The Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau on Tuesday approved funding requests for tournaments for swimming, volleyball and basketball.

Initial funding requests ranged from $15,000 to $10,000, but were reduced by the CVB’s board of directors.

The requests include $10,000 for Crossroads of America Volleyball Club for two COA and Team Indiana hosted tournaments, to be held April 18-19 and May 16. 

Wabash Valley Sports Center requested $10,000 for the Gatorade Invite Basketball Tournament, which expects to attract more than 175 teams from more than 15 different states.

The Aquatic Center of the Vigo County School Corporation, along with a Terre Haute Torpedoes swim club, had a combined request just over $15,000. The center already held an Arctic Blast swim event last weekend and will host the Indiana Southwest Divisional event March 6-8.

David Patterson, CVB executive director, recommended $8,000 for each group as each event “will generate about the same number of rooms” for hotels in the county. A county innkeepers tax, paid by hotels, generates funds for the CVB to promote the county and events to attract visitors.

“We have never hosted volleyball before,” Patterson said, adding it is a new request to the CVB, but noted each event would attract 30 teams with 800-plus people at each tournament. 

The board approved $5,000 for Crossroads of America to see if the event generates overnight stays, while approving $8,000 each for the Aquatic Center and Wabash Valley Sports Center.

The board also approved $4,000 to the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Christmas in the Park event. The board noted that Patterson should contact the parks department to note it would be the final year for a CVB contribution to that event.

In other business, Patterson said Sisters of Providence of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods and Sycamore Winery will be paying innkeepers tax in 2020. Three hermitages overnight stays at Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods had been offered for a donation, however, since the group will now have a set minimum cost, state law requires a payment of the innkeepers tax, Patterson said.

Sycamore Winery will offer four to six suites at The Ohio Building as part of the company’s offerings for weddings, which will also collect innkeeper taxes.

Patterson said 2020 is shaping up to draw as many events as in 2021, when tourism raised $2.5 million in innkeeper tax collections.

Examples include a six-week youth bowling tournament at the Terre Haute Bowling Center from the end of February to April; Southwest Divisional Swimming in March; track events starting in April; a Midwest Soccer Classic April 25-26; events at the Terre Haute Action Track; Special Olympics in June as well as SAFECON 2020 Air Race Classic at Terre Haute Regional Airport; several cross country events including IHSAA sectional championship in October; HCAC Conference Championships in November as well as NCAA Division 1 regional championship and NCAA Division 3 championship.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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