Nate Formalarie, Communications Director
Agency of Commerce and Community Development
VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM AND MARKETING AWARDS $600,000 IN REGIONAL MARKETING GRANTS
Grants aim to advance community recovery efforts from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Montpelier, Vt. - The Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM) has awarded just under $600,000 in regional marketing grants to 22 organizations through the Tourism and Economic Recovery Marketing Grant program. The grant program was developed to aid economic recovery by supporting regional efforts to increase visitation and tourism-related activities. The grants are intended to enable local, regional, or statewide organizations to implement campaigns and initiatives that increase consumer spending, support local businesses, and advance community recovery efforts in the tourism sector.
“As the tourism sector continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, having resources to attract and invite visitors back to every corner of the state is critical,” said VDTM Commissioner Heather Pelham. “The variety of projects and initiatives these grants will support illustrates both the breadth of tourism opportunities around the state and the unique character each community has to offer. We look forward to seeing all of these creative projects come to life.”
In awarding funds, priority was given to projects that have the potential for long-term transformational impacts; campaigns that reach underrepresented and new and diverse communities of visitors; and projects that create assets that will live on beyond the life of the grant term. To increase regional and statewide collaboration, new creative assets developed with this grant funding will be shared with VDTM for additional amplification and brand reach.
Awarded grant projects fell into five primary categories: arts and culture events; development of creative assets and targeted marketing; digital and/or website upgrades; festivals; and itineraries and/or mapping projects. Sample projects include:
- The Arlington Arts and Enrichment Program received funding to create a multi-day Battenkill Fly and Film Festival in late April, centered around the International Fly-Fishing Film Festival and the opening week of fly-fishing season. Films screened at the newly created Arlington Common will be complemented by "river provision" bundles available from area restaurants, related events at local galleries and museums, and a series of independent driving tours to encourage travel around the region.
- The City of South Burlington received funding to launch a new Annual Winter Lights Festival featuring Vermont musicians, locally-made arts, crafts and food and beverage gifts, plus local food vendors in collaboration with area arts organizations, the local hospitality industry, and civic organizations.
- Studio Place Arts (SPA) in Barre received funding to support a year-long regional advertising campaign to promote the 2022 SPA exhibit schedule which includes the work of more than 380 art small businesses. Studio Place Arts will also develop a two weekend event that coincides with the 22nd annual stone sculpture show, “Rock Solid,” during the busy fall tourism season.
- Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports received funding to produce video and photography content that highlights accessible adventures and outdoor recreation in the Mad River Valley, Killington/Rutland region and on the Burlington waterfront and bike path.
- The Vermont River Conservancy received funding to build an interactive map which will provide information on over 50 swimming holes, dozens of boat launch sites, favorite fishing spots, and paddlers’ trails, as well as a series of six Spanish language videos promoting Vermont's waterways.
“We are very excited to see the strong regional partnerships that have come together to make these collaborative projects successful,” said VDTM Commissioner Heather Pelham. “These partnerships will ensure that the Vermont tourism industry is more resilient now and into the future.”
All projects must be completed by March 1, 2023. For a full list of recipients, visit the grant program page on accd.vermont.gov. Funding for this program was allocated as part of Act 74 in the Vermont Legislature.