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Old September 10th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by borninfarrington_g View Post
Sorry, upon further reading I concluded that my opinion was a little pushy. I just want to reiterate that everything after the 1st sentence is purely speculation. I do believe things like this happen in TH polotics all the time, however.
Well, true or not, knowing Terre Haute politics it certainly seems possible. I hope that any bank in TH would recognized a good business opportunity (and I think this is one) and not let jealousy get in the way. This will be good for the whole city.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 04:12 AM   #162
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A little sad...

So...I took a spin downtown right at dusk tonight. It has been cool and breezy today, so I shut off the ac and rolled down the windows. And then I smelled it...they have been digging up the back fill around the new hotel to pour the sidewalks. You can STILL smell the old Terre Haute House in it's dirt. I know that sounds gross--but it had a distinct smell inside. A little different from the smell of the Trib, and a lot different than the Bement-Rea. I miss the old hotel. I hope this one succeeds; or it was all for nothing.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #163
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Update at terrehautehouse.net!



terrehautehouse.net has an update today:

http://www.terrehautehousenet.homest...usep12th07.htm

Hard to believe how fast that parking garage goes up!
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Old September 13th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #164
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I wish Dora would put a bright sign on that blank 7th/Wabash corner of the new hotel. Have you seen pictures of the old hotel and its corner sign? Im thinking of a vertical sign - it would add a lot of life to that corner...
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Old September 14th, 2007, 04:40 AM   #165
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I agree, a nice big sign would be great to set off that "blank piece of paper" look on the corner. I just went by on the way home from work. The lobby was all lit up with work lamps and you could see the two-sided hardwood fireplace hearth (that they all seem to have), the new chandelier, some of the moulding and the color scheme. Looks like the entire restaurant is still in cardboard boxes, however. The balcony railing in the lobby looked like some sort of victorian(?) paneling painted cream(?) with a glaze of antique stain(?)...kinda hard to see as I sat at the light. Guys were still in there working away at 9:30pm!
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Old September 15th, 2007, 12:00 AM   #166
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Dora the Explorer

So the same people are building that hotel in Terre Haute, are building the "suburban hotels" near The Luke in Indy? Psst, let's hope we get better craftsmenship! But yes... Terre Haute is looking rather nice these days!
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Old September 15th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #167
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Is that what everyone is calling the Lucas Oil Stadium? Man, that looks awesome from I-70! I'm very excited for Indy and I think some of that good fortune will come our way from time to time.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 06:15 PM   #168
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Is that what everyone is calling the Lucas Oil Stadium? Man, that looks awesome from I-70! I'm very excited for Indy and I think some of that good fortune will come our way from time to time.
The Luke, LOS, Lucas Oil Stayjum. Over time, TH's setting will be a definite asset - it's on the airport/logistics end of Indy, but far enough away to keep out of Indy's sprawl. Like Bloomington, Terre Haute is surrounded by beautiful country - take a look at Google Earth and look at all the green to the north and east - If Terre Haute positions itself right, and continues to build on its geographic strengths, it could be a natural setting for a larger, more prosperous city.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #169
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Great Article Today...

I don't normally care too much for her liberal bias, but today I believe Ms. Salter really hits the nail on the head and then turns the hammer on Dr. S!

Published: September 15, 2007 11:06 pm

STEPHANIE SALTER: Beautifying Wabash Avenue one ‘Downtown Work In Progress’ at a time

By Stephanie Salter
The Tribune-Star


TERRE HAUTE — I have a modest proposal: An aesthetics code for Wabash Avenue from Third Street to the railroad tracks at 10th.

Code requirement No.1: No plywood allowed on anything but an active construction site.

Code requirement 2: No grubby, neglected store fronts.

If a building is empty, whether its owner is trying to rent it or is content (for some reason) to leave it vacant and pay the property taxes, the facade must be kept clean and in excellent repair.

“Excellent” means that plate glass windows must be washed regularly and replaced if they are broken or seriously cracked. It means that display areas visible to the public must be free of debris or items that belong in a yard sale rather than a store front on the city’s main downtown street.

Better yet, it means drapes, panels or screens — not paper or plastic that is months or years old — covering windows and sparing folks the sight of empty spaces that virtually scream, “Welcome to Loserville!”

Code requirement 3: If active work is going on, as it is in the upper levels of Pawn It at 622 Wabash and behind the blueprint-covered windows of 675 Wabash (future home of Book Nation), a good-sized, attractive sign identifying the premises as a DWIP — Downtown Work In Progress — must be posted.

“Attractive” means professionally done, colorful, easy to understand and instantly recognizable.

