The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced seven recipients of 2021 Main Street Tourism Expansion Grants.
Main Street Expansion Grants support new or expanding businesses and activities that provide an improved visitor experience, with an emphasis on attracting new visitors to North Dakota communities.
“These grants will help develop new tourism experiences and facilities that will draw visitors to enjoy unique lodging, local cuisine and diverse activities,” North Dakota Department of Commerce Interim Commissioner Shawn Kessel said.
The grants are intended to fund new projects that attract visitors from outside of North Dakota for at least one overnight stay with the goal of giving communities and the state another experience to entertain visitors and attract potential new residents.
2021 grant recipients:
Fargo Air Museum Flight Simulator Lab: The Fargo Air Museum will develop a virtual reality-based flight simulator lab at the museum in Fargo. The lab will feature virtual reality flight simulator experiences with force feedback controls that will be used in enhanced youth camp curriculum, education programs and events like challenges and tournaments.
Folly Hill Farm Lodging and Restroom Facilities: This project will expand demonstration and farming facilities at Folly Hill Farm north of Bismarck. Grant dollars will be used for the relocation and repurposing of surplus oilfield infrastructure for restroom facilities and lodging on the farm. The project will allow the farm to host day visitors and overnight agritourism guests, interns or paying regenerative agriculture students. Folly Hill Farm was established in 2017 on 40 acres of native grassland as a working demonstration farm and agritourism destination.
Historic Hygge Hotel Restoration: The project will complete the renovation of the historic hotel in Powers Lake. Hotel owners began renovation of the original 1909 structure in 2018. The grant dollars will help complete the lower-level renovation of a hospitality area for guests and locals to hold private parties and meetings. The reopening of the restored hotel after sitting vacant for nearly 30 years will provide much-needed lodging at Powers Lake and will bring hunters and travelers into the community.
National Buffalo Museum Bison Pasture Tour: The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown is developing a bison pasture tour to take visitors safely near the grazing bison. The museum is working to acquire a large, customized vehicle capable of transporting a household of people through the grazing pasture. The retrofitted vehicle will be wrapped to provide a pleasing backdrop for photos. Tours will be personalized and presented by a qualified guide so the vehicle will include a speaker system that will allow visitors to hear and communicate with the guide.
Pioneer Trails Regional Museum Paleontology Program Expansion: Pioneer Trails Regional Museum in Bowman is enhancing and expanding its paleontology program to include new museum fossil displays and daily tours to fossil dig sites. Participation in longer proposed tour events will keep visitors in the community longer. The planned field and lab activities will involve personal interaction between museum staff and visitors that will create new experiences for entertainment and learning.
The Springs Golf Course Dining Igloos: The Springs Golf Course clubhouse in Gwinner is planning the addition of a pair of enclosed clear “igloo” outdoor dining structures. The unique structures will allow patrons to safely enjoy outdoor dining overlooking the main pond at the Springs Golf Course. These will also provide a new place to enjoy drinks or a break area for conference attendees at the clubhouse’s meeting facilities.
Up North Cabins: The Up North Cabins project is planning development of unique rental cabins near the Pembina Gorge in northeastern North Dakota. The cabins would be developed in two phases on 8.7 acres of land that was previously a horse ranch. The first two cabins are expected to open summer 2021 with a total of 6-8 cabins available in the future. The project will provide needed unique lodging from which to explore the great outdoors in the Rendezvous Region. The location of Up North Cabins will support the economic growth of surrounding communities, including Langdon and Walhalla.