Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) is pleased to announce the 2020 award recipients of the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program: Berkeley County, the City of Mauldin and the City of Rock Hill.
The Undiscovered South Carolina grant program assists communities with the development of publicly owned tourism products and attractions that bring visitors to “Undiscovered” parts of South Carolina.
“The tourism industry is an important part of the South Carolina economy,” said SCPRT Director Duane Parrish. “Developing, implementing, and maintaining a successful tourism product is often a long-term, complex and expensive process. The Undiscovered South Carolina grant program helps communities put their big ideas and hidden gems on the map, bringing tourism dollars to new – and more – places around the state.”
City of Rock Hill | BMX Supercross and Pump Track Renovation
Recommended SCPRT grant award – $191,275 | Total project cost – $382,550
This project includes facility renovations to meet industry standards and BMX event demands. The plans were based on requests from competitive riders from all over the world and by the Union Cyclist International organization. “We greatly appreciate the support of SCPRT for tourism initiatives in Rock Hill,” said John Taylor, Director of the City of Rock Hill Parks, Recreation & Tourism department. “The 2020 Undiscovered Grant will allow us to make renovations to the BMX Supercross Track and the Pump Track so we can continue bringing top events like the 2024 UCI BMX World Championships and visitors from across the globe to South Carolina!” Thousands of visitors come to South Carolina annually for these competitive events.
Berkeley County | Heritage Room Renovations – Cypress Gardens
Recommended SCPRT grant award – $125,000 | Total project cost – $250,000
This project will renovate the Heritage Room at Cypress Gardens, which was damaged in the historic 2015 floods. “Berkeley County is proud of our partnership with SCPRT and this grant is a testament to their incredible support and collaboration,” said Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb. “The Heritage Room is one of the many gems that makes Cypress Gardens so great. We look forward to reopening this historical feature in the park soon and we appreciate the support from SCPRT and the community.”
Heritage Room visitors will learn about the history of Berkeley County, the State of South Carolina, the cultivation of rice during the colonial period, and the creation of the cypress swamp through photos, videos and artifacts. Rentals of the space will also generate revenue for operation of the gardens and promote tourism in the county.
City of Mauldin | Cultural Center Lobby and Plaza Renovation
Recommended SCPRT grant award – $183,725 | Total project cost – $550,027
This project at the Mauldin Cultural Center includes facility renovations that will transform the former cafeteria kitchen into a lobby and add a plaza, ticketing booth, and renovated bathrooms. After the Center’s auditorium was successfully renovated in 2019, the City realized they needed to make more enhancements to improve overall guest experience and increase programming use as a rentable venue for receptions, corporate events and community gatherings.
“The City of Mauldin is grateful for the collaborative assistance through [the] SCPRT grant program,” said Mauldin Mayor Terry Merritt. The grant award helps ensure the continued success of the City’s art programming, which positively impacts the community and the region. “The increased tourism we have experienced can only be attributed to these and other programs of SCPRT.”
Undiscovered South Carolina grant information and eligibly criteria:
- Amount: $100,000 minimum up to $200,000
- Cash match: 1 to 1
- The applicant must be a county or municipal government with Accommodations Tax distributions of $800,000 or less, according to data released by the State Treasurer’s Office.
These three recipients were selected based on the program’s four evaluation criteria: Leveraging and Collaboration; Feasibility; Capacity; and Strategic Impact.
Find additional award criteria and eligibility information for the Undiscovered South Carolina grant program at scprt.com/tourism/grants/undiscovered-sc-grant. Learn more about SCPRT grant programs at scprt.com/grants.