Destination Iowa - State
Projects Awarded After July 1, 2023
The Destination Iowa Fund Grant Program is funded through a legislative appropriation of $6.5 million. Funds will be awarded to cities, counties, and non-profit organizations proposing to invest in vertical infrastructure to create or expand existing Primary Destinations to increase tourism to the state.
Projects will attract visitors and new residents to the state and bolster the quality of life in Iowa’s rural communities. The aim is to make strategic investments that yield lasting results and create a positive ripple effect throughout the community. These projects will not only address immediate needs but also contribute to long-term sustainability and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.
Eligible projects can receive grant funds up to 25% of eligible project costs related to the construction, development, or expansion of destination. Applicants must have 65% of financing/fundraising secured at time of the pre-application. Half of program funds are allocated to Rural Destinations. Rural is defined as a community that has a population of less than 20,000.
Eligible projects will have minimum total Project costs:
- Urban - $5 million or greater
- Rural - $1.5 million or greater
Primary Destination: means natural, man-made, cultural, recreational or educational attraction(s) that drive visitors to an area. It is the primary target for promoting tourism, attracting visitors, and stimulating economic development in that specific area.
Vertical Infrastructure: means land acquisition and construction, major renovation and major repair of buildings, all appurtenant structures, utilities, site development, recreational trails, and water trails. “Vertical infrastructure” does not include routine, recurring maintenance or operational expenses or leasing of a building, appurtenant structure, or utility without a lease-purchase agreement.
Cities, counties, and non-profit organizations proposing to invest in vertical infrastructure to create or expand existing Primary Destinations to increase tourism to the state.