BMW Championship Attendance Surpasses 126,000

WILMINGTON, Del. – Attendance at August’s BMW Championship surpassed 126,000 over four days, delivering a welcome lift to Delaware businesses and boosting the state’s profile as a place to stay and play.

Tournament organizers said this week that cumulative attendance reached 126,802 for the event at Wilmington Country Club, according to event organizer, the Western Golf Association. The tournament also reached an international television audience of 16 million people.

“An event of this magnitude is good for the many businesses that benefit, but it also helps boost Delaware’s image in the minds of so many people around the world,” said Jessica Welch, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “The people who came to Delaware not only got to see great golf, but they also saw that Wilmington is a great place to visit and explore and can be a world-class setting for major sports events like the BMW Championship.”

“The tournament’s impact on Delaware’s reputation is incalculable,” said Jennifer Boes, Executive Director of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Fans left the state with a positive image of Wilmington and lots of good memories of their stay, and event organizers around the globe saw that our city can successfully host large-scale events.”

BMW players, VIPs, staff, and volunteers accounted for close to 1,500 room nights during their stay, and countless other fans also poured into town to patronize hotels, restaurants and shops in and around the city.

Golf fans raved to local media about their time in Wilmington, praising the city’s hotels and restaurants. Happy restaurant owners and chefs snapped photos of themselves with golf pros who dined in the city after their rounds.

“The BMW Championship was a great success, thanks to the many Delaware businesses, government agencies, volunteers and golf fans that enthusiastically supported the event,” said Tom Humphrey, BMW Championship Committee Chair. “The feedback from the Western Golf Association, BMW and the PGA Tour has all been wonderfully positive.”

The BMW Championship was the first PGA tournament ever held in Delaware and took place over four days, August 18 through August 21, 2022. Getting the championship to Delaware was a statewide effort, one that involved dozens of local vendors, contractors, agencies and other businesses. The Delaware Tourism Office, which helped accommodate the more than 2,100 tournament volunteers, has also been involved in efforts to draw other major sports events to the state, including the NCAA Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship, USA Lacrosse Youth Nationals, and Slam Dunk to the Beach, which attracts top basketball stars on their way to playing in the NBA.

“We saw how excited the fans were this week. They were amazing,” tournament winner Patrick Cantlay said at a press conference after his victory. “And this golf course provided great theater, especially coming to the last hole. And it was a great feel and great energy all week.”

The Delaware Tourism Office, part of the Delaware Division of Small Business, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, go to

Delaware Division of the Arts Announces First Round of Grants in Support of Arts Projects for Fiscal Year 2023

This year the Division will invest nearly $3 million
in more than 100 arts and community organizations

WILMINGTON, DEL. (July 15, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts is investing nearly $3 million in more than 110 arts and community organizations that will serve Delawareans statewide with arts programming and services, arts education, and arts marketing and promotion. This first round of funding for FY2023 includes: General Operating Support, Project Support, Arts Stabilization, StartUp and Education Resource grants.

“Artists and arts organizations state-wide have been on the cutting edge of innovation and community impact over the last two years. As they turn to a new phase of recovery from the shutdowns related to Delaware’s public health emergency, it is critical that the Delaware Division of the Arts continue our significant investment into the sector,” said Jessica Ball, director of the Delaware Division of the Arts. “This investment in the creative workforce—artists and organizations alike—enhances education, stimulates local economies, and enriches our communities.”

“Delaware’s financial support of our artists and arts organizations is engrained into the fabric of what we do at the state level,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. “Our roster of artists and arts institutions makes the State attractive for our residents, employers, and employees who spend their free time and money to enjoy the many experiences available to them. Attending an event in the State is not just about the admission price to that organization, but so often includes secondary spending at restaurants and local shops. Supporting the arts makes sense any way you look at it.”

