outreach workshops on writing NDCA grants and other technical assistance.
Recreation Development Assistance
NORTH DAKOTA PARKS AND RECREATION
1600 E. Century Ave. Suite 3, Bismarck, N.D., 58503.
Recreation Grant Programs
Two funding opportunities for outdoor recreation development programs: Recreation Trail Funds and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, application deadline of May 1. Contact 701-328-5348.
NORTH DAKOTA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT
100 N. Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, N.D. 58501-5095. The agency provides a wealth of information on hunting and fishing regulations and conservation and education programs. It also has a small grant program for watchable wildlife. Contact 701-328-6300.
NORTH DAKOTA FOREST SERVICE
307 First St. E., Bottineau, N.D. 58318. Technical, financial and educational assistance relating to the management of private forest lands, state forest lands, urban and community forests, tree planting and fire protection are administered by the agency. Contact 701-228-5422.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
601 Riverfront Drive; Omaha, Neb. 68102-2571. The Rivers and Trails Program provides assistance in reaching community goals. Contact 202-354-6900.
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
5001 Southgate Dr., Billings, Mont., 59101. The Challenge Cost Share Program is focused on BLM-managed lands, specifically in the areas of recreation site management. Contact 406-896-5037.
NORTH DAKOTA OUTDOOR HERITAGE FUND
State Capitol, 14th Floor, 600 E Boulevard Ave. Dept. 405. North Dakota's Outdoor Heritage Fund was established in 2013 as a multi-million dollar program to provide grants to state agencies, tribal governments, political subdivisions, and nonprofit organizations, with higher priority given to projects that enhance conservation practices in the state. The Outdoor Heritage Fund will receive up to $40 million per biennium from oil and gas production tax revenue. Contact 701-328-3722.