116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Iowa will use $100 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to launch Destination Iowa, an investment in “transformational, shovel-ready attractions.”
“Communities in all corners of the state are creating unique destinations that give visitors a reason to explore and residents a reason to stay,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday.
“Destination Iowa will help more communities across the state move forward in their efforts to boost tourism and economic growth while enhancing the quality of life for Iowans.”
Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants from four funds: economically significant development, outdoor recreation, tourism attraction, and creative place-making.
Over the past two years, Iowa saw a record number of Iowans and out-of-state travelers use outdoor amenities such as state and county parks and recreational bike trails.
However, the hospitality industry in Iowa experienced a 46.1 percent decrease in employment and there was an overall 29 percent decline in visitor spending as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Destination Iowa aims to invest in new attractions to raise Iowa’s profile, welcome out-of-state travelers, and increase visitor spending while accelerating tourism’s recovery, the governor said.
It also will spur local economies and contribute to efforts to recruit new members of Iowa’s workforce.
“Destination Iowa will inspire the kinds of attractions that Iowans take pride in and that will raise the positive profile of our state well beyond our borders,” Gov. Reynolds said.
Iowa has elevated its quality of life through significant state investments in child care, broadband, housing and commercial aviation infrastructure projects, Reynolds said. Destination Iowa will build on that momentum, she said.
Applications will be accepted beginning May 9. Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For information, visit iowaeda.com/destination-iowa/.
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