PORTER — Indiana Dunes Tourism is offering a total of $50,000 in grants to people and groups who plan to bring visitors into the county by building new attractions or by organizing festivals, events, meetings, conventions or sports tournaments during 2019.
Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism bureau for Porter County, is specifically looking to support endeavors that will bring visitors from outside of the Lake, Porter and La Porte County areas, fill hotel rooms and have a positive economic impact on local businesses and attractions. Grants are available to for-profit, nonprofit and government entities.
“These grants are meant to offer support in ways that may not be available anywhere else,” said Sandy Remijas, Indiana Dunes Tourism’s operations director and grants program project manager. “Every year we’re able to give back to the community we serve, offering support to activities, events and initiatives that help grow tourism as a whole.”
In 2018, Indiana Dunes Tourism awarded grants to Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest (formerly Taltree Arboretum & Gardens), Portage Township YMCA, NWI Food Council, Duneland Learning Center & Duneland Family YMCA, Art Barn School of Art, Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce, Frontline Foundations, Inc., Kankakee Valley Historical Society, Porter County Parks & Recreation Department, Indiana Elite FC, Pastime Tournaments, Northwest Indiana Junior Golf Association, Valparaiso University and the Porter County Sheriff’s Office.
“As a tourism entity,” said Lorelei Weimer, the executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism, “we understand that product and economic development are the lifeblood of a region. This program helps our local organizations grow, benefiting both tourists and local residents alike. We are proud of all of our past recipients and look forward to what the future will bring.”
Grants can be used for the construction of new attractions, as well as advertising, printing and promotional expenses that bring visitors to Porter County and encourage overnight stays. The funds can also be used to develop brochures, websites and other tools that encourage visitation.
The following grants are available: Product development, $5,000 annually; sports sponsorship, $3,000 annually; marketing, $2,500 (first year), $1,500 (second year) and $1,000 (third year); festivals and events, $2,500 (first year), $1,500 (second year) and $1,000 (third year); and meetings, conventions and seminars, $2,500 (first year), $1,500 (second year) and $1,000 (third year).
Organizations interested in being a part of the 2019 Tourism Promotion Grant program should visit www.indianadunes.com/grants. Applications for 2019 grants must be completed and returned by mail, email, fax or in person by 4 p.m. on Sept. 28.
Indiana Dunes Tourism co-operates the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center with the National Park Service at 1215 N. Ind. 49, Porter, IN 46304. For additional information, visit www.indianadunes.com or call (219) 926-2255.
The Tourism Promotion Grant is a competitive matching grant program that was established to foster and fund festivals, projects, special events, sporting events and programs that promote the development and growth of tourism.
Indiana Dunes Tourism is the official destination marketing, planning and development organization for Indiana Dunes Country/Porter County. Organizations interested in learning more about Indiana Dunes Tourism and its many opportunities should visit www.indianadunes.com or call (219) 926-2255.