Officials in west central Indiana are eyeing the creation of a new commercial corridor along State Road 46 and U.S. 40 on the east side of Terre Haute. It’s adjacent to Terre Haute Regional Airport and has created optimism, leading airport officials to develop a strategic plan to capitalize on potential economic development opportunities such as the planned Hard Rock casino.
“We brought everyone together and said, ‘Hey, how are we going to take advantage of potentially 1 million new visitors to our community every year, whether it be wayfinding, beautification or how we really turn this airport into a true aerotech park,” said Rachel Leslie, president of the airport’s board of directors.
Leslie and board secretary Rick Burger discussed the plan on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick. Burger says the potential for development throughout the Wabash Valley is “overwhelming”
Officials in west central Indiana have already announced their intention to apply for the state’s $500 million Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative. Leslie says she believes some of that funding could be leveraged to accomplish the airport’s goals.
“I think that you’re going to see that our READI application will be inclusive of a lot of different things not just on 46, but in the region and these other counties and some of their things that they’re doing to take advantage of all that is happening here in Vigo County,” said Leslie. “We are really a hot spot for tourism and we’re going to start telling that story in a whole new way.”
Burger says the airport has collected community input and plans to begin putting an action plan into place soon.