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Winter Design Challenge

Stimulating & Encouraging Safe Outdoor Winter Experiences in Lewis County

Program hosted by the Lewis County Development Corporation

Forced Indoors - Prepare Your Business for NNY Winter Amid the Pandemic

What we're looking for

  • The Lewis County Development Corporation (LCDC) is seeking solutions to stimulate and encourage safe outdoor experiences, for both customers and tourism, entertainment and hospitality businesses, during the cold weather months in Lewis County

  • Solutions may be centered around facilitating safe in-person outdoor experiences. Unique indoor solutions will be considered as long as it takes into consideration the health and safety of staff and customers.

  • Solutions may relate to physical space as well as operations/service (i.e. creation of outdoor eating spaces with heaters, or creative service solutions)

The opportunity

  • Businesses who are looking to create outdoor spaces, such as adding firepits, igloos, outdoor heaters and tents, constructing creative spaces, etc. and any other creative service or operational solutions, please submit the form below.
  • Businesses with creative proposals will receive a one-time grant, funding 50%, up to $1,000, of selected project costs

The Criteria


  • Must provide project plan on a solution that stimulates and encourages safe outdoor experiences, for both customers and tourism, entertainment and hospitality businesses, during the cold weather months in Lewis County
  • Must show how the project will encourage in-person, outdoor experiences or new unique solutions for the winter season
  • Solutions may relate to physical space, as well as creative operations/service


  • Solutions must consider human health and safety, and be in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations
  • Must comply with local zoning and codes ordinances


  • The project is encouraged to be attainable by December 31, 2020


  • Provides a project budget that takes into consideration cost to build/install and ease of set-up/tear down/storage
  • Projects will be funded up front


  • Awarded businesses will enter into a contract with the LCDC and will be required to adhere ALL NYS COVID-19 Guidelines
  • Project reporting will also include notification of project completion, submission of receipts and project photos

Winter Design Challenge Application Form

Does your solution take into consideration human health and safety and comply with all local, state and federal regulations?*
Attach any documents that support your project plan (i.e. budget documents, project estimates or schematics, product descriptions/photos)
Drag & Drop Files Here Browse Files

Winter Design Challenge Grant Recipients


More About the Program

The COVID19 pandemic has caused hardship to our local bars, restaurants and hospitality industry across Lewis County. Businesses who rely on social atmospheres have changed their entire business models to accommodate social distancing, proper ventilation and more. Solutions were quickly implemented as the warmer weather approached in Lewis County and more outdoor dining opportunities were created to accommodate more customers, and to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

At a recent Winter Tourism roundtable and brainstorming event, hosted by Lewis County IDA and the Chamber of Commerce, the idea of outdoor seating during the winter months, and the lack thereof, emerged. As we know, Lewis County businesses are reliant on local, and tourist, patrons throughout the winter. In order to ensure that these local businesses survive the long, cold and snowy winter, we are asking the business community continue to think creatively on how to implement the extension of safe outdoor dining during winter months in Lewis County. To stimulate and encourage this creative thinking, the Lewis County Development Corporation (LCDC) has created the Winter Design Challenge Grant Program.

$20,000 in LCDC grant funds has been made available via contract with Lewis County for economic development services and through the Pratt Northam Covid-19 Community Impact Grant Fund.