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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support the Tourism Industry in Carver County, Minnesota

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the Regents of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, to help build a new 232-stall parking lot to serve the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will help support the thousands of visitors who attend events and festivals at the Arboretum. The EDA investment will be matched with $313,506 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 75 jobs and generate $25 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the travel and tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping the critical tourism sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but build back stronger and more equitably for the future.”

“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The parking lot expansion project at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will help the region leverage a tourism asset to draw more visitors, support economic diversification and create jobs.”

“With its breathtaking botanical beauty and its abundant hiking and skiing trails, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum attracts visitors from all across our country,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “This funding is a true win-win, creating good-paying jobs and helping locals and visitors alike enjoy all that the Arboretum has to offer.”

“Minnesota is blessed with pristine natural landscapes and unique attractions. I’m always thrilled when we’re able to make them more accessible and inviting,” said Senator Tina Smith. “The tourism industry in Minnesota – and across the country – was hit hard over the past several years. This investment, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will help more visitors access events and festivals at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska while supporting nearly 100 jobs. This is great news for Carver County and the surrounding communities.”

“As a proud representative of the University of Minnesota’s Landscape Arboretum and surrounding communities, I’m thrilled to see federal EDA funds being invested in support of their ongoing renovations,” said Congressman Dean Phillips (MN-03). “This new parking facility will help make the Arboretum more accessible for more Minnesotans, and the project itself will create dozens of jobs and spur millions of dollars in private investment. This is a perfect example of how the federal government can partner with both public and private entities to improve our communities, and of how the investments included in the American Rescue Plan continue to benefit our state.”

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. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

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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