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Terre Haute Events Bring In Money For Downtown Businesses

Terre Haute is changing its guidelines for street closings to minimize the negative impacts to businesses during public events.

Downtown Terre Haute

Photo: Jim Grey (Flickr)

Businesses owners say events can block off access to their stores, but it also brings in new customers.

The recent concerns Terre Haute residents have expressed over the way streets are blocked off for public events could actually be sign of economic growth in the city.

Terre Haute’s Board of Public Works met earlier this week to discuss how it can revise its guidelines for handling road closings during public events because the number of events has quadrupled in the past four years.

“It’s primarily just to make sure that the business and the employees downtown have access to their business, their work, and people going to those places of business have access to them,” Director of Public Works William Lower says.

Martha Crossen, the owner of River Wools knitting store in downtown Terre Haute, says there have been instances where the city has closed the street leading to her store so it can charge admission for an event. That could deter some customers, but Crossen says having an event also brings in new customers who might not know about her store otherwise.

“There are always a few inconveniences when you shut down a street for whatever reason, whether its street repairs or for an event,” she says, “but when its closed down for an event, there’s also a big payoff for the downtown businesses.”

Crossen says she has seen a significant increase in business because of the growing number of events, and she hopes that trend will continue.

The Board of Public Works has not yet scheduled a second meeting but says it hopes to have the new guidelines approved by the end of the year.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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