Grant updates for fiscal year 2023:

  • TranspARTation has returned! The grant will re-open in August 2022 to support travel expenses, to include buses, fuel, parking and toll costs of up to $500 (an increase of $200 from previous years) for schools to travel to Delaware arts and cultural institutions and venues in order for students to attend arts performances, events, and exhibits.
  • Artist Opportunity Grants have increased to $1,000. Artist Opportunity Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to support unique professional and artistic development and presentation opportunities for artists. Applicants can request up to 80% of the opportunity cost not to exceed $1,000. Quarterly deadlines: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

The awards include:

  • General Operating Support for sixty-one (62) arts organizations.
  • Project Support for twenty-nine (29) community-based organizations that provide arts programming for children and adults with physical or intellectual disabilities; students whose schools are under-resourced and face multiple barriers, individuals and family members dealing with cancer; and young children and community members from across Delaware.
  • Eight (8) Arts Stabilization projects that support capital improvements and repairs to facilities owned by arts organizations.
  • StartUp Support for two emerging arts organizations, Jester Artspace and Reed’s Refuge, providing a combination of technical assistance and financial support for these new organizations.
  • Fourteen (14) education-based partnerships between Delaware’s schools, arts organizations and artists that provide teacher training and standards-based arts learning experiences for pre K-12 students statewide, in alignment with the Delaware Standards for Learning in the Visual and Performing Arts.

Grants for Fiscal Year 2023

Grant Program # Grants Amount Awarded
General Operating Support 62 $2,467,700
Project Support 29 $291.400
Arts Stabilization 8 $90,000
StartUp 2 $24,500
Education Resource 14 $130,700
TOTAL 115 $2,984,300



Funding for the Delaware Division of the Arts comes from the Delaware General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency. In addition, the funds for capital improvements grants—provided by the Arts Stabilization Fund—are drawn from the Arts Consortium of Delaware, Inc. (ArtCo) endowment. A complete list of grants for the first round of FY2023 can be found here.

Grant review panels made up of Delaware artists, arts educators, arts and nonprofit organization administrators, corporate and fundraising managers, and interested community members, provided an impartial peer review of these grant applications based on established evaluation criteria, reflecting the importance of having diverse public and expert participation in the grant-making process.

The Division also awards grants on an on-going basis throughout the year, including Arts Access grants, Artist Residencies, Individual Artist Fellowships, and Individual Artist Opportunity grants. Full grant descriptions are available on the Division’s website and at the end of the release.

Interested members of the public, artists, arts organizations, and community leaders are encouraged to visit the Division’s website to learn more about these programs. Notification of grant deadlines, guidelines and applications, as well as technical assistance opportunities are published in the monthly e-newsletter, Arts E-News. Please visit our website at for more details.


Arts Organizations: Non-profit Delaware organizations whose primary mission is the promotion, production, presentation, or teaching of the arts

General Operating Support – support of annual operating expenses to ensure that year-round participation in the arts is available to the people of Delaware. This grant category utilizes a three-year application cycle. Full applications are due every three years, with Interim applications due in the “off” years. Annual March 1 deadline.

Arts Stabilization – supports improvements to facilities owned (or under long-term lease) and operated by the organization. Arts Stabilization grants are funded through the Division’s participation in the Arts Consortium of Delaware, Inc. (ArtCo) endowment. Annual March 1 deadline.

StartUp – a comprehensive program of financial support, training, and consultation to develop and strengthen the management capacity of emerging arts organizations so that they can operate in a sustainable manner. Completion of the StartUp program is a prerequisite for emerging organizations seeking General Operating Support. Annual March 1 deadline.

Arts Access – supports small budget projects that include the presentation of performing, visual, literary, media, or folk arts in communities throughout the state. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the project start date, and are reviewed as they are received, beginning on July 1 of each year. Organizations that receive General Operating or Project Support from the Division are not eligible to apply. Rolling deadline.

Community-Based Organizations: Non-profit Delaware organizations, colleges, universities, and government entities that do not have the arts as their primary mission

Project Support – supports arts programs provided by CBOs that assist in the growth of a vibrant cultural environment by encouraging the continued development of arts activities in communities throughout the state. College and university projects must be non-credit and serve the general community.  Annual March 1 deadline.

Arts Access – supports small budget projects that include the presentation of performing, visual, literary, media, or folk arts in communities throughout the state. Applications must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the project start date, and are reviewed as they are received, beginning on July 1 of each year. Organizations that receive General Operating or Project Support from the Division are not eligible to apply. Rolling deadline.

Schools: Delaware pre-K through 12 public, charter, private, and parochial schools

Artist Residency – grants for residencies with visual, literary, performing, or media artists working with students in the classroom or in professional development workshops with teachers. Rolling deadline.

