For the first time in more than two decades, the innkeepers tax has eclipsed the $2 million mark in collections for the Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“That means the hotel industry in Vigo County is more than a $30 million annual business,” said CVB executive director David Patterson, who has led the bureau for the past 24 years. The county has 20 hotels that pay the 6.5 percent innkeepers tax used to promote tourism in the county. The tax generated $2,008,374 in 2017.
And events slated for the upcoming year are expected to make 2018 “a fantastic year for Terre Haute,” Patterson said.
Events are projected to bring more than 130,000 visitors to the city this year, with the biggest single event — the Terre Haute Air Show on Aug. 18 and 19 — projected to attract 50,000 people.
The air show will cost about $380,000 to $400,000 to stage, Patterson said. However, sponsorships will cover the cost.
Many of the events promoted through the Convention and Visitors Bureau this year are sports related, with several connected to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Indiana State University.
The Division 3 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference will stage its conference swimming and diving championships hosted by Rose-Hulman on Feb. 9 and 10 at the Vigo County Aquatic Center.
“That is a good precedent to set. We hope at some point to get the Missouri Valley Conference swim championship,” Patterson said.
The Terre Haute Convention & Visitors Bureau was created through a resolution of Vigo County and Terre Haute officials on June 4, 1980.