Terre Haute - The landscape of downtown could start to change if a Terre Haute convention center becomes a reality.
"If we have a convention center where people can travel here instead of Indy or Evansville we could get more people here, more attractions here, get some businesses and shops to open up in the downtown area. And I think it would really revive downtown Terre Haute," says Terre Haute resident, Courtney Bender.
Residents seem to think a convention center could be exactly what Terre Haute needs.
"I think Terre Haute would be a great location for a convention center in order for more people in the surrounding area to have access to a meeting place," says resident, Lisa Schwartz.
Though it may not be something that would be used every day they say the bigger picture is worth the initial cost.
"A convention center, in my mind, would only be a way to improve out downtown area, and put us, put Terre Haute in more of a spotlight for folks who wish to bring business to this area," says Schwartz.
While bringing in and retaining business is a big focus for people in the area.
"Something that large that is permanent here, that that would keep and maintain business growing in downtown Terre Haute," says Bender.
They look forward to welcoming visitors and changing their perspective on Terre Haute.
"It will open people's minds. I think people have a vision of Terre Haute and how it used to smell and all that stuff and it is not like that anymore. I have never had that experience and when I say that to people they are like, "oh really?," says Bender.
Officials say they aren't trying to compete with places like Indianapolis and Bloomington, but that they just want to give people in the Terre Haute area a place where they can host and attend events without having to travel across the state. If everything goes to plan, it is expected that they will break ground on the convention center in 2019.