Maybe the Chamber of Commerce or the remarkable Downtown Terre Haute Inc. can handle the creation of an aesthetics code with a cheerful decree. Likely, though, it will take an act with some legal oomph in it. Whether it’s Redevelopment, Planning, the mayor, City Council or all of the above, somebody, please, do it.

All along Wabash and on adjacent blocks, business owners and residents who call downtown “home” are busting their butts to bring life and art and commerce back to this historically important neighborhood. New restaurants — chain and local independents — are committing themselves to the revitalization effort.

Colorful banners hang from light standards, advertising the Arts Corridor, welcoming students from Terre Haute’s three universities and reminding passers-by of celebrations and parades. Last weekend it was Blues at the Crossroads, this weekend it’s Oktoberfest, next weekend it will be the city Street Fair and the week after, the Altrusa Chili Cook-off.

The Hilton Garden Inn-Terre Haute House is only a few weeks from checking in guests who will pay anywhere from $104 to $174 per night to stand at the windows of their rooms and peer out over “The Crossroads of America” at Seventh Street and Wabash. What is the message their view will convey? A mixed, confusing one or a message that reassures, “This city has a grip on its future”?

As disheveled as the old Tribune Building is, an unmissable sign says that something good is coming. If our visitors leave their hotel and head west, the way is not so clear.

Only a half-block from the hotel, above the nice new, ground-floor facade of the pawn shop, our strollers will see plywood planks, hanging like loose teeth in the upper-floor windows, and a southwest corner facade that is literally crumbling.

Unless our guests are uncommonly informed, they’ll have no idea that the pawn shop building owner is taking advantage of the last of Terre Haute’s Urban Enterprise Zone funding as well as two local grants to construct nine apartments on the upper floors and repair the battered stone exterior.

Why not anticipate their reaction and pre-empt a negative judgment? All it would take is a big sign that clearly identifies the building as an official DWIP. The visitors would know this was not a case of neglect. Instead of being appalled at urban blight, they would see another coming attraction.

And that would be a good thing because, as they continued their westward walk, they would wonder about some of the other odd, empty or downright tacky-looking buildings they encountered.

For example, they might get discombobulated by a large sign that promises books, computers and coffee when, in fact, there is only a vast, vacant retail space stocked with nothing but ghosts.

Which leads me to Code requirement No. 4: No misleading signs.

If a business is gone or has changed, signage must reflect that. If the space is for rent, the building owner — already adhering to Code requirement No. 2 — must post a clean, professionally printed, easy-to-read notice advertising that status.

Like official DWIP signs, the best message for everyone would be uniform and attractive for-rent signs with blank spaces for phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

When I said an aesthetics code is “a modest proposal,” I wasn’t being facetious. How much can a few dozen DWIP posters cost? Nice but inexpensive drapes or folding screens can be found at any discount store.

And if a downtown building owner can’t be bothered with regular sidewalk sweeping and window washing, shame — and a monetary fine — on that owner.

So many folks along Wabash are pulling in the same positive direction. The last few years have brought major improvements. An aesthetics code that is enforced could fuel the momentum.

One desultory-looking building on main-street Wabash is too many. Several convey an almost hostile neglect. If owners don’t care to join the remodeling and redevelopment of their neighbors, that’s their prerogative. But let’s at least get them to cover over their disregard. I’ll donate the first pair of drapes.

Stephanie Salter can be reached at (812) 231-4229 or [email protected].
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:44 AM   #170
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I appreciate Stephanie's humanist perspective - and am very glad she is writing for the tribune-star.

