An Abilene tourist organization is one of 11 recipients of Kansas Tourism Attraction Development Grants. The Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau is receiving $22,000 for its “World’s Largest Belt Buckle” project.
According to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s office, the Attraction Development Grant Program is administered by Kansas Tourism, a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce. The grants assist in the expansion of sustainable, market-driven travel experiences within the state that will influence travel decisions, increase visitation to Kansas, and generate economic impact resulting from the creation of jobs, capital investment, and tax revenue.
Kansas Tourism will provide a total of $251,544 in grant funding for eleven new or enhanced attraction development projects across the state. In total, the eleven grant recipients will invest more than $2.1 million toward the approved projects.
- Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dickinson County, $22,000 – World’s Largest Belt Buckle
- Baxter Springs Historical Society, Cherokee County, $40,000 – Route 66 Roadside Park
- City of Colby, Thomas County, $40,000 –Young Memorial Park Project
- Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation, Crawford County, $40,000 – Theatre Pavilion Project
- Exploration Place, Sedgwick County, $20,000 – Traveling Exhibit Gallery Improvements
- Good Karma Micro-Dairy, Russell County, $3,130 – Agritourism Farm Tour Enhancements
- Kansas State Fair, Reno County, $10,699 – Expo Center Enhancements
- Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Association, Barber County, $20,000 – Grounds Improvement Project
- Oregon Trail, LLC, Brown County, $40,000 –Glamping Project
- Thrive Allen County, Allen County, $2,475 – Walter Johnson Sign
- White Tail Run Winery, Douglas County, $13,239 –Disc Golf Course
Applications were reviewed by a committee of three Kansas travel industry representatives appointed by Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce, David Toland. The committee made its selections based on the projects’ economic impact to the state, availability of leveraged funding, ability to finish 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.