The Economic Impact of Cross Country Town USA

Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce President Kristin Craig reflects on the positive economic impact of the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course.

It’s easy to overlook the economic value of tourism-related activities in West Central Central Indiana, but this is a dynamic and growing revenue opportunity for many of our local the entire region. Over the course of the next few weeks, and culminating with the NCAA Cross Country finals on November 23, our community has yet another opportunity to capitalize on the thousands of visitors who will again be traveling to the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in eastern Vigo County. Hotels will be full, restaurants will be packed, retailers will see a bump in sales… all contributing to the tremendous economic impact of this event.


David Patterson, Executive Director of the Vigo County Convention and Visitors Bureau has been the driving force behind this economic momentum for the past 23 years. As he has often pointed out, the cross country season usually brings about 25,000 to 30,000 people per year to the community. Through the years, he has constantly engaged hotels, restaurants… and really anyone who interacts with these visitors, to roll out the welcome mat.

I am asking all of you as Chamber members to engage with these visitors as well. No matter your sector, there are things you can add to help provide a welcoming experience. Welcome cross county visitors on your marquee, offer a cross country special entree or drink, provide a discount for cross country spectators or participants. Use your creativity and get on board to help share the welcoming, inclusive #SeeYouInTerreHaute message.

For more on the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course and the schedule of events, click here,

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