TranspARTation – grants that support transportation costs for schools to travel to Delaware arts and cultural institutions and venues in order for students to attend arts performances, events and exhibits. The FY2023 TranspARTation application will be available in August 2022 for the 2022-2023 school year.

Arts Organizations and Schools:

Education Resource – grants to strengthen standards-based arts education projects, programs, and activities that utilize the arts education resources of the Delaware arts community or strengthen arts organizations’ capacity to serve as professional development resources for teaching artists and educators.  Annual March 1 deadline.

Individual Artists: Delaware residents, 18 years of age or older, not enrolled in a degree-granting program

Artist Fellowships – supports individual artists in their work as visual, performing, media, folk, and/or literary artists. Applications are received and processed by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. FY2022 Masters categories are Literary and Media Arts. Annual August 1 deadline (August 2 in 2021).

Artist Opportunity Grants – provides up to $1,000 to support individual artists with unique professional and artistic development or presentation opportunities. Quarterly deadlines, January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.


Contact: Andrew Truscott, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit or call 302-577-8278.

Governor Carney Recognizes Small Business Week and National Travel and Tourism Week

Governor to visit Delaware Small Businesses and Tourism locations

WILMINGTON, Del. – In recognition of Small Business Week and National Travel and Tourism Week (May 2-8), Governor John Carney will join the Delaware Tourism Office to visit small businesses and attractions in Kent, New Castle and Sussex counties this week.

Note to media: An advisory is included at the end of the release. Media planning to cover tour, please RSVP to Hailey Valerio ( with which day(s) and locations you will cover. Please prepare to be outdoors.

“We want to take this week to salute the folks who pour their heart and soul into running Delaware’s small businesses,” said Governor Carney. “These have not been easy times for our small business owners, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industry. But they have gone above and beyond for their customers. They understand you can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy community. Aside from buying local, the most important thing Delawareans can do to help our small businesses and economy is to get vaccinated so we can beat COVID-19.”

Each location will share how resilience, creativity and passion, as well as assistance from the State of Delaware’s DE Relief Grant or HELP programs, have supported them through the pandemic.

“The inventiveness of Delaware’s small business owners has never been more on display than during the pandemic,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “While the state provided financial assistance through DE Relief Grants and HELP loans, it was the creativity businesses used to pivot and adjust their models that really helped them make it through these difficult times.”

In addition to the Governor’s visits, the Division of Small Business hosted webinars for small business owners on crowd investing and pitching prospective investors. The Division also will feature on its website and social media three forward thinking small business owners who made improvements to their businesses that will continue long after the pandemic.

“The ways our small business owners have adapted has been tremendous,” said Jordan Schulties, Director of the Division of Small Business. “To better serve their customers, they have added new products and services. They have added outdoor dining or curbside pickup. They have made it easier for their customers to shop online.”

The Delaware Tourism Office will highlight on social media various aspects of Delaware’s tourism industry from what to see in Delaware and how to visit safely, to celebrating the diversity of the state’s culinary scene by ordering food on #TakeoutTuesday and thanking the industry and its frontline workers.

“Tourism is a vital part of Delaware’s economy – contributing billions to the state’s GDP and employing tens of thousands of Delawareans,” said Liz Keller, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “After the most difficult year for the industry, the attractions, restaurants, hotels and many other destinations are looking forward to the summer season as visitors explore our state’s discoveries safely and once again help drive Delaware’s economy.”



SMALL BUSINESS & TOURISM TOUR: Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop 

WHAT: Governor Carney will visit Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop in Milford. Dolce, a previous EDGE Grant winner, is also a partner to other small businesses and nonprofits in the Milford area. More than half of its products comes from area businesses and its used coffee grounds are recycled to nourish the soil at Milford Community Gardens.


Governor John Carney

Jeff Bullock, Secretary, Delaware Department of State

Jordan Schulties, Director, Division of Small Business

Liz Keller, Director, Delaware Tourism Office

Stephenie Tatman, Co-owner of Dolce Bakery and Coffee


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

3:00-3:15 p.m.


Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop

36 N. Walnut Street

Milford, DE 19963


SMALL BUSINESS & TOURISM TOUR: Crooked Hammock Craft Brewery

WHAT: Governor Carney will visit Crooked Hammock craft brewery in Middletown. Crooked Hammock’s beINVOLVED program supports local communities through fundraising, outreach and donations of meals that have benefited about 1,000 people in need.


