- Associated Press - Saturday, January 6, 2018

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - A community initiative has revamped a western Indiana city’s website in an effort to polish the area’s image.

The Haute Initiative announced the improved terrehaute.com Tuesday as a measure to showcase the Terre Haute and Vigo County community’s offerings to residents, college students and prospective businesses, the Tribune-Star reported,

The initiative aims to enhance the community’s reputation and drive economic development into the area by providing an online presence and video content.

“We have a lot to be proud of in this community,” said Mark Gibson, president of the initiative.

Gibson said the grass-roots initiative is supported by local business, government, education and economic development entities.

The website offers community information such as things to do, schools, restaurants and lodging. It also directs visitors to city and county websites such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Gibson said he hopes the initiative will help overcome any perception problems the community may have.

“We have an outdated reputation that is not jiving with what I’m experiencing here,” Gibson said. “We need to shed our inferiority complex.”

The initiative’s first-year budget is $138,000, much of which will be directed toward marketing. Gibson said they’ve raised 40 percent of the budget and continue to seek partnerships and financial support.

The initiative caps donations at $26,000 per entity to ensure that the group consists of many organizations, according to Gibson.

Mayor Duke Bennett said the city supports the effort.

“One of the things we need to do more of is to celebrate and talk about the positives of our community,” Bennett said.

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Information from: Tribune-Star, http://www.tribstar.com


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