Destination Hilliard Board Announces Tourist Attraction Grant Recipients

Posted May 5, 2022 in Your Community by Mary Smith

The Destination Hilliard Board has announced eight recipients of its first-ever Tourist Attraction Grants.

The grants are expected to help bring everything from arts festivals to more public art to the community.

“The Board received sixteen proposals by its application deadline, and there were some incredibly creative ideas in the mix,” said Sharon Grenier, board president. “Board members had their work cut out for them in narrowing the applications down. We used criteria that included how closely the proposals met the mission of Destination Hilliard to attract visitors, produce overnight hotel stays, and promote economic development in the community.”

While it was not possible to disburse grants to every worthy applicant, eight proposals will be receiving a total of $36,600 in funding for innovative and exciting ideas:

Franklin Street Creative (Grant: $7,000) to produce an “agora marketplace” three nights during the summer in conjunction with DORA events.

Hilliard Arts Council (Grant: $3,600) for staging and tent rental to expand and improve its annual concert series.

Ohio Arts Festivals (Grant: $8,000) for a Main Street “Made in Ohio” festival. Partners include the owner of Whit’s Frozen Custard.

Westwood Fieldhouse (Grant: $5,000) for marketing and merchandise associated with a basketball tournament.

Hilliard Station Baking Co. (Grant: $2,500) for funds to create an outdoor mural/artwork outside the shop in Downtown Hilliard.

Conkey Memorial Foundation (Grant: $2,000) to help produce a benefit car show.

SHED Fitness (Grant: $5,000) to host 5K Runs in Hilliard.

Columbus Card Shop (Grant: $2,500) to host collectible card shows at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

“The ideas presented were diverse and creative, and the Destination Hilliard Board members felt the chosen recipients reflect events and ideas that will add to the community’s vibrancy, build our reputation as a tourism destination, and inspire visitors to pump money into local restaurants and retail businesses,” Grenier said. “I personally was thrilled by the response and know these funds will be a great investment in our destination marketing efforts.”

Details for many of the events are still being refined, and some proposals will require permits and approval from the City of Hilliard.

The Board members said they plan to revisit the grant program this fall and, hopefully, in future years.

“Destination Hilliard sees itself as being in a ‘building mode’ at this time,” said David Ball, Community Relations Department director for the City of Hilliard and acting director for the bureau. “It is refocusing its investment in this community on putting funds back into the community by helping to create new events and new attractions. This will inspire more people to visit – and produce more quality of life amenities for current residents. All of that serves the bottom-line mission of Destination Hilliard as a driver of economic growth in the community.”