Governor John Carney

Liz Keller, Director, Delaware Tourism Office

Josh Grapski, La Vida Hospitality


Thursday, May 6, 2021

11:30-12:15 p.m.


Crooked Hammock Craft Brewery

316 Auto Park Drive

Middletown, DE 19709


SMALL BUSINESS & TOURISM TOUR: Delaware Botanic Gardens

WHAT: Governor Carney will visit the Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro. Delaware Botanic Gardens is one of the state’s newest tourist attractions and a recent addition to Delaware Tourism Office’s Delaware Discoveries Trail.


Governor John Carney

Liz Keller, Director, Delaware Tourism Office

Raymond Sander, Delaware Botanic Gardens, President

Sheryl Swed, Delaware Botanic Gardens, Executive Director

Stephen Pryce Lea, Delaware Botanic Gardens, Head of Horticulture


Friday, May 7, 2021

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.


Delaware Botanic Gardens

30220 Piney Neck Road

Dagsboro, DE 19939


The Delaware Bayshore Byway National Scenic Byway Designation Sign Unveiling

As part of this week’s Earth Day celebration, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Delaware Tourism Office, Delaware Greenways, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are excited to announce the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has designated the Delaware Bayshore Byway as a National Scenic Byway.

Governor John Carney, DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office Liz Keller and representatives from Delaware Greenways and tourism groups celebrated the designation with a gathering today to unveil a special sign recognizing the Byway as a National Scenic Byway at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s St. Jones Reserve in Dover.

The FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, approved 49 new designations to the America’s Byways® collection, including the Delaware Bayshore Byway. In total, 15 new All-American Roads and 34 new National Scenic Byways in 28 states were accepted into the National Scenic Byways Program.

“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway encompasses so much of our state’s unique natural and cultural heritage,” said Governor John Carney. “We are proud to announce on Earth Day this national recognition of its beauty and importance, and we look forward to drawing new visitors to discover its uniquely all-American, all-natural waterways, landscapes and towns.”

Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski added, “This designation is quite an honor. There is so much to experience when traveling this scenic route. Whether you’re a history lover, wildlife enthusiast or perhaps you just want to slow down and enjoy the view, enrich your next trip by taking the Delaware Bayshore Byway. You won’t be disappointed.”

“DNREC’s Delaware Bayshore Initiative runs the coastline from New Castle to Lewes and has laid a foundation to focus our efforts on conservation and preservation, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and support Bayshore communities,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This new designation builds on and broadens our commitment to care for and share Delaware’s wild side with residents and visitors of today and tomorrow.”

The Delaware Bayshore Byway, now a National Scenic Byway, is a series of two-lane roads that travel along the Delaware River and Bay Estuary. From New Castle to Lewes, the byway corridor with 19 Discovery Zones offers visitors and locals an intimate experience featuring coastal marshlands, abundant wildlife, rich hunting, fishing, and farming heritage and historic river and bay towns and communities.

While traveling this 157-mile route spanning 100 miles of the Delaware coastline, the Delaware Bayshore Byway provides a connection to all that is Delaware: history, wild open space, horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, fresh and saltwater marshes, small communities, fishing villages and large farms, coastal rivers, the bay and its beaches, lighthouses and dark skies, historic mansions and migrant shacks, and waterfowl and watermen.

“The Delaware Bayshore is a special place that must be preserved for its world class birding and unique coastal marshes that benefits both Delaware residents and visitors,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “The Delaware Bayshore is a treasure of national and global significance; recognition of the Byway at the federal level is an honor the area richly deserves.”

U.S. Senator Chris Coons said, “Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a treasure and one of the most beautiful roads in the busy and populated Mid-Atlantic, some lucky few from outside of Delaware already know about the corridor as the best way to get to the beach or to visit one of our many small coastal towns.”

“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a Delaware treasure, encompassing so much of our rich history, culture, and, of course, Delaware’s natural scenery,” added Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The byway has so much to offer as it runs through all three counties with incredible Discovery Zones along the way. I was pleased to hear about its new designation as a National Scenic Byway and hope that it brings new visitors to see the wonders of our state.”

