French Lick/West Baden: 10 Years Later

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(Image of French Lick courtesy of the French Lick Resort) (Image of French Lick courtesy of the French Lick Resort)

The massive revitalization of a once-deteriorating tourist spot is celebrating a significant anniversary. Ten years ago today, officials marked the grand reopening of the French Lick Springs Hotel, part of a $560 million revitalization of several landmarks spearheaded by Bloomington-based Cook Group co-founders Bill and Gayle Cook. Completed projects that soon followed included rebirth of the grand West Baden Springs Hotel, restoration of the 100-year-old Donald Ross Course at French Lick and the debut of the The Pete Dye Course at French Lick. We will have more on the milestone this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television.

In a promotional video released by the French Lick Resort, Cook Group Chairman Steve Ferguson said growth and rebirth of the attractions and the community are "intertwined."

The tourism industry now employs some 1,700 in Orange County, supporting $326 million in wages over the last decade. Officials estimate more than $110 million dollars has been pumped back into French Lick, West Baden, Paoli and Orleans through taxes related to the attractions. Other highlights of the last 10 years include the opening of French Lick Casino, the addition of nine miles of mountain biking trails and a $20 million expansion of the Event Center in French Lick.

View the video from the French Lick Resort: