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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.4 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Establish a Tourism-boosting Event Venue in Brattleboro, Vermont

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.4 million grant to Retreat Farm, Limited, Brattleboro, Vermont, to renovate its North Barn facility for use as an event venue that will boost tourism. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will allow for community-centric events such as conferences, exhibitions, and concerts, bringing new visitors to the region in support of local tourism. This EDA grant will be matched with $3.4 million in other federal and local funds, and will create 49 jobs and generate $2.7 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s American Rescue Plan delivers federal resources to communities to ensure our nation not only recovers from the pandemic, but builds a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will boost Brattleboro’s local tourism and hospitality industries while building resiliency in the regional economy.”

“The travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sector is a critical economic driver for many communities and the Economic Development Administration is pleased to support community-led development strategies designed to boost tourism and build a better America,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will bring visitors from near and far to enjoy the offerings of the region’s hospitality sector.”

“Tourism is critical to Vermont’s economy, so I greatly appreciate the EDA’s investment in our state,” said Governor Phil Scott. “As we work to expand economic opportunity to all corners of Vermont, investing in Brattleboro will be incredibly helpful.”

“Located on the tourist thoroughfare of Route 30, the Retreat Farm is a vital economic driver for the tourism and outdoor recreation sectors in Southeastern Vermont,” said Senator Patrick Leahy. “The restoration of the North Barn into a year-round community gathering and event space will lead to more jobs, attract more tourists, and provide a hub that will bring people, businesses, and organizations together to build vital connections throughout the region.”

“This investment will bring much-needed jobs to Brattleboro and provide a critical boost for local tourism,” said Congressman Peter Welch (VT-01). “As Vermonters work to recover from the challenges of the pandemic, projects like Retreat Farm’s North Barn renovation expand economic opportunity for our Vermont communities and help Vermonters build back stronger and more resilient than ever.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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