Feb. 2, 2012
Funds will help attract visitors, enhance economic development
TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has awarded two grants totaling $70,350 to the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Exploration Place, Inc., in Wichita, to help the organizations with their marketing efforts. The grants are funded through the Attraction Development Grant Program, and will be matched by a total of $789,274 from the two recipients.

The Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, representing the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway, will receive $40,350 to help market the byway through e-marketing, targeted trade show attendance, online, and print advertising. They will leverage $60,528 cash and in-kind contributions toward the total project cost of $100,878.

Exploration Place, Inc., will receive $30,000 to assist with marketing “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,” an interactive science and technology exhibit. Exploration Place, Inc., will leverage $728,746 towards the total project cost of $758,746.

“We are pleased to support these exciting tourism attractions in Kansas,” said Tourism Director Becky Blake. “As travelers seek new travel experiences, it’s important to assist our communities in developing attractions that will draw visitors and enhance economic development. The Attraction Development Grant Program is a great tool to help tourism destinations maximize their potential.”

The Attraction Development Grant Program assists in developing and marketing authentic experiences that encourage travelers to visit Kansas. Grants may be used for various activities necessary to expand the tourism product base or develop new attractions. The program funds up to 40 percent of a project, with the community or business funding the remaining 60 percent. Funding for the Tourism Attraction Development Grant Program comes from the Economic Development Initiatives Fund, which is derived from state lottery proceeds.

For more information, contact Regina Nicol, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, at 785-296-6777 or email