Friday Flash 1/24/2020

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Reminders/Updates for Our Tourism Partners

Save the Dates...

  • Monthly Tourism Partner Call—For assistance or information regarding this bi-monthly call, please email Kev Campbell or call her at 406.841.2887.
    • March 25, 2020
    • May 27, 2020
  • February 10, 2020—TAC Meeting (Delta Hotel-Helena)
  • February 11, 2020—Research Summit (Delta Hotel-Helena)
  • March 13-14, 2020—Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food & Gifts (Helena). For more information, click here
  • April 20, 2020—Region/CVB 3rd Quarter FY20 financial reports due.
  • April 26-28, 2020—Governor's Conference on Tourism & Recreation (Billings)
  • May 1, 2020—Region/CVB FY21 Marketing Plans due to MOTBD in WebGrants.
  • June 8-9, 2020—TAC Meeting (Helena)
  • July 20, 2020—Region/CVB 4th Quarter FY20 financial reports due.


Tourism Advisory Council News 

Governor Steve Bullock has made the following new appointments to the TAC:

  • Alicia Harvey, Bozeman Yellowstone Country Region Representative 
  • Sabre Moore, Southeast Montana Region Representative 

Additionally, Governor Bullock renewed the following TAC appointments: 

  • Lindzy Brunson, Glacier Country Region Representative 
  • Rhonda Price Fitzgerald, Glacier Country Region Representative
  • Rachel Gregg, Glacier Country Region Representative 
  • Katie Grice, Yellowstone Country Region Representative 
  • Bill McGladdery, Southwest Montana Region Representative 
  • Patricia McGlynn, Glacier Country Representative 

Governor's Conference

Tourism Awards Open for Nominations 

We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Tourism Awards. These awards recognize outstanding accomplishments of the people, businesses, organizations and communities that strengthen Montana's tourism and recreation industries. Nominations are open from January 16, 2020 - February 16, 2020. Submit your nomination here

Visit MTGOVERNORSCONFERENCE.COM for registration, lodging and other information. Subscribe for email updates here.

Follow our Facebook Page for updates.

Tourism Grants

2020 Event Grants

A special application cycle of tourism event grants will open on Feb. 1. The grant awards of $5,000-$25,000 are to support an event being held in Montana before June 30, 2021. The purpose of this grant is to attract non-resident or out-of-area resident visitors to the event, enhancing attendance and increasing visitor-generated revenues.

To prepare for this special application cycle for events only, attend one of our events application workshops on Tuesday, January 28 at 2:00 p.m. and Wednesday, February 5 at 10:00 a.m. The workshop will include an overview of the program, who is eligible, what types of events qualify, and a timeline of the application cycle. Register here for the workshop.

Awards will be based on the number of total applications received, in addition to a review and evaluation process led by Montana Department of Commerce staff and a member of the Tourism Advisory Council. 

See below for a timeline of the 2020 event grant cycle

Event Grant Cycle

Made in Montana


Made in Montana Tradeshow

Join us for the 2020 Made in Montana Tradeshow for Food & Gifts on March 13-14, 2020 at the Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena. The 2020 show will feature 150 Made in Montana producers including more than 40 new exhibitors and our Native American Made in Montana Pavilion. 


Hosting an influencer on a farm or ranch: tips from Lady Livestock Company.


Group Travel Industry Updates

Last week Montana was represented at the American Bus Association’s Annual Marketplace by Kim Birrell. This year it was held in Omaha. Kim met with over 35 motor coach tour operators from across North America in one-on-one pre-scheduled appointments. There are also networking opportunities and professional educational sessions as part of this event. ABA’s Marketplace is one of the premier business events for the group travel industry and gives the Montana representative the opportunity to answer tour operators’ questions and to educate them about Montana’s destinations, attractions, activities and itineraries.

Leads from this show are now available. Please contact Kim at

Montana Film Office

Workshop Prepares Local Crews for Upcoming Montana Film Projects

A series of workshops preparing local crews for upcoming film projects, TV shows, and national commercials coming to Montana took place Saturday and Sunday in Bozeman. More here.

Heritage/Cultural News

New Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program Now Open

The Montana Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Montana Historic Preservation Grant Program. The new grant program is designed to support the preservation of historical sites, societies and museums in Montana. With awards of up to $500,000 for each eligible grant recipient, the funding will be used to improve historical sites, historical societies or history museums in Montana. Applications are due by Feb. 28, 2020. Grant recipients will be determined by the Montana Legislature during the 2021 legislative session. Apply here.


Montana 2020 Census PSAs Now Airing

Montana’s first Census 2020 public service announcement started airing on broadcast television and radio stations statewide this week.

