Tourism Marketing Grant

Are you involved with an event, convention, tournament or facility that attracts visitors to Mason City? If so, you may be eligible to receive FREE money through Visit Mason City’s Tourism Marketing Grant Program!

Download the grant application by clicking here.

Tourism Marketing Grant Program Guidelines:

Visit Mason City’s Tourism Marketing Grant provides financial assistance for marketing projects that promote events, tournaments, conventions, activities, and facilities that attract tourism activity to Mason City, Iowa.  Projects must have a focus outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City. Quoted bids or estimates must accompany each application. Grant awards are paid as reimbursements to the applicant upon completion of the project. Grant recipients are encouraged to use Mason City vendors when possible.

Application Deadlines

Grant applications must be received  in-office by:
Round 1: by 4 pm on October 2, 2017 for marketing project completed October 1, 2017– October 1, 2018
Round 2: by 4 pm on February 1, 2018 for marketing project completed February 1, 2018– October 1, 2018

A total of 5 application copies and all supporting materials must be submitted. Application must be typed and delivered or mailed to:

Visit Mason City
2021 4th Street SW
Mason City, IA 50401

Eligible Projects & Use of Funding

–  Design, production and placement costs for marketing that targets visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City (brochures, fliers, posters, direct mail, registration materials, eblasts, websites, print ads, radio ads, television ads, online ads, facebook ads, facebook boosted posts, etc.

–  Purchase of marketing lists, search engine marketing ad words, google ad words, etc.  targeting visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.

–  Off site signage (billboard, way finding, trail blaze) targeting visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.

–  Shuttle service for local tours, transportation between convention facilities used by visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.

–  Welcome reception food (appetizers/ hors d’oeuvre/finger foods) and non-alcoholic beverages for visitors that live outside a 90-mile radius of Mason City.

–  Fees must be payable to a third party vendor. In-kind fees are not eligible.

Maximum Grants / Cash Match

Grants are limited to a maximum of 50% of eligible costs or $1,500 (whichever is lowest) with a required cash match of at least 50%.

Tagline / Logo Requirements
All awarded tourism market projects, must include the Visit Mason City logo noted below or the tagline “Sponsored in part by VisitMasonCityIowa.com” with a link from the recipient’s website to www.VisitMasonCityIowa.com.

Either of the following logos can be downloaded and used on your projects. Simply point to the logo or the link of the graphic you want and use your right mouse click to do a “Save Picture As….” or “Save Target As…” and download to your hard drive.


Applicants will be notified 30 days after the grant deadline regarding their funding status.

Application Assistance
Visit Mason City staff can provide application assistance by appointment during Mon. – Fri. 8 am to 4:30 pm. To make an appointment, contact Visit Mason City at cvb@VisitMasonCityIowa.com or 641-422-1663 / 800-423-5724. Appointments must occur three business days before the grant deadline. Applications received three business days before the grant deadline will not receive staff application assistance. Incomplete applications will be ineligible.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Priority given to projects that focus on attracting visitors to town versus projects that focus on visitors once they have already arrived.
  • Number of Visitors attracted outside 90-mile radius of Mason City by marketing project.
  • Number of lodging rooms generated by marketing project.
  • Distribution Plan.
  • Attract visitors during the “off season” – during the months of Sept – May
  • Attract visitors during the week – Mon. – Thurs.