This should have been a priority twenty years ago. I just started a new job in a university town not unlike Terre Haute. Here, the college completely dominates the town, and the town has responded by putting much effort into keeping the downtown full and nice. There are a few empty storefronts, but like Salter recommends, they are nicely covered. I honestly think a lot of ISU's problems keeping enrollments up has to do with the state of downtown Terre Haute. Who could think it's an interesting town, walking down Wabash from 4th-6th? Things are definitely improving, and its no surprise that ISU's fortunes appear to be turning a corner. There needs to be A LOT of effort put into the north side of Wabash between 5th and 6th - and infill. All that said, this is the right next step. Thanks, Stephanie!
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Old September 17th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #171
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Yes, and the same can be said for US 41 (3rd street) from I-70 to campus (especially Voorhees to Poplar!) Lots of blight, abandonment, and graffiti. Who would want to go to ISU if this was all they knew of Terre Haute?! There are small pockets of development along the way but by and large it looks bad. I hope once the downtown is re-established that the city will turn its attention to 3rd street. On a side note, I heard yesterday that there was a Civil War POW camp just off of North 3rd near the large cemetery. If this is true, perhaps some signage could be added to point this out to visitors. Kind regards, -BorninFarrington_G
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Old September 17th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #172
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Yes, and the same can be said for US 41 (3rd street) from I-70 to campus (especially Voorhees to Poplar!) Lots of blight, abandonment, and graffiti. Who would want to go to ISU if this was all they knew of Terre Haute?! There are small pockets of development along the way but by and large it looks bad. I hope once the downtown is re-established that the city will turn its attention to 3rd street. On a side note, I heard yesterday that there was a Civil War POW camp just off of North 3rd near the large cemetery. If this is true, perhaps some signage could be added to point this out to visitors. Kind regards, -BorninFarrington_G
Agreed -
the POW cemetery is in the old city cemetery between 1st and 3rd streets north of Locust - I cant remember the name of it right now...there is also an old Wea Indian burial site on the river, near the old Pillsbury plant. there is a sign. The northern part of Terre Haute was filled with apple orchards and cornfields that the American setters took over when they kicked the Wea out in the 1820s. Much of the old prairie where Terre Haute was set was a large clearing that the Wea had maintained - not a natural prairie. There are numerous Wea and Piankeshaw sites up and down the Wabash - and even older ones in some spots like Merom. There is a lot of history here beyond the European stories.
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Old September 19th, 2007, 03:07 AM   #173
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This short article emphasizes some of Terre Haute's strengths, and one of its glaring weaknesses - it's education system. How many typos and vague phrases can one story have?!?!?! Pablum - pure pablum! And frankly, there is no news here.

http://www.wthitv.com/global/story.asp?s=7094658
Inland Port
By: Jane Santucci

The Cross roads of America may soon be seeing even more traffic.

On Tuesday the in-land port committee held their first public meeting to discuss making eastern Vigo county and Western Clay county a hub for distribution in the United States.

City officials in Terre Haute are looking for new ways to boost the local economy by bringing in high paying jobs.

"We've seen a decline over the years in Terre Haute from it's hay day in industrial jobs," said Brian Hasler a Terre Haute lobbyist.

And they believe an in-land port would be the perfect solution.

"When you build economic development like this people come to the area because they are good paying jobs," said Bill Verdeyen with the Indiana teamsters rail group.

An in-land port is a central place for products to be brought in from all over the world and then distributed throughout the country.

"This is absoutly a perfect place to put an inland port. You have two rail lines that cross. Class one. two interstate highways that cross," said Bill Verdeyen.

Hasler says the Terre Haute area is a quick bee-line to major surrounding cities.

"Indiana being a central state in the U.S. can play a key role in district logistics warehousing and manufacturing," said Brian Hasler.

As more manufacturing plants move off to foreign countries those products are being shipped back here for distribution creating the need for more in-land ports in the U.S.

Leaders lobbying for the port say Terre Haute has all key components.

"You have an airport that's an international airport with very long run ways," said Bill Verdeyen.

And plenty of rail ways that would make it easier to bring products from point A to point B.

But for now city officials will wait to see if their idea for business will become an economic boom for the area.

The next step for the in land port commission will be to determine who will govern the property and look into what it will take to develop the land.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:57 AM   #174
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Cool...

I have noticed quite abit of progress on the hotel in the past few days. Last night they had the entire lobby and restaurant lit up. Nice decor. There is some nice wooodwork and paneling in the lobby and around the 1st floor. I even saw tvs on in some of the rooms. They must have people living there this week; working around the clock to get it done. Landscaping is underway and the sidewalks continue to progress slowly but surely. Someone said that there is actually an event there next week for Rose-Hulman! You got to be kidding! Will they be ready?!!
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Old September 21st, 2007, 03:59 PM   #175
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Eastside Trail slowly being extended toward Atlantic Ocean

Published: September 20, 2007 11:49 pm

Joggers, bikers could soon have longer route when following Heritage Trail

Half-mile expansion east of Twigg Rest Area expected
By Austin Arceo
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Terre Haute resident Evan Davis enjoys cycling along the National Road Heritage Trail, and seemed a bit out of place Thursday afternoon when using it for the first time in about a week.

“ … A lot of times I’ll ride five days a week,” he said Thursday, while on his bike.

If all goes to plan, he’ll have a longer route by the end of the year.

Terre Haute officials are planning to extend the trail eastward by about a half-mile. The city’s portion of the trail currently begins at the Twigg Rest Area, but will be extended eastward to near Chamberlain Street, said Pat Martin, the city’s chief planner.

“I think it’s great,” the cycling enthusiast said. “The more trails, the better, I think.”

