Merriam Hotel Improvement Grant

Merriam hotels are invited to apply for the Hotel Improvement Grant. This new grant opportunity will assist hotels to make needed improvements to enhance our tourism district.

This industry was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the City seeks to assist in elevating the physical appearance of its hotel facilities to help attract visitors to our community.

Improvements should add to the visual and visitor appeal of Merriam’s hotel properties. Preference will be given to projects that emphasize sustainability and increase the efficiency of the building envelope. Grant funds are restricted to hotel/motel properties with a minimum of 80 rooms.

  • Up to $1 million available total; $250,000 available per hotel property
  • Requires a 50% match; grant program will reimburse 50% of costs up to $250,000 maximum


Grant Process

Step 1.Understand Program Requirements 

Grant is open to established Merriam hotels operating with a current occupational license.

City will reimburse 50% of improvement project expenses. Minimum $5,000; maximum $250,000 per hotel.

Hotels may submit multiple grant applications totaling a matched reimbursement of up to the maximum $250,000 per hotel, or until funding is depleted during the grant cycle period.

Minimum $10,000 investment by the property owner per application. 

Improvements must fall within the following categories to be eligible:

  1. Exterior renovations – façade improvements, paint, lighting upgrades, door/window replacement to improve building efficiency, outdoor gathering area improvements, landscaping improvements, new signage
  2. Lobby improvements 
  3. Guest amenities – food/beverage area improvements or addition, swimming pool improvements, technology access improvements for guests
  4. Room renovations – modern upgrades to carpeting, furnishings, bathrooms, etc.

The City of Merriam has adopted the regional Climate Action Plan and supports sustainable building practices. As such, preference will be given to projects that help to reduce energy usage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease water runoff, use sustainable building materials, or otherwise focus on sustainable improvements.

The City reserves the right to determine if a proposed improvement meets eligible requirements.

Additional Program Requirements

  • All improvements must conform to Merriam codes
  • Program property must be code compliant. 
  • All other properties owned by the applicant in Merriam must be code compliant (if applicable).
  • Contractor(s) must have a current Merriam occupational license, and, if appropriate, a Johnson County Contractor License.
  • If a building permit is issued, the permitted work must be completed and the permit closed before reimbursement can occur.
  • Property owner must be current on all property tax, sales tax, and transient guest tax in Merriam.
  • Property owner must provide proof of adequate property insurance.
  • Property owner must provide proof of flagship and brand’s property improvement plan (PIP) with application to include any potential brand transitions.
  • If property owner sells within two years of receiving grant funds, all grant funds must be returned before the sale is finalized. 
  • The hotel flagship must not downgrade within two years of receiving grant funds; if so, grant funds must be reimbursed to the City. 
  • Participating properties must provide hotel benchmarks to the City including average daily rates and occupancy information for one year preceding the grant approval, during the improvement project, and for two years post project reimbursement.
  • Property improvement estimates must be submitted with the application.
  • The program will only reimburse labor costs of the labor provided by a third-party contractor.
  • Before and after photos of the project are required.

Step 2.Gather Information

  • Proof of current occupational license
  • Proof of paid property tax, sales tax, and transient guest tax
  • Proof of property insurance
  • Property improvement plan and brand/flagship document
  • Hotel average daily rate and occupancy information for past 12 months
  • Photos of project area(s)
  • Description of improvements 
  • Bids or estimates for improvement work
  • Site plans or other related documents

Step 3.Submit Application

Apply Online

Application progress may be saved by clicking the blue Save button at the bottom. Click the yellow Submit button when you have uploaded all documents. 

Step 4.Application Review

Applications are reviewed in the order they are received.

A meeting with each applicant will be required to discuss any questions and remaining documentation.

Application must be approved by the City before the start of work.

Step 5.Complete Improvement Work

Work must be completed within 18 months of grant approval; grant reimbursement will be issued upon project completion.

Property owner is responsible for ensuring that all required permits have been obtained; all permits must be in place prior to any work taking place and contractors must obtain a Merriam occupational license.


Step 6.Get Reimbursed

Property owner must provide all receipts upon completion of project improvements.

If a building permit was issued, the permitted work must be completed and the permit closed before reimbursement can occur.

After photos must be submitted.

Staff will perform a post-project inspection to verify project completion.

Property must have no code violations.

Property owner must complete a W-9