May 22, 2022

Russell, Colby awarded grants to develop tourism attractions

Posted May 22, 2022 10:15 AM

Office of the Governor

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly announced this week the 11 recipients of the Kansas Tourism Attraction Development Grants. The grants were presented by Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland on May 13 at the Colby Events Center.

“Tourism is the welcoming committee for new residents and businesses in our state,” Kelly said. “By continuing to develop vibrant travel destinations across Kansas, we are opening the door to more revenue and new economic growth in communities of all sizes.”

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.

“Destination development and tourism are critical economic development activities,” Toland said. “When people come to one of these attractions, they’ll also dine at our local restaurants, stay at local hotels and shop at local stores. All of this brings new dollars to our communities and helps showcase the great places we have to live, work and play across Kansas.”

The 2022 grant recipients are:

  1. Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau, Dickinson County, $22,000 – World’s Largest Belt Buckle
  2. Baxter Springs Historical Society, Cherokee County, $40,000 – Route 66 Roadside Park
  3. City of Colby, Thomas County, $40,000 –Young Memorial Park Project
  4. Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation, Crawford County, $40,000 – Theatre Pavilion Project
  5. Exploration Place, Sedgwick County, $20,000 – Traveling Exhibit Gallery Improvements
  6. Good Karma Micro-Dairy, Russell County, $3,130 – Agritourism Farm Tour Enhancements
  7. Kansas State Fair, Reno County, $10,699 – Expo Center Enhancements
  8. Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Association, Barber County, $20,000 – Grounds Improvement Project
  9. Oregon Trail, LLC, Brown County, $40,000 –Glamping Project
  10. Thrive Allen County, Allen County, $2,475 – Walter Johnson Sign
  11. White Tail Run Winery, Douglas County, $13,239 –Disc Golf Course

“Funding these projects is essential for expanding and enhancing Kansas’ vast attraction portfolio” said Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe. “This grant supports destinations and communities by spurring economic growth, increasing visitation to Kansas, and enhancing the visitor experience.”

Applications were reviewed by a committee of three Kansas travel industry representatives appointed by 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.

For more information, visit or contact Kansas Tourism Grant Program Manager Taylor Hartshorn at [email protected].