U.S. Division of Commerce Invests $1.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Help Tourism and Out of doors Recreation in Ely, Minnesota


The US Department of Commerce is investing $1.5 million in America’s Rescue Plan funds to support tourism and outdoor recreation in Ely, Minnesota

WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department of Economic Development (EDA) will award a $1.5 million grant to the City of Ely, Minnesota, to help build the Ely Regional Trailhead Facility. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This grant will provide amenities such as restrooms, vending machines and common areas designed to welcome tourists to the area and their local businesses. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.2 million in local funding and is expected to create 75 jobs, sustain 50 jobs and generate $500,000 in private investment, according to the grantee’s estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution that 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 this critical sector not only recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but also to rebuild stronger and more equitably for the future.”

“The Economic Development Authority plays an important role in supporting economic development strategies that are run by the community and aim to advance coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The Ely Regional Trailhead Facility will help strengthen the region’s tourism industry and showcase local outdoor recreation opportunities.”

“Northern Minnesota has incredible natural beauty that draws people from all over the world,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar. “This funding is a true win-win, creating well-paying jobs and helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the outdoor recreation that Ely has to offer.”

“Minnesota is blessed with pristine natural landscapes, and I’m always thrilled when we can make them more accessible and welcoming,” said Senator Tina Smith. “This investment, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will help sustain over 100 jobs while boosting the tourism industry and local economy in Ely. This facility will also be a great addition to the Mesabi Trail, which showcases the entire route from Grand Rapids to Ely. I look forward to seeing the facility upon completion and will continue to work with local leaders across Minnesota to protect and grow our outdoor recreation and tourism industry.”

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

About the US Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)

The mission of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the country’s regions for growth and success in the global economy. EDA, an agency within the US Department of Commerce, invests in communities and supports regional collaborations to create jobs for US workers, foster American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.