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2018 Tourism Expansion Grant

Grants to North Dakota Businesses to Expand
and Improve Tourism Opportunities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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North Dakota Department of Commerce - Tourism Division

Deadline Date:

12/01/17 Receipt


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Grants of up to $10,000 to North Dakota new and expanding businesses that are offering an improved experience for tourists, with an emphasis on downtown areas. This program supports new tourism projects with the potential to attract out-of-state visitors for a minimum of one overnight stay. Funding may be used for building new visitor attractions, expansions offering a new experience, and supporting services for visitors.

New attractions funded would help give the state another experience to deliver on the Legendary brand promise the division uses in marketing the state to visitors and potential new residents.

All infrastructure needs are important and each application is judged on its own merit. However stronger projects are ones that address some of the following needs:

1. Projects that clearly demonstrate their role in attracting and retaining visitors to their community and region, and the benefits the project will provide through enhancing or expanding the visitor attraction or amenity.

2. All project funding is in place and grant funding will complete a project rather than provide “seed money” to start a project.

3. The demand for the project is clearly demonstrated through research and analysis.

4. Restoration/repurposing of existing buildings that serve as an attraction or destination to visitors

5. Creation of a unique “niche” in a downtown business district that can be used as an asset to attract visitors.

6. Projects that fill “gaps” in visitor services, such as unique restaurants or lodging in a downtown business district.

7. New entertainment venues that attract not only locals but out-of-town visitors and tour groups.

8. Downtown beautification projects – planters, benches, unique lighting, pocket parks, alley utilization and way- finding signage.

9. Businesses with the potential to be a catalyst for downtown core vibrancy, attracting visitors and residents year- round and during evening hours.

10. Projects will score higher if they retain or attract regional and out-of-state visitors to a community hub, creating an activity-based culture of entertainment, recreation and personal interaction.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 158315

Estimated Size of Grant:

Requests of up to $10,000 can be made

Term of Contract:

The grant-eligible portion of the project must be completed by June 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Tourism Expansion Grant supports new or expanding businesses that provide an improved visitor experience, with an emphasis on attracting visitors to a city or town’s downtown core.

Funding cannot be used for marketing or ongoing operating expenses.

Pre-Application Information:

The required match is 1:1 and all grant payments are made on a reimbursement basis. For every dollar of grant money being requested, the sponsor provides one dollar and must submit receipts showing both the grant dollars and matching dollars. Matching dollars cannot be from other State of North Dakota grants.

The match must be in “hard” dollars, an actual money investment. In-kind services will not be considered as part of the hard 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 for future donations will not be considered part of a cash match.

All application materials must be received at the Tourism Division office no later than Friday, December 1, 2017 and successful candidates will be notified by January 9, 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Dean Ihla
P: 800-435-5663
F: 701-328-3505

North Dakota Tourism Division
1600 East Century Ave, Suite 2
PO Box 2057
Bismarck, ND 58503-2057

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Dakota