The “About the 2020 Census” is the first of four PSAs that will be released by the State Complete Count Committee. “About the 2020 Census” features Montana veterans and public safety officers as they explain why responding to the Census is so important.

Distributed by the Montana Broadcasters Association, these public service announcements will also be available for individual download and distribution on CENSUS.MT.GOVFacebookYouTube, and Vimeo.

Three additional PSAs will be released between now and when the count begins in mid-March. These spots will be available in :30 second and :60 second radio and TV ads.

Montana in the News
Tourism Partner Shout-Outs, Recognition and News


Missouri River Country - 2020 North American Championship Iceboat Regatta

Fort Peck Lake played host to the 2020 North American Championship Regatta for iceboats. The member based International DN Yacht Racing Association holds this North American championship each year, wherever the ice is best. This year, Montana held that honor.

See more here.

Other News

"Skip-Gen" Vacations Are a New Family Travel Offshoot for Travel Advisors

While multi-generational travel has been gaining momentum for some time now, the even hotter trend may be for “skip-gen” trips where grandparents and grandchildren take off together and leave the parents at home. Skip-gen travel was a major focus of the 2019 Family Travel Survey jointly conducted by the Family Travel Association and New York University’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, which reported that 37 percent of the grandparent respondents intend to take their grandchildren on a trip during the next three years. More here.

Free Entrance Days in the National Parks

Come experience the national parks! On five days in 2020, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. For more information, click here

Mark your calendar for these entrance fee–free dates in 2020:

  • April 18: First day of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day

Funding Resources

Agriculture Innovation Center (AIC) Program

The AIC Program awards grants to Agriculture Innovation Centers that provide technical and business development assistance to agricultural producers seeking to engage in making or producing value-added agricultural products. The maximum award amount is $1 million. Matching funds are required for a minimum of one-third of the project’s total budget. For more information, click here

Other Dates/Events to Note

SBDC Training Workshops—The Montana SBDC Network offers a wide variety of training and workshops for small businesses in all phases of business development, from start-ups to those looking at growth and expansion. Click here for a list of popular training offered in the SBDC Network.

January 28-March 19, 2020Economic Outlook Seminars—The University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) will be host ten seminars and one live webcast to highlight the latest economic trends for local economies and the state of Montana. Seminars will run from 8:00 AM-1:00 PM in each location. To register or learn more, click here.

  • January 28—Helena (Great Northern Hotel)
  • January 29—Great Falls (Hilton Garden Inn)
  • January 31—Missoula (Hilton Garden Inn)
  • February 4—Billings (Northern Hotel)
  • February 5—Bozeman (The Commons or Live webcast available)
  • February 6—Butte (NorthWestern Energy General Office)
  • February 11—Kalispell (Hilton Garden Inn)
  • March 17—Havre (MSU Northern)
  • March 18—Lewistown (Central Montana Education Center)
  • March 19—Big Sky (Lone Peak Cinema)

The Role of the Board Chair Webinar Series

Board Members, incoming Board Chairs, other committee chairs, and Executive Directors are encouraged to attend. You will leave with:

  • A better understanding of the board chair's responsibility in strengthening the work of the board as a whole.
  • Strategies that can help you lead more effectively as a board chair.
  • Ways to more effectively structure board meetings and engage individual board members at meetings.

Webinars will take place from 1:00—2:00 PM MTN on the following days:

  • January 30—What Kind of Leader are You?
  • February 6—What's Your Job as Board Chair?
  • February 13—Meetings that Matter
  • February 20—Presiding vs Facilitating

Montana Nonprofit Association Members with Discount Code: $80 | Series
Non-Montana Nonprofit Association Members: $160 | Series

To learn more or register, click here

April 28-30, 2020Montana's Healthy Communities Conference (Helena)—Montana Healthy Communities is a collaboration of various organizations committed to raising awareness in Montana about the relationship between the physical and mental health of its citizens and the economic vitality of the community. This includes the coordinated discussion, planning and funding for quality jobs, transportation, research, broadband, schools, safe walking, biking and recreational options, early child care, housing, infrastructure, revitalization and historic preservation. Click here for more information. 

May 3-5, 2020Northwest USA Spotlight Tourism Conference (Helena)—This is a casual and intimate tourism conference that combines educational seminars, networking functions, site-seeing tours and a supplier trade show. If your Region or CVB is looking to get face time with qualified tour operators from all over the US and Canada, there are sponsorship and exhibit opportunities for you at Spotlight. For more information, please contact Erinn Donnell with Visit Helena at 406.443.2117 or