Economically Significant Development
Destination Iowa is a $100 million investment to bolster the quality of life in Iowa’s communities and attract visitors and new residents to the state. The new effort will provide grants to help communities move forward on transformational, shovel-ready attractions. Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants from four separate funds: Economically Significant Development, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Attraction and Creative Placemaking.
While Iowa saw a record number of Iowans and out-of-state travelers utilizing outdoor amenities such as state and county parks and recreational bike trails over the last two years, the hospitality industry in the State of Iowa experienced a 46.1% decrease in employment and there was an overall 29% decline in visitor spending as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Destination Iowa will provide new opportunities to create and invest in attractions that will raise Iowa’s profile, welcome out-of-state travelers, and increase visitor spending while accelerating tourism’s recovery. It will also spur local economies and contribute to efforts to recruit new members of Iowa’s workforce.
Iowa has led the way in elevating its already unmatched quality of life through significant state investments in child care, broadband, housing and commercial aviation infrastructure projects, as well as a significant investment in the successful This Is Iowa ad campaign. This investment will build upon that momentum.
Applications will start being accepted on May 9, 2022. Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. Funding is being made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
An informational webinar can be viewed here. Accompanying slides and a FAQ are also available.