U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Boost Tourism and Outdoor Recreation in Valdez, Alaska
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the city of Valdez, Alaska, to boost tourism by supporting the development of outdoor recreational infrastructure and amenities at Meals Hill. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
The project will help construct bike paths, hiking trails, and other visitor amenities at Meals Hill to attract new visitors and stimulate tourism-related business growth. This EDA grant will be matched with $633,184 in local funds and is expected to create or retain 115 jobs and generate $22.7 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 Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Valdez will help the region’s critical tourism sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic but build back stronger for the future.”
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally-driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will create new outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors to Valdez, building the potential for new economic opportunity and jobs.”
This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. 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.