On Friday, The Department of Commerce announced that 27 Montana communities received about $750,000 in grants to develop and enhance tourism, recreation and infrastructure across the state. Administrator of the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development Sean Becker says there are three in the Missoula area that will be recipients this year.

“We are very excited to announce the Big Sky Film Institute will receive an award for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival website,” said Becker. “Missoula County received an award for the historic commercial building for accessibility to improve visitor access. In the region, Stevensville Main Street Association received a small amount of money to help with the outdoor visitor information kiosk.”

Becker says the Tourism Grant Program typically awards more money, but that was not the case this year.

“In the past, we have really pursued it being a million dollar program,” Becker said. “We still believe it is a million dollar program. We are only spending $750,000 and that is in part due to how the budget had been appropriated from the legislature this past year.”

Since 1995, Becker says they have given out a total of 9.5 million dollars and over 330 awards to several communities in Montana.

Full List of Grant Recipients:
  • Crazy Mountain Museum of Big Timber received $15,500 to move, set up and renovate the historic Fjare Cabin from its current site in Melville to the museum grounds.
  • Jefferson County received $14,984 to create a website to promote tourism and recreation.
  • World Museum of Mining of Butte received $11,560 to preserve the historic St. Helena’s Church by replacing its roof.
  • Blaine County Fair Foundation of Chinook received $22,000 to set up an indoor arena for events and horseback riding year-round.
  • Town of Circle received $14,750 to upgrade Redwater Memorial Park for bicycle tourism with a bench, a shelter wall, playground equipment and additional sand to complete a youth climbing wall area.
  • Cut Bank Area Chamber of Commerce received $4,553 to replace damaged concrete at its visitor information center for accessibility.
  • Southwest Montana Tourism Region of Deer Lodge received $30,450 to purchase, produce content for and place 12 Ultra HD (4K) traveler information displays across the region.
  • Forsyth Chamber of Commerce received $1,300 to update its website content management system to a newer version so the website is easier to update.
  • Missouri River Country Tourism Region of Fort Peck received $28,000 to redesign its website to promote tourism and recreation in northeastern Montana.
  • Yellowstone Forever of Bozeman received $20,000 to restore historical signage at the Roosevelt Arch in Gardiner.
  • Central Montana Tourism Region of Great Falls received $17,000 to redesign the Montana Dinosaur Trail website, including mobile optimization.
  • Ravalli County Museum of Hamilton received $20,000 to upgrade lighting and seating on the second floor of the museum, which includes seven galleries of various sizes and the large Courtroom Gallery with a stage.
  • Kalispell Lakers Baseball Association received $8,000 for upgrades to the Griffin Baseball Field in order to host state tournaments.
  • City of Libby received $85,355 for welcome and wayfinding signage.
  • Big Sky Film Institute of Missoula received $7,898 to upgrade the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival website, including mobile optimization.
  • Missoula County received $105,282 to install an elevator in the historic Commercial Building for accessibility, to improve visitors’ access to and experience of Western Montana Fair exhibits and to expand the number of events held in the Commercial Building.
  • Noxon Senior Citizens, Inc. received $9,150 for its Road to the Buffalo interpretive signage project, which marks the historic byway passing through Sanders County with four signs at designated roadside turnouts along Highway 200.
  • Philipsburg Ice Association received $104,511.50 to improve the quality of the ice surface at the Philipsburg Ice Rink and to allow for a longer, more consistent ice skating season.
  • Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary of Red Lodge received $8,155 to replace the aging deck at the entrance of the sanctuary to be more accessible and visitor friendly.
  • Lake County Community Development Corporation of Ronan received $15,000 to restore the Ronan Arch.
  • Daniels County Museum Association of Scobey received $40,000 to build an attractive metal rod fence to replace a post and wire fence on the east side of Pioneer Town, which is the entrance and the side facing Scobey.
  • Carousel Rest Area of Shelby Inc. of Shelby received $33,000 to complete interior work for the carousel house, including insulation, sheet rocking and completion of the restrooms and kitchen area.
  • Stevensville Main Street Association received $9,200 for a three-panel outdoor visitor information kiosk to be constructed and installed adjacent to the Stevensville Main Street Association office and visitor information center.
  • Evelyn Cameron Heritage of Terry received $40,120 to install a heating system and winterize the facility for changing weather conditions.
  • Yellowstone Historic Center of West Yellowstone received $6,150 to purchase five exhibit display tables and to refinish the hardwood floor in the east wing of the museum.
  • Glacier Nordic Club of Whitefish received $51,000 to purchase a groomer to improve the Nordic (cross-country) skiing on the existing and future Big Mountain Nordic ski trails.
  • Whitehall Chamber of Commerce received $5,720.50 for several facility and grounds upgrades.
  • Jefferson Valley Museum of Whitehall received $17,300 to repair and restore two exterior sides of the barn housing the museum.
  • American Legion Post 20 of Dillon received $4,061 for improvements to camping facilities at Wisdom’s American Legion Memorial Park, which is located on the Adventure Cycling TransAmerica bike route.