The Herald Bulletin

April 1, 2014

Editorial: Economic development horizon looking brighter

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Many passers-by traveling along Interstate 69 might wonder whether Anderson and Madison County have more to offer than a casino, horse track, speedway and restaurants.

Of course, local residents know there’s more to see than what’s visible to highway travelers. Those who aren’t residents might look to the immediate horizon to see where to spend the tourist dollar.

But residents tend to also look at the future horizon. And right now, there are some encouraging considerations.

All of it centers on economic development, and that hinges on broadening local tourism.

In the last few weeks, Anderson has made efforts to bring the popular and trendy — and tasty — Stone Brewing Co. to town. The California-based brewery and restaurant would likely bring in a steady stream of tourists to the city. One location, discussed by city officials, is a site near Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.

Anderson, however, is in a tight race with other cities in other states to bring the brewing company to its first location east of the Mississippi. Thinking about it being here might make mouths water.

But think, too, of the potential of the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir. Though it is far from coming to fruition, or even being feasible right now, the reservoir along White River could spark a host of economic development ideas.

Think, too, of the proposed redesigning of the Wigwam gym into a sports and entertainment facility. And the recent announcement that gospel legend Bill Gaither is an investor in the project is significant. Gaither is known internationally; his presence brings credibility and local flavor to the project.

Anything can happen to proposals and planned projects. But right now, the economic development horizon is relatively bright for Anderson.

In Summary The area is poised to become a more interesting destination for tourists with proposals for a brewery, a sports complex and a reservoir.