Vermont Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program

The Vermont Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program application is closed.

The Vermont Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program is closed.

What is the Program?

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) seeks proposals for grants to help Vermont’s ski areas provide a safe skiing and riding experience in the 2020/2021 season. 

The State of Vermont recognizes that ski areas will need to make physical improvements to their resorts to accommodate guests safely due to State-imposed COVID-19 safety measures. This program provides grants of up to $200,000 to downhill and cross country ski areas to make these improvements or to reimburse a ski area that has made an eligible physical improvement since March 1, 2020.

What are the Goals?

The ski industry is the leading contributor to Vermont’s outdoor winter economy. The industry serves as the cornerstone for economic activity in mountain towns. The Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program aims to help ski areas implement solutions that will enable skiers and riders to use their facilities safely this winter. These grants aim to ensure that the ski areas, and the hundreds of restaurants, inns, and attractions that depend on them to draw visitors to Vermont, may operate this winter.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include for-profit, non-profit, and municipally-owned downhill or cross country ski areas that provide skiing and riding in Vermont. Each ski area is only allowed one application. In the instance where a company owns multiple ski areas, the applicant may submit a distinct application for each ski area if each ski area operates under its own federal employer identification number. 

Eligible Uses of Grant Monies

Grants may be used to make physical improvements to facilities in order to mitigate public health and safety risks to the public related to COVID-19 physical distancing and other safety requirements. Applicants must attest that their business has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. Eligible improvements include:

  • Design, engineering, and implementation of construction related to improvements of ski area facilities, including lodges, lifts, other resort amenities, and associated operations.
  • Rental or purchase of equipment, including tents and other temporary structures, to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Purchase of personal protective equipment, health and safety equipment and related hard goods necessary to facilitate safe operation of ski patrol, ski school and other resort operations – including masks, hand sanitizer, and medical supplies.
  • Technology and related supplies to facilitate contactless transactions, including the purchase and installation of software, hardware, and related supplies to facilitate online lift ticket sales and ticket checking systems.

Funding Considerations and Requirements

  • All costs must be incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020.
  • All funding must be obligated by December 10, 2020, and spent by December 30, 2020.
  • Applicants must attest that their business has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Applicants must include either invoices for work completed or estimates of work to be completed with their application. Applicants may submit up to 10 expenses per application.
  • ACCD anticipates capping applications at $200,000, but reserves the right to increase or decrease that cap based on demand and the quality of applications.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria as demonstrated in the application and the required attachments.

  1. Economic Loss/Need. Ski areas with a demonstrated need will be prioritized.
  2. Nexus to COVID-19 Restrictions. Projects with the strongest nexus to COVID-19 will be prioritized.
  3. Economic Impact. The project must clearly increase revenue for the ski area – demonstrated through increased employment and more skier days than if the project did not occur.
  4. Feasibility and Budget. What is the likelihood that this project can be completed before December 30, 2020? Are the costs reasonable and prudent?
  5. Geographic Diversity. The State will prioritize equity in distribution of funds across the state.
Criteria Consideration
Economic Loss/Need 20%
Nexus to COVID-19 20%
Economic Impact 20%
Feasibility & Budget 20%
Geographic Diversity 20%

Submittal Instructions

Applicants shall submit grant proposals via email to Hilary DelRoss at Proposals must use the " Vermont Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program Application" form, and the required supporting documents should be included as separate PDF files attached to the same email. (Refer to the NOFA for the required documents.)

Find detailed information, the required application form, other required documents, and submittal instructions with the "Vermont Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program" Notice of Funds Available (NOFA). Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are also available. In a webinar about the program, Deputy Secretary Ted Brady reviewed grant eligibility, the application process, and qualified expenses, and also engaged in a Q&A session with participants. Slides and a recording of the webinar are available.

Program Reporting

On March 26, 2021, the Agency published a report on the Vermont Ski Area Recreation Safety Grant Program describing the program and outlining the program’s impact. To read the report, updated May 27, 2021 click here.

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