City officials hope to create a trailhead at the beginning of the extension that would allow people to park their vehicles and then access the path.

The trailhead will have several features, including an amphitheater and plants and trees along the trail that would have lived there two centuries ago, Martin said.

He added that an existing wetlands were also built into part of the trailhead concept.

The city has solicited proposals for the trailhead four different times with little success.

Officials received no offers twice, and two other times the offers were above the estimated cost to complete the project.

So in the meantime, the city will extend the path to the location of the new access point.

The idea first came about when the Wabash Valley Community Foundation gave the city $100,000 for the National Road Heritage Trail, Martin said.

“We wanted to make the project a statement, or a signature project,” he added, “something that was unique and had never been accomplished before.”

Officials estimate the entire project, including the trailhead, to cost between $650,000 and $700,000, Martin said. Federal funds will pay for 80 percent of the construction, while the city will pay for the remaining 20 percent.

Forty-three parking spaces created at the new trailhead will help complement the nine spots provided at the Twigg Rest Area, Martin said. He added that the trail extension will help provide for additional capacity along the pathway.

“There’s a huge demand for use of the trail on the east side of Terre Haute,” Martin said. “Twigg Rest Area, any given weekend, is over capacity.”

Engineers need to visit the site and determine the path before a timetable will be set, although the project could start next month, said Greg Ruark, superintendent of the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department.

Most of the cost will come from renting equipment to clear the path and laying gravel, Ruark said. He added that they don’t anticipate initially paving the path unless more money becomes available.

“… And if that’s the case, then we’ll pave it, so basically all it’ll be waiting for is the rest of the trailhead project,” Ruark said, “and the trail already will be established.”

Austin Arceo can be reached at (812) 231-4214 or [email protected].
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Old September 21st, 2007, 04:01 PM   #176
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Slowly, surely, downtown fills in...

Published: September 20, 2007 11:33 pm

Corner Grind opens, bringing business to all four corners of intersection

By Crystal Garcia
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Boo Lloyd added an aspect to downtown Terre Haute on Thursday by opening the Corner Grind coffee shop, just east of her Crossroads Cafe.

“It’s a great thing for downtown,” said co-owner Lloyd. “It’s another piece to our puzzle at Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue. Basically, [it] completes the puzzle to me.”

She said having Corner Grind up and running will be the first time in many years that all four corners of that intersection have been active.

Andrew Connor, executive director of Downtown Terre Haute Inc., said the last time all four corners of that intersection were active was around 1970, before the Terre Haute House closed.

“So it’s not only that [Lloyd’s] opening a new business on her corner, but it’s the opposite corner of hers that’s really been the dead zone for so long,” he said. “But her corner has always been a place where people meet and gather and that’s a center of activity.”

From the 1920s to the 1960s, before the days of Interstate 70, the intersection was considered a significant crossroads, with traffic all across the nation converging where U.S. 41 and U.S. 40 meet.

Because of the many requests to Lloyd at the Crossroads Cafe over the years for various coffee beverages, she and her husband decided to open the coffee shop. Also, “it’s a great extension of the restaurant,” Lloyd said.

They had been toying with the idea for about two years, she said.

“[The] corner is perfect location for it with the Hilton Garden Inn about ready to open,” Lloyd said. The inn will open on the opposite corner.

Customers can enjoy a variety of coffees and flavors to add to the coffees, smoothies and protein shakes in addition to baked goods such as cake, cookies and scones.

All baked goods are baked in the shop, Lloyd emphasized.

Lloyd’s favorite beverage so far is one of her own concoctions, a “Boo-uccino” of a vanilla bean and raspberry flavor. It’s coffee-free and similar to having a milk shake, she said.

There are 20 different flavors available to add to a drink, including some sugar-free flavors.

Gifts and gift baskets will be available for purchase. Conner said the gifts aspect of the business is especially important.

“That’s one of the types of businesses that we really need downtown,” he said. “Just filling out the complement of retail business, a gift shop is something that’s been missing.”

A unique component of the shop is that Lloyd’s husband, Gary, built everything in the shop himself except one hutch.

Working at the Corner Grind is Tracy Coonce’s first venture into the coffee world.

“There’s a lot more detail involved” than what she initially thought, she said. “It’s more than just pushing a button. It’s a lot of fun.”

Coonce’s favorite beverage is a type of “Boo-uccino,” — Java chip. It has the Java chip mix with ice, milk and mini chocolate chips.

In addition to friendly service, Coonce promised some good coffee.

“This is going to be the best coffee in town,” she said.

Crystal Garcia can be reached at (812) 231-4271 or [email protected].
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 04:44 AM   #177
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Pretty good coffee...

