The Iowa tourism industry is getting a big boost from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which also includes funding for outdoor recreation and tourism industries so states can rebuild.
Monday, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the first round of tourism projects in Iowa.
The first round funds four projects, including $6 million to Universal Television for the “Field of Dreams” TV series being filmed in Iowa. Filming is scheduled to start this year and take place in multiple Iowa counties, such as Boone, Clinton, Polk, and Mahaska.
Polk County Conservation was awarded $2.4 million to increase recreation opportunities at Easter Lake in Des Moines. This includes rowing, swimming, fishing, other water sports, and a playground inclusive of children with disabilities.
The Siouxland Regional Trail System received $7 million to develop more than 100 miles of trails to connect communities in Siouxland.
Dallas County Conservation was given $1 million to complete four miles of trails connecting the Raccoon River Valley Trail and the High Trestle Trail.
Made possible with $100 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan, the Destination Iowa program is meant to increase the quality of life for Iowans and attract tourists and new Iowans by building new sites or renovating old ones.
The program launched in April and it was created, in part, because of the number of people who got outside to use trails, campgrounds, and other outdoor recreation sites during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Destination Iowa will provide grants to communities with attractions that are ready to go. The Iowa Economic Development Authority started accepting applications for projects in May.
by Nikoel Hytrek
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