Tuesday, October 18, 2011 11:21:41 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Montana Office of Tourism
Montana Department of Commerce
Montana Department of Commerce
Twelve Montana Tourism Facility Improvement Projects Awarded $530,000 in Montana Department of Commerce Grants
(HELENA) – The Montana Department of Commerce has approved the award of $530,000 from the Tourism Infrastructure Investment Program (TIIP) for tourism-related facility improvement projects in Big Sky, Butte, Bynum, Choteau, Glasgow, Great Falls, Helena, Huntley Project, Kalispell, Missoula and Red Lodge.
“The 2011 TIIP grant funds are re-investing Montana’s tourism tax dollars into the improvement of key tourism facilities. These projects will help attract visitors to Montana and keep them here longer – spending more money in our main street businesses,” said Montana Department of Commerce Director Dore Schwinden. “These projects also benefit Montana residents through local investments, upgrading and improving the facilities that are important to our communities.”
Director Schwinden approved the TIIP grant funding for the tourism facility projects following recommendations from Department of Commerce staff and the state’s Tourism Advisory Council. The twelve TIIP grant recipients were selected from 30 applications requesting just under $2 million in grants from the program.
“This year’s TIIP grant investment leverages $2.6 million from other state, private and national funding sources to finance these projects. This investment creates and supports local construction jobs, the state’s building supply and service industry, and strengthens Montana’s visitor appeal,” said Schwinden.
The 2011 TIIP Grant Award Recipients are:
- $75,000 to the Pine Butte Guest Ranch outside of Choteau along the Rocky Mountain Front operated by The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization. The TIIP Funds will leverage donation revenues to replace the ranch’s aging waste water system allowing an increase in guest capacity and protection of the area’s streams and rivers. Total Project Cost: $300,000
- $44,500 to the World Museum of Mining in Butte for preservation, interpretation and increased visitor access to the 100-ft high Orphan Girl Headframe. Total Project Cost: $74,500
- $36,800 to Community Works, Inc., of Helena for outdoor interactive exhibits and equipment serving visitors to their Exploration Works facility in the Great Northern Town Center. Total Project Cost: $91,800.
- $22,333 to the Huntley Project Museum for relocation of historic buildings on their property into a town site display. Total Project Cost: $33,500
- $75,000 to the Ursuline Centre Historic Foundation of Great Falls for their Ursuline Centre Masonry Restoration Project. Total Project Cost: $410,094
- $32,289 to the Northwest Montana Historical Society for completion of their “History of the Flathead Valley” exhibit at the Museum at Central School in Kalispell. Total Project Cost: $48,434
- $46,378 to the HiLine Youth Hockey Center for installation of an elevator and construction of a foyer at their Valley Event Center multi-use facility in Glasgow. Total Project Cost: $83,292
8. $20,100 to the Carbon County Historical Society & Museum in Red Lodge for the completion and update of the museum’s mining exhibit. Total Project Cost: $30,250
9. $50,000 to the Missoula Downtown Association for improvements to the Caras Park Pavilion event area. Total Project Cost: $500,000
10. $27,600 to the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana for renovations and improvements to the second floor mezzanine of their downtown Glasgow facility. Total Project Cost: $66,100
11. $50,000 to the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, a member of the Montana Dinosaur Trail, for construction of a second floor mezzanine providing more program, event and exhibit space. Total Project Cost: $110,000
12. $50,000 to the Big Sky Community Corporation for facility improvements on the west end of the Big Sky Community Park event and activity area. Total Project Cost: $1.352 million
Since 1995, TIIP grants have provided $4.174 million in tourism accommodations tax funds to 94 projects in 47 Montana communities. These TIIP-assisted projects represent $45 million in Montana tourism facility improvements financed with public and private funds.
TIIP grant funds are provided by the 4% Montana Lodging Facility Use Tax which is assessed on the lodging price of all accommodations across Montana, including campgrounds. The grants are awarded through a competitive process and require a $1 match for every $2 provided by grant funds.