Hovercrafts on the Wabash
Neoteric Hovercraft brings tourism to Bulgaria's Black Sea World
WTHI TV (CBS)
30 April 2004
By Megan Jennings
It runs on land and on water. It's also bringing international business
to the Wabash Valley. And you won't believe this, it's even bringing
tourism to the Black Sea.
It's a Terre Haute built hovercraft.
The local business is making a splash on the international scene. But
it's making quite a splash here on the Wabash River as well.
Dave Norris is still learning, but this is not your typical classroom.
He's being trained to spin, reverse, and land his new hovercraft before
he takes it home. But his home is not where you'd expect.
Norris says, "Black Sea World is planning to develop a number of
tourist attractions on Bulgaria's Black Sea."
He plans to purchase four of these Neoteric hovercrafts at over $15,000
Chris Fitzgerald is the president of Neoteric. The Australian has been
manufacturing hovercrafts in Terre Haute for over 25 years.
He says the business is an international operation. "We're shipping
craft to Finland, we've shipped crafts to Russia. We have this hovercraft
going to Bulgaria, we have a craft going to New Zealand, we have another
going to Indianapolis, if anyone's heard of it."
And he says Terre Haute is an attractive site for an international business. "It's
a very business friendly community; you don't waste a lot of time driving
around in traffic."
So while Fitzgerald is busy driving international customers on the Wabash
River, he's also driving the local economy by bringing international business
to the Wabash Valley.
Neoteric hovercrafts start at $11,000 and go all the way up to $25,000.
They can be used all kinds of ways. Some unusual uses: gold mining, cranberry
farming, and rescue operations on thin or broken ice.