HELENA, Mont. – The Department of Commerce will accept applications for its Tourism Grant Program beginning this Sunday, July 1. Up to $750,000 will be awarded for projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through tourism and recreation.
“All communities in Montana have something special to share,” said Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote. “By recognizing and investing in those strengths, communities can capture more of the dollars nonresident visitors bring into Montana every day.”
Last year, 12.5 million visitors spent $3.4 billion in Montana communities.
Eligible tourism grant projects may include arts, culture and heritage preservation; visitor facility upgrades and construction; and niche product development. Some projects focus on brick and mortar. Others enhance a community’s ability to promote itself.
During last year’s grant cycle, Commerce awarded $750,000 to 27 Montana communities. Those grants supported $1.8 million of investment into the tourism and recreation assets of communities across the state. Some of the projects funded last year are now coming to fruition.
For example, Shelby last month opened its refurbished Carousel Rest Area, a multi-year collaboration funded in-part by a $33,000 tourism grant. This provides the community with a new experience for visitors to enjoy.
The Central Montana tourism region, which received $17,000 to redesign the Montana Dinosaur Trail website, recently launched the mobile-optimized site ahead of the busy summer season. The trail brings tourism dollars into communities across northern, central and eastern Montana.
Projects require a “hard cash” match of $1 for every $2 granted by the state. Eligible organizations include Montana nonprofit organizations, city and county governments, and tribal governments.
Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. To apply, visit MarketMT.com/Grants.