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Today, Governor Kim Reynolds announced $12.9 million in grant funding for the following three projects through Destination Iowa. The $100 million program, announced in April, invests in transformational attractions that will bolster the quality of life in Iowa communities and attract visitors and new residents. 

  • The City of Council Bluffs and the Southwest Iowa Nonprofit for Collaborative Impact have been awarded $4,900,000 toward phase four of the Iowa Riverfront Development project. This phase includes a treetop walk, a pier and a 138-foot-tall observation tower with an adventure course. The award represents 15% of the total project investment of $32,827,000. 
  • The Great Outdoors Foundation has been awarded $7,000,000 for the Scott Avenue site portion of the Iowa Confluence Water Trails project. The project is creating a regional water trails network in central Iowa with more than 80 planned improvements across 150 miles of waterways. The award represents 13% of the Scott Avenue site investment of $53,500,000. 
  • The Val Air Ballroom has been awarded $1,000,000 toward the overhaul of the historic ballroom into a music venue that can host up to 2,400 patrons. The project proposes to rehabilitate elements of the facility that are historically significant, such as signage, dance floor, and exterior features, while bringing more modern amenities to the facility. The award represents 8% of the total project investment of $12,718,138. 

IEDA began accepting applications on May 9 and will continue to review applications as they arrive through December 31 or until funding runs out.  Applications are scored based on eligibility, completeness, and the project’s ability to meet the program goal of creating transformational tourism attractions. Cities, counties, nonprofits and other organizations can apply for Destination Iowa grants through four separate funds: Economically Significant Development, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism Attraction, and Creative Placemaking. To date, a total of $50 million has been awarded to 13 projects throughout the state through Destination Iowa grants.  

Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For more information on the Destination Iowa program, visit iowaeda.com/destination-iowa/. Funding for this program is being made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.