I stopped by the Grind this morning. The coffee was pretty good and the decor is quite charming! I hope they get lots of business; especially with the new hotel being caddy-corner (spelling?). We also went to the Street Fair tonight. The food was ok, but we ended up going down to Asani's (across from the Saratoga) for the rest of our meal. They have great big gyros!

Ofcourse any walk back up Wabash on the North side brings up the subject of the Albrecht (former Ellis) building through 7th. So much potential in those two blocks! Any ideas besides restaurants and bars? I know the historical museum is looking for more space. I wonder if they have considered...nah. Probably too expensive. Also, I am beginning to actually see potential in the old Hillman's facade, as much as I have never appreciated it. I wonder if they could simply keep those buildings next to the old pawn shop and make false fronts that just look "downtowny". I'm just full of ideas tonight...or maybe just full of it. Oh well...time for sleep.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 02:39 AM   #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borninfarrington_g View Post


terrehautehouse.net has an update today:

http://www.terrehautehousenet.homest...usep12th07.htm

Hard to believe how fast that parking garage goes up!
The corner of the structure just says "MAKE ME SHINE!"
I mean, cant they put like a sign there or something?
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Old September 25th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #179
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Few more days...

Hilton Garden Inn prepares for opening

Dora Bros. officials pleased with excitement surrounding project
By Arthur E. Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Workers are putting the final touches on the new Hilton Garden Inn – Terre Haute House in anticipation of opening for business in early October.

“This is the fun part,” said Wendy Ray, a regional manager with Dora Bros. Hospitality Corp., the Fishers-based company that owns the new downtown hotel. “I think we’ve gotten the hard part out of the way.”

The hotel at Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue in the heart of downtown replaces the old Terre Haute House, a building that stood on that corner for nearly 80 years.

Dora Bros. officials supervising the opening of the hotel are pleased with the excitement surrounding their project.

“I’m amazed with the welcome we’ve received,” Ray said, adding she has opened several hotels in her 14 years with Dora Bros. and never seen this level of enthusiasm from the public about a hotel opening.

Many people in Terre Haute have memories of the old Terre Haute House, said Linda Poore, the Dora Bros. regional manager who will be in charge of the hotel during its first three months in operation. People often want to come in and look around, she said.

The six-story structure has 105 regular rooms and four suites, Poore said. All the suites are corner rooms with views overlooking Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue, she said.

Regular room rates will be $149 per night Monday through Friday, Poore said, adding corporate discounts will be available. Suites will cost around $199 per night, she said.

Each guest room includes a flat panel, high definition TV, a refrigerator, microwave oven and a coffee maker.

Suites have a couch, two flat panel TVs and are much larger.

In addition to the spacious lobby, called the pavilion, the hotel has an indoor pool, hot tub and fitness room. It will include a small bar and a restaurant, known as the Great American Grill, that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“I think the lobby is fantastic,” Poore said. The lobby includes windows stretching up two stories, giving a complete view of the Old National building across the street.

Although a few miles from Interstate 70, Poore believes the hotel’s location will be an asset. Indiana State University is right next door and some visiting sports teams already have inquired about staying there, she said. October is looking to be a very good month, she said.

Out of respect for the former Terre Haute House, the Hilton Garden Inn’s largest meeting room, which can be rented for formal occasions such as rehearsal dinners or business meetings, is called the Mayflower Room, which was the name of a large ballroom in the Terre Haute House. The new Mayflower Room is really two 750-square-foot meeting rooms that can be combined into one. “We think the meeting room business will be good,” Poore said.

All the guest rooms in the Hilton Garden Inn – Terre Haute House include wireless or cable Internet connections, Poore said. Room service is available, she said.

There are around 250 Hilton Garden Inns across the nation, but this one is unique, Poore said. It is two stories taller than most Hilton Garden Inns and, to fit on the ground of the old Terre Haute House, is very different in its overall shape, she said.

The approximately 30 full- and part-time employees of the new hotel are getting to know one another and building teamwork in these last few days before opening, Ray said. Most of the lobby furniture still is covered with plastic and cardboard boxes still dot the floors, but opening time is clearly near.

“Our goal is to make our guests feel at home,” Poore said, adding Hilton Garden Inns try to make each hotel self-contained with everything a traveler would need, including a small shop, a computer room, printers and other amenities people are used to having at home or in their offices. “It’s very exciting,” she said.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or [email protected].
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Old September 25th, 2007, 09:11 PM   #180
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Why dident they take peices from the Old Terre Haute house, and put them in the Mayflower room?(interior work).
If they really wanted to respect the Old Terre Haute house, they wouldent have torn it down in the first place!
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