Jobs, downtown development bring hope to the Wabash Valley

February 1 2007

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The future looks bright for Terre Haute, thanks to the promise of new jobs and continued downtown development, according to panelists at the 11th annual Groundhog Day Economic Forecast Breakfast today (Feb. 1) at Indiana State University's Hulman Memorial Student Union. [See Photo Gallery]

The event, sponsored by Indiana State's College of Business, the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and Terre Haute Savings Bank and Financial Services. Speakers at this year's event included Terre Haute Mayor Kevin Burke, "Inside Indiana Business" host Gerry Dick, Dora Brothers Hospitality Corp. owner Tim Dora and ISU economics professor Robert Guell.

Discussion focused, in part, on expansions at a local pharmaceutical plant, new construction materials plants and growing investments in the city's downtown.

"Clear positives for 2007 are the jobs that are coming, either through Pfizer or Boral Brick or CertainTeed or the Dora Hotels," Guell said. "There are significant jobs coming within the next calendar year."

Dora said the opening of the new Hilton Garden Inn - Terre Haute House, which has a target opening date of Sept. 1, will mean about 50 full-time jobs. His company also plans to put up a second hotel in downtown Terre Haute - a Candlewood Suites, in the Tribune Building on Wabash Avenue.

He expressed optimism that investment in Terre Haute's downtown will continue to spur additional growth.

"I think that the two hotels should give some concentration of new economic development, foot traffic and daily activity," Dora said. "We're hoping to create a snowball effect in the development of downtown and inspire people to get on the bandwagon and come along for the ride."

But, the economic weather forecast may not be all sunny skies, according to Guell.

"The housing bubble that we think of as only affecting Chicago and Denver and San Diego and cities like that is having an impact in Terre Haute due to the high rate of home foreclosures both in Indiana, Terre Haute and throughout the state."

Anyway you slice it, though, excitement is growing in the city and beyond. Terre Haute has a 'can do' attitude, according to Dora, and discussions like the one today can only serve to build stronger partnerships and create an environment of collaboration for the future.

"Today, we really had a significant number of leaders - both business and private sectors - come together to discuss the economic development issues affecting our city, state and region," said Ron Green, dean of ISU's College of Business. "It's one of the few events where really critical components come together to network and learn about the economic future of our community."

MEDIA CONTACT & WRITER: Maria Greninger, associate director, Communications & Marketing, Indiana State University, (812) 237-4357 or 237-7972 or mgreninger@indstate.edu.

Bookmark and Share

Story Highlights

The future looks bright for Terre Haute, thanks to the promise of new jobs and continued downtown development, according to panelists at the 11th annual Groundhog Day Economic Forecast Breakfast at Indiana State University's Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Bookmark and Share