Montana Office of Tourism / Brand MT

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

The Eastern Montana Tourism Initiative Grant Cycle will award funds to eligible entities in Eastern Montana that demonstrate investment in tourism infrastructure, ensure asset development, and promote long-term sustainability in growth policy and community development.

The funding for the Eastern Montana Tourism Initiative grant cycle comes from the 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax, more commonly known as the “Bed Tax”, which is collected from guests of lodging facilities across the state including, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, guest ranches, short-term vacation rentals, resorts, and campgrounds.

Entities in Montana that are eligible to apply for Eastern Montana Grant funding must be located in one of the five identified Eastern Montana zones AND one of the following types of organizations:

  • City Government
  • County Government
  • Tribal Government
  • A primary, registered non-profit 501(c) organization

Eligible entities cannot use funds as a pass-through for ineligible entities, which include for-profit businesses, individuals, subsidiaries of a non-profit, and other State or Federal agencies. Eligible entities must be in good standing with the IRS and the entity or organization information must match the filed Tax I.D. or, for a 501(c), the most recently filed Form 990-N.

The asset/proposed project must be owned by the entity applying for the grant or the applicant must have a long-term lease with automatic renewal in place with the owner [such as for placing or constructing an asset on leased land or a project that is within a facility that is rented].

Qualified applicants must demonstrate an actual and committed match in the proposed project equal to 10% of the total project cost. Reasonable in-kind services, in-kind labor, and/or volunteer hours may count for up to 25% of applicant match while the remaining 75% of the match must be committed cash.

Funds will be awarded to tourism and recreation development that fall within the categories of:

  • Tourism-based infrastructure / Visitor facility upgrades / Construction: projects that will enhance the out-of-area and non-resident visitor experience and increase expenditures.
  • Marketing and promotion of tourism assets/attractions for out-of-area and non-resident visitors as identified in Montana Destination Brand Research Study.
  • Tourism product development for projects of interest to out-of-area and non-resident visitors as identified in Montana Destination Brand Research Study.
  • Tourism  or outdoor recreation improvements and/or implementation of tourism assets that lead to a specific product development, downtown revitalization or enhancement, or wayfinding systems as identified through existing research or community planning processes.

Applications will be accepted via an on-line platform on the launch date of the grant cycle and will be evaluated by a review team from Brand MT and Business MT. Applications will be recommended for funding by how well the applicant would market the proposed project upon completion to measure the impact to out-of-area resident and non-resident visitors; proposed projects that are identified by the community as key tourism development projects in a community, strategic, or tourism/recreational plan; proposed projects that are supported by tourism and community partners; and by how well the proposed project will increase out-of-area and non-resident visitation.

Funded applicants will be required to be in contract with the Montana Department of Commerce. Project must be completed by May 31, 2024. A final report will be required including financial and performance measurements.