BISMARCK, ND ( – The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced seven recipients of 2021 Main Street Tourism Expansion Grants.

Main Street Expansion Grants support new or expanding businesses and activities that provide an enhanced visitor experience with an emphasis on attracting new visitors to communities in North Dakota.

“These grants will help develop new tourist experiences and facilities that encourage visitors to enjoy unique accommodations, local cuisine and diverse activities,” said Shawn Kessel, interim commissioner for the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

The grants are designed to fund new projects that will attract visitors from outside of North Dakota for at least one night’s stay, with the aim of providing one more experience for communities and the state to entertain visitors and attract potential new residents.

2021 scholarship holders:

Fargo Air Museum flight simulator laboratory: The Fargo Air Museum will develop a virtual reality based flight simulator laboratory in the museum in Fargo. The lab provides virtual reality flight simulator experiences with force feedback controls used in advanced curricula for youth camps, educational programs, and events such as challenges and tournaments.

Folly Hill Farm accommodation and toilet facilities: This project will expand demonstration and agricultural facilities on Folly Hill Farm north of Bismarck. Grant funds are used to relocate and repurpose excess oilfield infrastructure for toilets and accommodation on the farm. The project enables the farm to accommodate day visitors and agrotourism guests, interns or paid students of regenerative agriculture. Folly Hill Farm was established in 2017 on 40 acres of native grassland as a working demonstration farm and agrotourism destination.

Historic Hygge Hotel Restoration: The project will complete the renovation of the historic Powers Lake hotel. Hotel owners began renovating the original 1909 structure in 2018. The grant money will help complete the renovation of a lower-level hospitality area for guests and locals to host private parties and meetings. The restored hotel’s reopening after nearly 30 years of vacancy will provide much-needed accommodations on Powers Lake and bring hunters and travelers to the community.

National Buffalo Museum Bison Grazing Tour: The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown is developing a bison grazing tour to bring visitors safely up to the grazing bison. The museum is working to acquire a large, bespoke vehicle that could be used to transport a household of people through the pasture. The retrofitted vehicle is packaged to provide an attractive backdrop for photos. Tours are personalized and presented by a qualified tour guide so that the vehicle has a speaker system that allows visitors to hear and communicate with the tour guide.

Expansion of the paleontology program of the Pioneer Trails regional museum: The Pioneer Trails Regional Museum in Bowman is expanding and expanding its paleontology program to include new museum fossils and daily tours of fossil excavation sites. By participating in longer planned tour events, visitors stay longer in the community. The planned field and laboratory activities include personal interaction between museum staff and visitors that creates new experiences for entertainment and learning.

The Springs Golf Course restaurants igloos: The Clubhouse at Springs Golf Course in Gwinner plans to add a pair of enclosed, clear, “igloo” outdoor restaurants. The unique structures allow guests to safely dine al fresco overlooking the main pond of Springs Golf Course. These also provide a new place to enjoy drinks or a break area for conference attendees in the clubhouse meeting rooms.

Up North Cabins: The Up North Cabins Project plans to develop unique rental cabins near the Pembina Gorge in northeast North Dakota. The cabins were to be developed in two phases on 8.7 hectares of land that was previously a horse ranch. The first two cabins are expected to open in summer 2021. In the future there will be a total of 6-8 cabins available. The project provides the unique accommodations required to explore nature in the Rendezvous region. Up North Cabins’ location will support economic growth in the surrounding communities, including Langdon and Walhalla.