Friday Flash 10/1/21

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Reminders/Updates for Our Tourism Partners

Please note there will be no Friday Flash on October 8.

Save the Dates...

  • Tourism Partner Call—This bi-monthly call is dedicated to the six tourism Regions, 16 CVBs, the Montana Tourism Advisory Council and specific industry stakeholders. The calls are held on the fourth Wednesday, every other month from 10:00-11:00 a.m. For assistance or information regarding this call, please contact Barb Sanem or call her at 406.841.2769. 
    • November 24, 2021
    • January 26, 2022
    • March 23, 2022
    • May 25, 2022
    • July 27, 2022
    • September 28, 2022
    • November 23, 2022
  • October 4, 2021—TAC Meeting—Click here for meeting agenda, other materials and information to attend the meeting via Zoom. 
  • October 20, 2021—Region/CVB 1st Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due 
  • January 20, 2022—Region/CVB 2nd Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due
  • February 7, 2022—TAC Meeting 
  • April 20, 2022—Region/CVB 3rd Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due
  • June 14-15, 2022—TAC Meeting
  • July 20, 2022—Region/CVB 4th Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due

Tourism Grant Program

2022 Tourism Grant Update

The FY22 Tourism Grant application submissions are currently being evaluated by a review team comprised of staff from the Industry Services & Outreach Bureau and the Office of Indian Country Economic Development as well as three members of the Tourism Advisory Council.

An announcement of the tourism grant awards for this cycle is anticipated in late November. We encourage you to subscribe to receive email updates from the Department of Commerce for other and future funding opportunities by clicking here. For more information about the Tourism Grant Program, please visit our website at MARKETMT.COM

Destination Development Association

The Destination Development Association, partnering with Roger Brooks International, provides Roger’s 10 Favorite Places in America available on YouTube.

A shout out to a runner-up community of Red Lodge which made the favorite list for their great shops, eateries, lodging, and known western hospitality. Roger Brooks has visited thousands of communities in all 50 states and shows you how and why these Top 10, and runner-up, communities made the list.

Roger provides ideas that communities can emulate to become a favorite of travel publications, media influencers, instagrammers, and travelers far and wide. Or watch for free to find fun, educational, and inspiring places to add to your bucket list including one of our own! Great job Red Lodge!

Made in Montana

Shop Local

We encourage you to support your local businesses when possible. The Made in Montana online directory is a great place to find Made in Montana items and support local businesses. 

Eat Local

Now more than ever, the "eat local" movement is gaining interest. People want to know where their food is coming from. Our Taste our Place program aims to promote and increase the use of locally sourced ingredients at Montana restaurants, bars and other establishments serving food and beverages. Check out this list of Taste our Place members and savor the Montana flavor when dining out.   

Montana Film Office

MFO Logo

FY22 Big Sky Film Grant

The Montana Film Office is excited to announce that the Fiscal Year 2022 Big Sky Film Grant (BSFG) is open for submissions and will be awarding $1.5 million dollars in grant funds to selected productions!

Applications are being accepted in 3 categories: Feature Film & TV, Resident Filmmaker, and Short-Form Content. 

Visit our BSFG webpage HERE for more details on categories and program details. Before applying, please read the program’s Instructions & Guidelines HERE.  

To be considered for the FY22 BSFG round, please apply by November 1, 2021 – 12:00 a.m., MST.

Applications are accepted via Submittable platform and found on our website HERE.

The BSFG program builds and supports partnerships with filmmakers and production companies with the intention to create Montana film industry jobs. The grant program enhances the marketing efforts of Montana’s tourism regions and advocates for the state’s people, history, and overall quality of life. The BSFG and the Montana Film Office are funded by the 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax - commonly known as the “Bed Tax.”


Outdoor Recreation

Montana Access Project Path Ahead Webinar Series:

October 12, 2021 (11:00 a.m.)—"Game Changer for Glacier? Reflecting on Ticketed Entry and Exploring the Ripple Effect of Impacts on Surrounding Lands"—This webinar is in collaboration with the National Parks Conservation Association. 

Key takeaways:

  • Lessons learned from the first season of a ticketing system in GNP

  • Impacts seen within Glacier and beyond the park

  • What has been done/can be done to address these impacts Keys to sustainability

For more information or to register for this webinar, click here

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


BozemanMontana’s Coolest Mountain Town Is Just 90 Minutes from Yellowstone—At first blush, Bozeman, Montana—just miles down the old country road from the cowboy town of Livingston—doesn’t seem like the kind of place celebrities would go to hide out. After all, most of what surrounds this small town of 53,000 are endless golden plains, rugged mountains, and the occasional herd of cows grazing. Beautiful as it is, it’s a far cry from the fast lane.

