Shores & Islands Ohio awards destination development grants

Apr 16, 2024 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Shores & Islands Ohio, the tourism marketing organization for Erie and Ottawa counties, is proud to announce the third year of awards in the organization’s Destination Development Grant Program, launched in 2022. The grant program is a major component of Shores & Islands Ohio’s strategic plan, which focuses not only on promoting the region as a visitor destination, but also on supporting efforts to enhance it for visitors and, therefore, residents alike.

A committee evaluated all applications and determined recipients and award amounts based on a project’s ability to attract and engage visitors, serve and educate regional tourism partners, and generate economic growth for their communities through travel and tourism development. This round’s total award investment for 9 Ottawa County-based recipients is $50,000. For Erie County-based businesses, there were 20 recipients with a total investment of more than $485,000. Some grants included full project funding, while others required at least a 50% match by the recipient.

Grant recipients are planning a variety of projects with the awarded funds – expansions, new business, new exhibits, beautification, renovations, mural paintings, improved signage and more.

Erie County grant recipients represent businesses and organizations in Castalia, Huron, Kelleys Island, Milan, Sandusky and Vermilion. They are: 414 Wayne, LLC; Anchor Bay Inn; Bouquet Bliss; BREJE Inn; Castalia Farms; The Chef’s Garden; Cottages at the Water’s Edge; Edison Birthplace; Erie County Agricultural Society; Great Circle Properties; Harbourtown Fine Arts Center; Hoty Marine Group, LLC; Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce; Main Street Threads; Pied Piper; Sandusky Book Bar; SolSTAY; Village of Kelleys Island; Wine Merchant; and Work Space, LLC.

The Ottawa County recipients represent a variety of projects in Graytown, Marblehead, Port Clinton, Put-in-Bay and Oak Harbor. Receiving Ottawa County grants are: African Safari Wildlife Park; Beach Glass Lounge; FriendShip Park; Herb’s; Lake Erie Festival Marketplace; Little Bubs; North Coast Beachfitters; Put-in-Bay Township Parks District; and Stay Inn.

“We are extremely proud to continue to be able to offer this support to such a large number of projects across the Shores & Islands Ohio region,” said Amanda Smith Rasnick, Shores & Islands Ohio Destination Development Director. “We look forward to seeing these projects through fruition and the benefits to their operations, their communities, and the entire region.”

For more information on this grant program, contact Destination Development Director Amanda Smith Rasnick at

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May 2024

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