Seven groups will receive grants to promote tourism in Saint Paul as a result of City Council approval on May 4 of $4.477 million from the federal American Rescue Plan through a city Tourism Recovery Support Program.

City planning director Nicolle Goodman said the city’s tourism industry was “profoundly impacted” by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding was made broadly available to organizations in the tourism industry and included a formal application and review process.

The grant recipients include the Cathedral Heritage Foundation, $37,000; Hot Summer Jazz Festival, doing business as Twin Cities Jazz Festival, $40,000; Minnesota Children’s Museum, $1 million; Minnesota Museum of American Art, $200,000; Saint Paul RiverCentre Convention and Visitor’s Authority, doing business as Visit Saint Paul, $1.5 million; Schmidt Keg House Holding, $1.2 million; and Science Museum of Minnesota, $500,000.

The City Council heard a presentation earlier this year on the challenges Visit Saint Paul and other tourism groups face. The pandemic prompted a steep decline in hotel business, which led to a significant drop in hotel/motel tax revenue that Visit Saint Paul relies on.

Many of the city’s festivals and parades also canceled or changed plans again this year due to rising costs and uncertainties about the pandemic.

— Jane McClure

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