U.S. Division of Commerce Invests $2.5 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Increase Tourism and Out of doors Recreation in Valdez, Alaska

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The US Department of Commerce is investing $2.5 million in US Bailout Funds to Boost Tourism and Outdoor Recreation in Valdez, Alaska

WASHINGTON — Today Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.5 million grant to the City of Valdez, Alaska, to boost tourism by encouraging development supported by outdoor recreation infrastructure and facilities at Meals Hill. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

The project will help build bike lanes, hiking trails and other visitor facilities at Meals Hill to attract new visitors and spur tourism-related business growth. This EDA grant is matched with $633,184 in local funding and is expected by the grantee to create or sustain 115 jobs and generate $22.7 million in private investment.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution that 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 also build 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 Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will create new outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors to Valdez and create the potential for new economic opportunities and jobs.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Program. The EDA awarded $510 million to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs aim to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, the EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs to applications. The $3 billion in program funding will be awarded on an ongoing basis through September 30, 2022.

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.