The Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau enjoyed its 24th consecutive year of financial growth in 2018, its director said at the Vigo County Tourism Commission meeting Tuesday.
Fully funded by the county’s innkeeper’s tax, visitors bureau executive director David Patterson said his bureau collected more than $2 million in 2018, $50,000 more than the previous year.
He said the continued growth shows that while Terre Haute may not be attracting the world’s biggest events, like Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship game, what it is bringing to town is bringing people with it.
“Look, state community theater events and cross country aren’t the Final Four or the national championship game, but when those other things do come to town our hotels are running at 70 percent capacity,” Patterson said.
“And with that we’ve been able to grow 24 straight years. We live with the sometimes unsexy events that we have with the facilities that we have.”
Attracting national cross country meets over the last 20-plus years and swim meets in the last few hasn’t been easy, Patterson said. The key, he said, is having passionate community members who have been outspoken about their interests.
“The key has been surrounding ourselves with good people who are involved in those activities, not for the money, but because they truly love them,” Patterson said.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission elected its officers for 2019. Greg Gibson was retained as president, while Karrum Nasser and Linda Lambert were retained as vice president and treasurer, respectively.