Kansas Tourism Awards $421,820 in Attraction Development Grants

TOPEKA – Kansas Tourism today announced $421,820 in Attraction Development Grants has been awarded to 10 recipients. The funding will be used to develop new tourism attractions or enhance existing sites across the state.

Attraction Development Grants assist in the development of travel experiences that will influence visitors’ travel decisions. The program also spurs economic growth through the creation of jobs, capital investment, revenue and number of visits.

“These grants are essential investments in the growth and development of communities across the state,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Supporting new and exciting attractions enhances both the visitor experience and quality of life for existing Kansas residents.”

An additional $2,064,910 in matching funds will result in a total of $3,441,517 that will be invested in the approved projects.

The 2023 grant recipients:

  • City of Garden City, Finney County, $40,000 – Buffalo Dunes Golf Course renovations
  • City of Lyons, Rice County, $13,120 – Creation of the World’s Largest Salt Shaker
  • Gunnar’s Bourbon Company, Chautauqua County, $70,000 – Distillery enhancements
  • Jalu LLC, Douglas County, $31,700 –Bathhouse enhancements
  • Kansas State Historical Society, Shawnee County, $40,000 – Kansas Museum of History enhancements
  • Kansas Oil Museum, Butler County, $80,000 – Energy Education Center feature
  • Morton County Historical Society Museum, Morton County, $5,000 – Landmark windmill replacement
  • Oz Museum/Columbian Theatre Foundation, Pottawatomie County, $17,600 – Oz Museum exhibit
  • Trego Sky View Foundation, Trego County, $44,400 – Drive-in theater enhancements
  • Wabaunsee County Historical Society, Wabaunsee County, $80,000 – New exhibits at county museum

“Investing in the development of the tourism industry is a priority for Kansas Tourism,” Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe said. “Building new attractions and enhancing current experiences is how we continue to develop and market Kansas as a unique tourism destination.”

The Attraction Development Grant recipients were chosen based on the projects’ economic impact to the state, availability of leveraged funding, ability to complete the project within 18 months, and the presence of a sound business and marketing plan. Grant dollars may fund up to 40 percent of a project, with the community or business funding the remaining 60 percent. For more information about Attraction Development Grants, click here, or contact Kansas Tourism Grant Program Manager Carrie Doud here.

About Kansas Tourism:

The mission of Kansas Tourism is to inspire travel to and throughout Kansas to maximize the positive impacts that tourism has on our state and local communities. Kansas Tourism is a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce and works hand in hand with other Commerce community programs to elevate and promote Kansas as a tourist destination. Kansas Tourism oversees all tourism marketing and PR for the state, produces travel publications and advertising, manages state Travel Information Centers, manages both the Kansas By-ways program and the Kansas Agritourism program, approves tourist signage applications, produces the KANSAS! Magazine and provides financial and educational support to the tourism industry in Kansas through grants, education and support.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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