Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 10:06 am

The North Dakota Department of Commerce today announced that a total of $1 million was awarded to five projects through the 2021 Tourism Planning Grant.

The 2021 Tourism Planning Grant appropriated by the legislature, is intended to support professional planning for tourism developers who have a destination project that would have the ability to attract visitors from outside North Dakota and retain them for at least four to six hours and preferably an overnight stay-in or near the community.

“North Dakota has ample opportunities to expand tourism experiences that enhance the quality of life for residents and attract visitors,” Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Sara Otte Coleman said. “We expect the plans developed, will provide insight for future attractions that will be a driving force in boosting our economy by creating more entertainment and recreation attractions.”

The Bison World project, located in Jamestown was awarded $400,000 for a comprehensive plan to support design and planning that will allow for construction to begin. The proposal for Bison World includes building an attraction that focuses on the history of the bison with a planned interpretive center, discovery center, children’s corral, dakota lands pavilion, gondola and amphitheater. The theme park project will transform 30 acres of unused land belonging to the North Dakota State Hospital into a tourism gateway for North Dakota.

The Missouri Riverfront Revitalization Plan received $250,000 for a comprehensive plan that will engage local stakeholder groups and focus on improving the waterfront between highway 1804, near Misty Waters, to the confluence of Apple Creek near the University of Mary through a complete review of the Missouri Riverfront. The proposed vision will attract new amenities such as museums, hotels, and recreation facilities while also utilizing and promoting existing facilities.

The Center for Exploration project in Grand Forks was awarded $100,000 for a comprehensive plan for the development of a children’s museum which will provide an interactive learning space that focuses on local industry and STEAM activities for all ages. The building will serve as a connection point for the region with exhibits featuring agriculture, wind energy, technology, and an event space for gatherings.

The International Peace Garden was awarded $100,000 for a strategic plan to further define the future development of the garden. The grant will prioritize the feasibility needed to develop new major attractions along the iconic border channel, a new tower or vertical sculpture and a new indigenous interpretive space. The plan will build off the generous support of the State of North Dakota and Province of Manitoba, and will allow the garden to be more sustainable by expanding offerings and grow tourism to the Peace Garden State.

The Medora comprehensive plan received $150,000 to develop a master plan for potential attraction expansions. Grant funds will be used to engage a planning consultant to collaborate with stakeholders from more than eight organizations in and around Medora. The work plan includes roundtables, engagement activities, public outreach, data collection and analysis to develop a plan to support the evolution of the gateway city prior to the Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Library opening. 

There were eighteen projects that completed the application process for the grant dollars.

More information about the Tourism Planning Grant can be found at ndgov.link/Tourism-Planning-Grant