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GB Sports Complex to benefit from tourism grant
CVB receives over $300K during event Thursday in Hutchinson
CVB TASK grant pic
Tourism Attraction Sub-grant awards Thursday in Hutchinson. Pictured at the ceremony from left to right are: A representative of the Patterson Family Foundation; GBCVB Director Christina Hayes; Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis; and Lt. Gov. David Toland.

The TASK recipients and amounts awarded were:

• Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau, Barton County, $337,500

• Flint Hills Discovery Center, Riley County, $200,000

• Grassroots Art Center, Russell County, $172,226

• Horse Thief Reservoir Benefit District, Hodgeman County, $299,918

• Johnson County Park & Recreation District, Johnson County, $201,168

• Miners Hall Museum Foundation, Crawford County, $337,500

• Strataca: Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Reno County, $174,750

• The Nature Conservancy, Logan County, $238,950

The Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau was among eight local tourism efforts across Kansas Tourism sharing in $1.9 million in Tourism Attraction Sub-grant awards. The GBCVB award of $337,500 was announced during an event Thursday in Hutchinson at Strataca: Kansas Underground Salt Museum.

The Great Bend grant will go towards an expansion of the city’s Sports Complex, according to a Kansas Tourism news release. 

This will include the addition of two turf soccer fields, two turf football fields and one turf softball field, along with bleachers, score and video boards, and shade areas for spectators and players for all the fields. The project will also include perimeter fencing and gating, all-season ADA restrooms, concessions, a meeting room, first aid and storage, and an asphalt parking lot.

“We are so very excited to expand our already successful Sports Complex,” said GBCVB Director Christina Hayes, who was among those accepting the award. “Adding more sport options like football and soccer will allow us to expand the use of the facility for more months of the year and also help to fill our hotel rooms.” 

The grant went to the CVB, but Hayes said it was a team effort.

“I want to give a special thanks to everyone involved for helping us get this grant and to the Great Bend Recreation Commission for helping us book, bid and implement amazing tournaments to help us make this happen for Great Bend.”

The TASK grants are a partnership between Kansas Tourism and the Patterson Family Foundation. They were presented by Lt. Gov. and Secretary of Commerce David Toland and Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe.

“These grant recipients contribute greatly to the growth of sustainable and memorable travel experiences across our state,” Toland said. “We are investing in communities across Kansas because we know the value and benefit tourism dollars bring to our local, regional and state economies.”

The TASK program is administered by Kansas Tourism. The TASK program provided funding support for public and not-for-profit groups to develop new tourism attractions or to enhance existing ones. The American Rescue Plan U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Travel, Tourism and 

Outdoor Recreation state grants provided $1.5 million in funding, with an additional $462,000 provided by the Patterson Family Foundation for awardees in rural counties. 

“The TASK projects being awarded elevate our visitor experiences and make Kansas an even greater tourism destination,” Kansas Tourism Director Bridgette Jobe said. “New and improved attractions bring more visitors to our state and local communities. These same visitors will dine at local restaurants, stay in hotels, and shop at local stores.” 

The Patterson Family Foundation is a family-led foundation extending the legacy of Neal and Jeanne Patterson to improve rural communities through healthcare, education, economic opportunity, and beyond.

Kansas Tourism is a division of the Kansas Department of Commerce and works hand in hand with other Commerce programs to elevate and promote Kansas as a tourist destination.  

The TASK grant application process opened on Jan. 14 and closed in mid-March. For more information, contact Kansas Tourism grant Program Manager Taylor Hartshorn at