Chamber awarded up to $34,934 for Wayfinding Project

Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, February 7, 2019
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CTA Sign Designs
An example of the type designs conceived by CTA for Red Lodge's Wayfinding Project.

After four years of working diligently with the State to procure funding for a Wayfinding Project the Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce have finally seen its wish come true when the Montana Department of Commerce awarded them the Tourism Grant to the tune of $34,934. The money now takes the project total to $52,630. 

The amount is “odd” explained Sherry Weamer, director of the Chamber, because there was one section of the grant they couldn’t cover, a 2-1 match. 

As a result various community businesses and organizations clubbed together to provide the difference with donations; Red Lodge CVB $7,500; Red Lodge Area Community Foundation $1,000; Red Lodge Business Alliance $1,000; Red Lodge Proud and Beautiful $500; Village Shoppe $200; TBID $2,500 and the City of Red Lodge who pulled $5,000 out of the Resort Tax.

The Wayfinding Project sprung from the Active Transportation Plan and is a way to make Red Lodge more walkable and bikeable, for both locals and visitors, by providing signage to help people find places of interest, activities and amenitites. 

“It’s to give the town an identity, and that we care about the community and dress us up in a cohesive way,” said Weamer. “It’s a proven fact if you show visitors around your town, sales will increase.”

The award prompted Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to send a letter of congratulations to the Chamber on behalf of the State of Montana.

“Partnerships such as this are key to the growing of Montana’s economy. I want to personally thank the Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce and the Convention Visitors Bureau for partnering with the State of Montana,” he said.

Bill Foisy, who helped pen the grant application, said “getting grants from the State is not by accident, there’s a process, there’s a lot of work.” 

Also helping to oversee its progress is Tim Weamer, who as the committee chair kept the momentum going and is helping with implementation and James Caniglia who is helping with the implementation by getting the State permits, encroachments, and working with Montana Department of Transportation.