“Outdoor activities are among the most popular reasons more than 9.2 million people visit Delaware each year,” said Liz Keller, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “Whether it’s world-class birding at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge or the quiet beauty of southern Delaware, the Delaware Bayshore Byway is an ideal way for visitors and residents to explore Delaware’s natural wonders.”

Must-see destinations along the Bayshore Byway:
• Historic City of New Castle
• First State National Historical Park
• New Castle Court House Museum
• George Read II House and Gardens
• Historic Delaware City
• Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island
• Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Area
• Thousand Acre Marsh
• Augustine Wildlife Area
• Port Penn Interpretive Center
• Historic Town of Odessa
• Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area
• Blackbird Creek Reserve
• Woodland Beach Wildlife Area
• DE Aquatic Resources Education Center
• Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Town of Leipsic
• Town of Little Creek
• Community of Pickering Beach
• Air Mobility Command Museum
• Community of Pickering Beach
• John Dickinson Plantation
• St. Jones Reserve
• Community of Kitts Hummock
• Historic Town of Bowers Beach
• Bowers Beach Maritime Museum
• Historic Town of Magnolia
• Historic Town of Frederica
• Community of South Bowers
• Milford Neck Wildlife Area
• Milford Historic District and Riverwalk
• DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor
• Town of Slaughter Beach
• Marvel Salt Marsh Preserve
• Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Community of Broadkill Beach
• Historic Town of Milton
• Historic Lewes Byway: Gateway to the Bayshore

“Delaware Greenways on behalf of DelDOT, the Delaware Tourism Office and DNREC would like to thank the Byway Management Team for their hard work, dedication and for their input during the completion of the Corridor Management Plan Update 2020 and National Scenic Byway application,” said Chair of the Byway Management Team Steve Borleske.

Discover more about the Delaware Bayshore Byway, other Delaware Byways and the Corridor Management Plan at Encounter more adventures throughout the state at

For more information on how Delaware Greenways is linking and building communities while winding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, visit

To learn more about DNREC’s work to preserve our outdoor heritage and open spaces, visit

For a list of all the 2021 Designations to America’s Byways® visit the FHWA’s National Scenic Byways Program website.

Report: Delaware tourism sets new records

Dover, Del. – Delaware tourism experienced a record-breaking year as the state welcomed 9.2 million visitors who accounted for $3.5 billion in economic impact.

Gov. John Carney highlighted those impressive numbers in discussing Delaware’s thriving tourism industry as part of his State of the State address on Thursday.

According to data for 2018 released today by the Delaware Tourism Office, visitors paid $545.1 million in state and local taxes and fees, without which each Delaware household would have had to pay an additional $1,562 in taxes.

“Tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry in Delaware, our fourth-largest private employment sector and a vital part of the state economy,” Gov. Carney said. “By supporting tourism, we also enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans by offering recreational and cultural activities and making sure there’s even more cool stuff to do in Delaware.”

“Delaware benefits from a strong tourism industry,” Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock said. “More than 44,000 people work in the industry in Delaware, which includes hundreds of small businesses and nonprofit organizations.”

For visitors to Delaware, the most popular activities in 2018 were, in order, tax-free shopping, dining and beaches. Visitors spent an average of $346 during their stay in 2018.

More than two-thirds of visitors came from nearby metropolitan areas in the mid-Atlantic and northeast with Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C., being among the most popular origination markets.

“At the Delaware Tourism Office, we share Delaware’s ‘Endless Discoveries’ with out-of-state travelers each year,” Delaware Tourism Office Director Liz Keller said. “From launching award-winning marketing campaigns to embracing innovative technology, we are proud to share what makes Delaware an ideal destination and help create a positive economic impact for our state.”

In 2018, the Delaware Tourism Office launched several initiatives to drive visitation, including a national, multimedia ad campaign, a 360-degree virtual reality tour of Delaware attractions and attendance at national consumer and travel industry trade shows where DTO highlighted Delaware’s “Endless Discoveries” in conversations with potential travelers.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., is part of the Delaware Division of Small Business. DTO promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Sources: D.K. Shifflet & Associates and Rockport Analytics. For the 2018 Delaware tourism industry report, visit

Media Contact
Michael Chesney
Director of Communications
Division of Small Business
(302) 577- 8472 (office)
(302) 943-9508 (cell)