KANKAKEE COUNTY, IL—October 6, 2023
The Visit Kankakee County (formally known as the Kankakee County Convention and Visitors Bureau) Board of Directors is thrilled to continue their commitment to enhancing tourism in Kankakee County by building upon the successful initiatives that have already bolstered visitation. We are excited to unveil the recipients of our latest round of grants, aimed at infusing new energy into the communities within Kankakee County and fostering economic growth through increased non-resident visitation. The objectives of this grant program encompass:
- Expansion of the tourism offerings in Kankakee County.
- The creation of unique visitor experiences to attract new tourists and extend the stays of current visitors.
- Provision of co-op marketing support for new signature events, expected to draw overnight visitors to Kankakee County.
- The generation of overnight visitors and quantifiable room nights within Kankakee County.
These CTAP grants have been strategically devised to stimulate further progress and prosperity in Kankakee County's thriving tourism sector, which contributed $6.6 million in direct local tax revenue in 2022. As our region emerges from the challenges posed by the pandemic, we are dedicated to fostering continued growth and development.
CTAP grants represent investments in tourism-related projects designed to encourage heightened visitation and increased visitor spending throughout Kankakee County. The Board of Directors approved investing up to $1 million in funding in 2023 and allocating as much as 25% of the annual budget to grant initiatives moving forward. In our initial round, conducted in spring 2023, we received 23 project proposals, approving ten for a total funding allocation of $647,500.
This round garnered an impressive 22 applications with funding requests surpassing $3 million. Nicole Gavin, Executive Director of Visit Kankakee County, commented, "We were delighted to witness such robust interest in advancing Kankakee County's tourism." The CVB Board of Directors meticulously reviewed all applications, consulted with independent consultants from MMGY Next Factor for funding recommendations, and ultimately determined the award recipients.
We are pleased to announce that this cycle will fund 10 organizations and their respective projects, granting $268,575. Grant recipients receiving up to $24,999 were required to secure a 25% matching contribution, while those awarded $25,000 or more had to provide a 50% match. Below is a list of the grant recipients:
- Deer Ridge Barn: $95,000 for improvements and expansion.
- Village of Bradley: $50,000 for the Bradley Sports Complex.
- Kankakee Development Corporation: $28,425 for historic downtown enhancement, sidewalk dining and outdoor art installations.
- City of Kankakee: $25,000 for the 2024 Kankakee River Regatta.
- Olivet Nazarene University: $25,000 for baseball field renovation.
- Momence Park District: $20,000 for the new Skate Dot installation.
- Locavore Farm: $10,150 for marketing assistance for new event collaborations.
- Hedgeapple Arts: $5,000 for art their art gallery expansion.
- Kankakee Valley Theatre Association: $5,000 for marketing support and 2023-2024 season enhancements.
- Little Me Learn & Play Studio: $5,000 for their Mobile Art Studio and art show marketing assistance.
A third round of the CTAP grant is being considered in late winter 2024. More information will be released at a later date.
For further inquiries, please direct your questions to Nicole Gavin, Executive Director, at email@example.com.
About Visit Kankakee County: Visit Kankakee County works to market and sell Kankakee County as a premier business and leisure destination enhancing our community image through digital media, advertising, marketing, public relations and group sales.