MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Governor Burgum’s office has matched $25 million worth of grants to help attract more people to the state — and several cities already have ideas of what to do with this sudden influx of funding.
Cities and towns across North Dakota have sent in ideas for tourism projects to receive money from over $151 million dollars of worth of requests. North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Josh Teigen says that the money was allocated based on the needs of particularly appealing applications, and that state commerce leaders want to see what different cities hope to do and how their ideas will affect people’s quality of life throughout the state.
“There were a lot of good projects out there,” Tiegen states. “We had to ask, ‘how can we deliver the highest impact for the state with the limited funding we have?'”
Minot is one of the cities that will be receiving funding — a million dollars, to be exact — in order to help support its Citizen’s Alley idea. In the heart of the city, project spokespeople want to create a pedestrian plaza with no vehicle traffic. This unique approach, Tiegen notes, is what secured funds for both Minot and Turtle Mountain.
“We want to put in for a group of projects,” explained Tiegen, “not just one single one. We think all of these components will make the others stronger. And if we have five elements of our application, that is more likely to motivate someone to make a trip. They’re going to stay longer, and they’re going to spend more money. They’re going to do more things, and be in our communities longer than if we just accepted a single application.”
Teigen also says that the organization wanted to make sure they leaned into winter activities as well as summer ones, in order to help attract visitors year-round.