HELENA – The Montana Department of Commerce today announced more than $1 million in grant funding was awarded through its Tourism Grant Program to strengthen local economies in 21 communities.

“These grants will serve 22 tourism and recreation projects across Montana, including unincorporated small towns, rural communities, and areas of known attractions to non-resident visitors,” Commerce Director Scott Osterman said.  “Not only will these funds help boost tourism locally, they will support good-paying jobs, another added benefit of increased visitor activity,” Osterman added.

Tourism Grant Program funding recipients:

  • Blaine County will receive $34,303 to expand the Blaine County Wildlife Museum.
  • The Carter County Geological Society will receive $109,187 to install track lighting, spotlights, and motion sensor fixtures illuminating the heritage of the exhibits in the museum.
  • The Darby Rodeo Association will receive $113,809 to purchase and install two pre-formed bleacher sets, including one that is handicap accessible.
  • The Deer Lodge Development Group will receive $32,700 to renovate the front area of the 502 Main Street Building into a visitor center.
  • Dillon Main Street LLC and the City of Dillon will receive $13,393.50 to construct and install a permanent shade and event structure within Jaycee Park.
  • The Evelyn Cameron Heritage will receive $3,229 to purchase and install picture rails for a display.
  • Fallon County will receive $8,219 to design and install enhancement features to the façade of the primary museum building.
  • The Frontier Gateway Museum will receive $10,000 to generate talking trail points for the Talking Trail app.
  • The City of Glasgow and the Valley County Historical Society will receive $32,500 to rehabilitate the T-33 aircraft static outdoor exhibit in front of the Valley County Museum.
  • The Libby Chamber of Commerce will receive $45,000 to develop video content and create a channel platform for the greater Libby area.
  • Madison County will receive $200,000 to construct an all-season arena at the Madison County Fairgrounds in Twin Bridges.
  • The Musselshell Valley Community Foundation/Roundup Community Partners will receive $40,000 to construct a community branded welcome plaza and visitor information kiosk.
  • The Myrna Loy will receive $61,000 to design, construct, and install a street archway, a series of wayfinding signage, and pageantry banners.
  • Our Lady of the Rockies will receive $60,000 to construct an ADA compliant restroom.
  • The Paradise Elementary School Preservation Committee will receive $31,058 to construct a five-bay mini-roundhouse for exhibits highlighting the railroad heritage of the community.
  • The Ravalli County Museum will receive $13,750 to fabricate and install panels for the Nez Perce history and culture exterior exhibit.
  • The Red Lodge Area Community Foundation will receive $47,336 to design and install signage, exterior improvements to the sculpture garden, and enhancements to the entryway of the Roosevelt Center.
  • The City of Shelby will receive $12,325 to renovate the exterior of the historic Shelby Town Hall building.
  • The Stanford Open will receive $80,000 to construct an elevated covered grandstand for the Judith Basin County fairgrounds arena.
  • The West Yellowstone Ski Education Foundation will receive $13,393.50 to increase accessibility to the biathlon range by extending the shooting range area.
  • The Wibaux Chamber of Commerce will receive $1,000 to design and produce a map of points of interest and businesses in the Wibaux area.
  • The Yellowstone Historic Center will receive $78,900 to design and install trailhead and interpretive signage for and along the Yellowstone Shortline Trail.

"Roundup Community Partners is so grateful to the Office of Tourism for their support of Roundup's first Welcome Plaza and Visitor Information Kiosk,” said Theresa Doumitt, Roundup Community Partners Co-Chair. “Their partnership will enable an important step forward in the revitalization of our Main Street and recovery of our economy. This project will create an anchor development for Main Street and serve as a gateway to welcome visitors into the community," Doumitt added.

"On behalf of the Darby Rodeo Association, we would like to thank the Montana Department of Commerce for this award, the Town of Darby for the use of the facility, our partners that provided letters of support, and all of our fans for attending our events,” said Amy Robbins, Darby Rodeo Association supporter. “With the addition of two sets of permanent bleachers, including handicap accessible seating, we will be able to provide our fans an upgraded seating experience and increase our capacity,” Robbins added.

“The Yellowstone Shortline Trail Committee and Yellowstone Historic Center are thrilled to have the Montana Department of Commerce's support for the Yellowstone Shortline Trail through the Tourism Grant Program,” said Ellen Butler, Yellowstone Historic Center Interim Executive Director. “Funds from the Tourism Grant Program will enable us to create a rolling, strolling museum along the rail trail through the development of professional interpretive signage that explores the unique history of the area, both natural and cultural,” Butler added.

The Tourism Grant Program is funded by the 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax, commonly known as the “Bed Tax.” Enacted by the 1987 Legislature, the Bed Tax is collected from guests of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, guest ranches, resorts, short-term vacation rentals, and campgrounds.  Eligible entities that may apply for tourism grants include cities, counties, non-profit organizations, and tribal entities based in Montana.

For more information about the Tourism Grant Program, visit MARKETMT.COM.