Chill-Inn Lanesboro project receives $50K grant to help boost winter tourism

(ABC 6 News) – The Chill-Inn Lanesboro project will receive a $50,000 grant to explore the feasibility and ideas surrounding winter tourism in the city, according to the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce.

The Blandin Foundation Rural Leadership Boost Grants were launched to encourage Minnesotans living in rural and Tribal communities to be visionary and creative as they try and move their communities forward after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 300 letters were submitted to the foundation for funding.

The Chill-Inn Lanesboro project is a collaboration between the City of Lanesboro, the Lanesboro Economic Development Authority, the Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Lanesboro Businesses Promotion Group.

The project submitted an application after noticing a need to set winter expectations for visitors and residents of Lanesboro. The project first applied for a Lanesboro Community Foundation Grant which will allow for the creation of winter website content and video marketing material for the 2022-23 winter season.

The Blandin grant funds will allow the project to conduct a study, gather community data, create a winter tourism model, and develop a local investment cooperative for potential capital investments into winter tourism.

Alison Leathers, chair of the Lanesboro Businesses Promotion Group and local innkeeper says the, “Chill-Inn Lanesboro group started in early 2022, after local businesses noticed a need from visitors and residents to better communicate what we had to offer in the winter. This need evolved into thinking about investigating more opportunities for winter tourism, and we are thrilled the Blandin Foundation’s Rural Leadership Boost Grant will allow us to work together to thoroughly explore the feasibility and ideas around winter tourism in Lanesboro.”

The Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce says residents, employees, business owners, and organizations can expect to be a part of this initiative as the Chill-Inn Lanesboro group makes plans to gather input and hear ideas from the community.

For more information on the Blandin Foundation Rural Leadership Boost Grants, CLICK HERE.