May 7, 2015 North Dakota Tourism E-Newsletter
Keep up on the latest tourism industry news impacting North Dakota
May 7, 2015 Newsletter
The 64th Legislative Assembly came to a close April 29, the 78th day of the session, leaving two allowable days for a special session. Thanks to all the tourism stakeholders who helped advocate for the tourism budget and educate lawmakers on the industry's impact in their districts. The results were successful - with 100% of the Governor’s recommended increases appropriated!
HB 1018 – Department of Commerce (including Tourism Division)
HB 1018 includes the state’s primary economic development initiatives. The bill contains $247,000 in one-time funding for international tourism marketing, $1 million in one-time funding for expanded regional marketing and $750,000 in continued one-time funding for tourism infrastructure grants. HB 1018 also authorizes funding for several key programs:
- $4.5 million for Research ND
- $2.25 million for childcare facility grants
- $1 million for workforce enhancement grants
- $3 million for Tribal College Grants
- $1.55 million for Operation Intern and externships
- $1.75 million for entrepreneurial center grants and vouchers, with around $842,000 for Small Business Development Centers
- $7.5 million for an enhanced use lease grant program for private development at or near the Grand Forks Air Force Base
- $300,000 to match private sector contributions to the state workforce recruitment campaign, “Find the Good Life.”
In addition, the legislature also appropriated funds to Commerce in HB 1282 ($200,000 for rural healthcare workforce grants); HB 1285 ($650,000 for domestic violence shelter grants); and SB 2151 ($3 million for pre-kindergarten community grants). The total appropriation to Commerce is $131,373,174, of which $56.8 million is general funds. This is a 14% decrease compared to the $66 million in general funds provided for the 2013-15 biennium.
HB 1009 – State Fair Association
HB 1009 includes $1 million appropriation for the State Fair Association and $500,000 in one-time funding for an asphalt overlay project on the State Fairgrounds.
HB 1012 – Department of Transportation
HB 1012, the Department of Transportation appropriation, includes $503 million in one-time funding for enhanced state highway investments ($900 million in the executive budget), $2 million in one-time funding for recreational road access ($5 million in executive budget) and $7 million for a short line railroad program.
HB 1409 – Outdoor Heritage Fund
HB 1409 more clearly defines what the Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF) can and cannot be used for, with a higher priority given to funding conservation projects. The bill also includes a funding allocation of $20 million per fiscal year and $40 million per biennium. Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever were removed from statute, allowing the Governor to appoint OHF Advisory Board members from any statewide conservation group.
SB 2019 – Parks and Recreation Department
SB 2019 contains $14.75 million for state park enhancements, which includes $3 million for the Parks and Recreation Department to take over the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and $11.75 million to be used at the discretion of the director for state parks enhancements. The bill also includes $200,000 for demolition of the Peace Towers at the International Peace Garden.
SB 2018 – State Historical Society of North Dakota
SB 2018 includes $2 million for Double Ditch Indian Village; $1.5 million for Dakota the dinosaur; $1 million for repairs to Fort Totten’s hospital building and Stutsman County Courthouse; and $25,000 for the Whitestone Hill State Historical Site. The bill also contains $264,000 in one-time funding to begin implementation of the electronic records archiving project; $200,000 to publicize historical events and defray costs; and $300,000 for traveling exhibits in the Governor’s Gallery and exhibits at historic sites.
National Travel and Tourism Week and will continue the campaign through May 10. This year’s theme, “Travel is __________,” has provided us a unique opportunity to tie in the benefits of travel while promoting our Legendary destinations, attractions and events. There is still time to join in the fun so watch our social media posts and chime in with your favorites.
- Tiffany Irving, Front-line Tourism Employee - Front Office Manager for Staybridge Suites Fargo
- Fred Flood, Behind the Scenes Tourism Employee - Staff member at Staybridge Suites Fargo
- Terry Harzinski, Travel and Tourism Industry Leader - Retired CEO of the Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Unglued Craft Fest, Event of the Year - Fargo
- Williston Area Recreation Center, Tourism Attraction of the Year - Williston
- North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, Tourism Organization of the Year
Thank you to those who attended the 2015 North Dakota Travel Industry Conference in Minot. Please take a few minutes to evaluate this year’s conference. Your feedback, insights and suggestions help build the content and planning for future conferences. Click here for the survey.
- NoBull Country Club, downtown Fargo's newest eatery and bar, is now open at 609 NP Ave. www.inforum.com/business/3738339-nobull-country-club-set-open-downtown-fargo
- Encourage visitors to discover North Dakota’s Hidden Gems. http://t.co/TMjqo3V5i7
- Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park offers tipis. www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/falsp/facilities.html
- 2015 Dinosaur Digs: www.dmr.nd.gov/ndfossil/digs/digs.asp
- For up-to-date road conditions, visit: hwww.dot.nd.gov/travel-info-v2/
- For updates on the fire risks and burn bans statewide, visit www.nd.gov/des