Heritage tourism is the general conduct of activities that attract and accommodate visitors to a site or area that is recognized for its historical significance based on unique or special events, or other aspects in its past. The City of Topeka offers two separate programs to enhance the promotion of both historic preservation and heritage tourism.
On April 28, 2015, the Transient Guest Tax Committee awarded the Transient Guest Tax funds to three separate entities in support of their efforts to promote heritage tourism opportunities in the City of Topeka. Specifically, the Committee voted for the following awards:
- Friends of the Free State Capitol - $105,137 for interior electrical and plumbing work, and for exterior roof insulation
- Charles Curtis House - $10,600 for restoration of several stained glass windows and associated interior carpentry, and for painting of exterior trim
- Jayhawk State Theater of Kansas - $100,000 for the replacement of an exterior marquee marking the entrance to the theater from SW 7th Street.
Heritage Tourism Improvement Grants
Heritage Tourism Improvement Grants should be expended only on projects that facilitate tourism resulting from the preservation and promotion of the city’s historical assets including but not limited to:
- Restoring and preserving sites listed on the local, State, or National Register of Historic Places that are not private or primarily commercial in nature, unless open or intended to be open to the public on a regularly scheduled basis.
- Conducting historical reconnaissance surveys of neighborhoods, or other identified geographical areas, that have been identified in the City’s Historic Preservation Plan as known contributors to the patterns of development within the City’s history;
- Funding the nominations of properties or districts to the Register of Historic Kansas Places and the National Register of Historic Places; or
- Development of design guidelines for alterations to existing improvements, or new development to be used in conjunction with local, State, or nationally listed historic districts.
- Assisting existing or recognized potential historical attractions develop and implement effective marketing strategies to Topeka residents and visitors.
Heritage Tourism Planning and Marketing Grants must be used to leverage additional funding through State, Federal, or other external grant programs to accomplish these goals.