Press Release

June 26, 2012

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) approval of a $30,000 grant to the Garrett Country Chamber of Commerce to develop a Strategic Initiative Program that will increase tourism in the area and help create new jobs in heritage tourism.

“This is exactly the kind of grant I like to see, it creates jobs and it will make it possible for more people to come to Garrett County and enjoy all the history, nature and culture that this County and the State have to offer,” said Senator Cardin.” “We are faced with a unique opportunity here both to bolster existing tourist attractions and to showcase this beautiful part of our state.”

I’m proud of this regional partnership to protect Maryland’s heritage, promote our tourist economy and create jobs,” said Senator Mikulski. “These grants will encourage heritage tourists to enjoy the state’s terrific combination of natural beauty and American history while boosting our local economy.”

Garrett County recently was authorized as a state Certified Heritage Area entitled Mountain Maryland Gateway to the Weast Heritage Area (MMGTWHA). The Strategic Initiative Program will identify ways to promote Garrett County’s unique identity.  This grant is the next major step in enhancing tourism, creating jobs and promoting sustainability. The program will include establishment of the Heritage Area website and use of other social media tools, purchasing and installing four kiosks, hiring of consultant to research and compile the history of Garrett County, including interpretive signage and the creation of multimedia materials.

The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.