There's been a lot of talk the past couple of years about what Greene County can do to become a tourist destination.
Tourists spend money, which in turn helps the local economy. But there must be a reason to come to Greene County.
Those who champion the idea of tourism and Greene County point to the Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area, Shakamak State Park, Greene-Sullivan State Forest, the beautiful scenery of eastern Greene County, the Tulip Trestle, the Richland-Plummer Creek Covered Bridge, the former Wabash-Erie Canal, and the old Scotland Hotel ... just to name a few.
What if those areas were mentioned or even featured in a Hollywood movie?
A Hollywood movie?
According to the Inside Indiana Business Web site, Film Indiana and Hickory Pictures is searching for an "isolated, undisturbed, privately owned or public lands possessing an early frontier atmosphere to be considered for locations in an upcoming Hollywood family movie to be filmed in Indiana."
They might as well have said Greene County. We have it all!
What would making a movie in Greene County mean to the local economy?
"Anytime that you have temporary foot traffic in a community, whether it is for the Linton Freedom Festival parade or Bloomfield Apple Festival, those folks are likely to spend money. Whether on a hamburger, an ice cream cone, a new tire, or gallon of gas; they bring money earned from outside of the county and spend it here," said David Benefiel, a Linton-Stockton High School graduate who has been facilitating some county-wide meetings on tourism. "If you have only 500 people visiting for a specific event for a single day and they spend only $5, that is $2,500 extra dollars that enter our local economy to pay employees, allow for reinvestment and improvement in businesses, and create additional profits ... all of which remain a part of the local economy until it is spent elsewhere.
"This is the reason it is so important for the people of Greene County to buy local, within the bounds of the county. Even if it costs a few dollars more, you as the consumer are contributing to a much larger piece of the local economic puzzle.
"If there were 50 people involved with the movie set and they only spent $5 per day in Greene County over a period of six weeks, that would be around $10,000. Of course, $5 per day is a very minimal amount to consider and it would likely be far greater; when considering meals, lodging, travel expenses, gasoline, and other miscellaneous needs, both at the personal level and for the production of the movie."
Hickory Pictures is particularly interested in properties possessing the following qualities:
* Vast and heavily timbered old growth forests containing hardwoods, especially Oakwood, Dogwoods, Hickory, Elm, and Maple trees.
* Spacious prairies and meadows with tall grasses and un-manicured topography.
* Access to large river, such as the Ohio River, where the nature of the riverbanks has been virtually uninterrupted.
* Other enchanting locations appropriate for the time period.
"In the case of Greene County, I am sure that there are several sites that might work," Benefiel said. "I encourage each person who believes that they have a site to consider submitting, if for nothing else, on behalf of Greene County."
If you have a piece of property -- or know of a piece of property -- you would like to be considered, e-mail Erin Newell at email@example.com or write her at Film Indiana/IEDC, One North Capitol Ave., Suite 700, Indianapolis, Ind., 46204.
Chris is the general manager/editor of the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .