The Vigo County innkeeper’s tax generated more than $2 million for the county for the first time last year.
The 6.5 percent tax is just above the state average. Officials raised it from 5 percent in 2013, in anticipation of a new convention center.
That convention center has yet to be built, and when or where it will happen is still up in the air. But Terre Haute Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director David Patterson says the increased tax rate is still showing the impact of tourism in Vigo County.
“It’s a great contributor to the local economy,” Patterson says. “It gives perspective regionally and nationally for the things we do.”
Patterson says the county’s tourism is event-based. He says most of the revenue comes from people visiting for sporting events and other festivities, like the Terre Haute Air Show.
“You know, nobody googles Terre Haute, Indiana, and comes here for a week for no reason,” Patterson says. “People come here for the events that we host and plan.”
Vigo County originally planned to build the convention center with Indiana State University as part of renovations to its Hulman Center arena, but those plans fell through. Now, the county is planning to build a convention center separate from the university.
Other counties around the state, including Monroe County, are also considering new convention centers to help bolster tourism.