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Tourism approves grants for escape room, events

The Jamestown Tourism Grant and Executive Advisory Board on Thursday approved $20,550 of grant funding for escape room entertainment at the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse and six different summer events in Jamestown.

Board members Taylor Barnes, Tena Lawrence, Paulette Ritter and Frank Balak voted to approve the grants. President Matt Woods was not present.

The board approved a $6,350 grant to the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse for construction of an “Escape the Jail at the Courthouse” escape room game in the basement of the old courthouse. Part of the construction will be fake walls so players are not touching the historic courthouse walls, said Judy Brueske, member of the 1883 Courthouse Committee.

“It’s going to be a historical puzzle, we’ll weave some local history with the building into it,” Brueske said. “We’re hoping this brings new people into the building.”

Some of the money will be used to create an online booking site and set up a safety monitoring system, Brueske said.

In a separate request, the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse also sought funds to advertise its summer “Concerts in the Courtroom” series. The board approved a $1,000 grant for that purpose.

The board also approved a $6,000 grant to the Jamestown Arts Center to support the Downtown Arts Market slated to run every Thursday this summer.

“I think this has been a really wonderful thing for Jamestown,” Lawrence said about the Downtown Arts Market. “It brings a lot of people downtown, it utilizes the park, it’s awesome.”

The board approved a $2,200 grant to the Stutsman County Memorial Museum for summer production of a video documenting the life of Louis L’Amour and his ancestors in the Jamestown area. The video will be played at various venues and designed to draw interest to Jamestown.

The board also approved funding for upcoming summer events. The Jamestown Choralaires will receive $1,000 to host the first North Dakota Men’s Choral Festival at the Reiland Fine Arts Center on May 11. The Jamestown Downtown Association will receive $1,000 for the 5th Annual Rods and Hogs and Things that go Vroom! event scheduled for June 8. The Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce will receive $3,000 for the 2019 Buffalo Days, a community-wide event formerly known as White Cloud Days, scheduled for July 25-27.

The goal of Jamestown Tourism grants is to attract visitors to the Jamestown area and generate economic impact through visitor experiences. Funding for the grants consists of a portion of the local lodging and restaurant tax.