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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.3 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism in Delafield, Wisconsin

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.3 million grant to Friends of Lapham Peak, Delafield, Wisconsin, to boost tourism by building a new lodge at Kettle Moraine State Forest. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will help build Lapham Lodge, a new 5,000 square foot trailhead facility to welcome visitors to Lapham Peak and the Kettle Moraine State Forest. The EDA investment will be matched with $669,600 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 35 jobs and generate $206,000 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 Raimondo. “This EDA investment underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to helping this critical 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. “This project leverages an incredible tourism asset in southeast Wisconsin and will draw additional, year-round guests to Kettle Moraine State Forest, while creating new jobs and economic resiliency in the region.”

“Here in Wisconsin, we pride ourselves on the variety of outdoor recreational opportunities our state has to offer, including at our 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, and countless other public lands across the state,” said Governor Tony Evers. “Outdoor recreation isn’t just a major source of entertainment in Wisconsin, but it’s a major economic driver. This became even clearer during the height of the pandemic when our state parks had some of their highest rates of attendance on record, so we’re glad to be receiving these funds today to continue bolstering the industry with infrastructure folks can enjoy for years to come.”

“I voted to pass the American Rescue Plan because it has provided direct support to communities across the state,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “Wisconsin’s tourism industry moves our state’s economy forward and this investment from the Biden-Harris Administration will not only boost tourism, but help visitors for generations to come learn about and enjoy the Kettle Moraine State Forest year-round.”

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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