But as you amble along downtown, you’ll quickly begin to understand why A-listers like John Mayer and Michael Keaton have chosen to while away their days in the blue shadow of the Bridger Range. A bunch of farm-to-table joints—so good, they should be illegal—and neon-lit dives filled with memorabilia line the main strip. Steamy hot springs and skyward trails lie in wait. A youthful energy rings throughout, with Montana State University just steps away. Read more from Thrillist here

YellowstoneHere’s Why Yellowstone in the Off-Season is Great for Families—Four million. That’s the number of visitors who come to Yellowstone National Park annually to marvel at geysers and hot springs, high peaks and lush valleys. In July alone one million visitors called on this wilderness—the first national park not only in the United States, but in the world—marking the first time visitation exceeded that figure in a single month.

For families seeking a relaxed experience in the park, the glut of visitors between Memorial Day and Labor Day can pose a challenge. “It can be almost bumper to bumper coming through here in July,” says Ashea Mills, owner of Walking Shadow Ecology Tours of Yellowstone, referring to a popular section of the park’s Grand Loop Road.

Even though Yellowstone has five main hubs—Old Faithful, Grant Village, Lake Village, Canyon Village, and Mammoth Hot Springs—each with its own unique geological or geographical allure, at times in summer it can feel like every visitor is vying to see the same attraction.

To avoid that, consider exploring Yellowstone in the off-season. Yes, you’ll sacrifice the long, warm days of summer, but in return you’ll have ample room to move—and you might even have a better shot of seeing some of the park’s remarkable wildlife. Here’s how to plan and enjoy an off-season visit to the park. Read more from National Geographic here

Funding Resources

WHIP Grant Application Period Open

The annual application period is open for the Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program (WHIP), a grant funding program administered by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. The purpose of WHIP is to accomplish large-scale restoration of private and publicly owned high priority wildlife habitats through noxious weed management.

Grant expenditures are limited to herbicide, mechanical, biocontrol and re-seeding treatments, specifically to restore wildlife habitat functions. Grazing management improvements may also be funded through the program to restore native wildlife habitats and reduce susceptibility to noxious weed invasion.

Grant awards are based on eligibility and competitive ranking. To qualify for funding, projects must:

  • Enhance ecologically important wildlife habitat through control or management of noxious weeds that directly threaten habitat functions
  • Use a landscape scale approach
  • Have a reasonable probability of treatment effectiveness
  • Include a minimum 25 percent non-federal cash match

In addition to considering eligibility factors, ranking criteria includes:

  • Number of funding partners and amount of contributions
  • Number of landowners involved
  • Accessibility of participating lands for public hunting

Awarded grants can be structured to provide funding for up to five years. Total available funding is up to $2 million annually; no single grant request can exceed this amount.

WHIP is accepting grant applications in the new grant software system, AmpliFund. Applicants can visit and review the AmpliFund Resources information on FWP’s Grant Programs page here

The WHIP webpage includes links to specific instructions for using AmpliFund for WHIP grants (How to Apply for a WHIP grant in AmpliFund) and to the application.

WHIP applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on November 23, 2021 to be considered for funding in 2022. If you have questions about applying for a WHIP grant or accessing the application forms, contact Kim Antonick, WHIP coordinator, at or 406.444.7291.

Other Events/Dates to Note

American Trails Presents Advancing Trails Webinar Series—American Trails brings agencies, trailbuilders, advocates, and volunteers the latest in state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. Our webinars focus on a variety of trail topics, usually applicable to all trail types, with expert presenters. Webinar topics are chosen from current cutting-edge trail topics selected from attendee/presenter suggestions as well as recent popular conference sessions. For more information, visit or click on individual webinar links below. 

Upcoming webinars:

October 17–20, 2021MLHA (Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association) Fall Tourism Conference and Trade Show (Whitefish)—Mark your calendar for the MLHA Fall Conference to be held in Whitefish at both the Grouse Mountain Lodge and The Lodge at Whitefish Lake.

The event will kick off with a networking social Sunday, October 17, at 8:00 pm and conclude on Wednesday, October 20 at 10:30 am after the annual membership meeting. The Conference committee has an exciting program planned featuring dynamic speakers addressing relevant topics, a Trade Show showcasing our Allied Partners and a Tuesday evening Awards Banquet. For more information or to register, click here