Is graffiti bad for business?


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) We’ve told you about Terre Haute’s plan to clean up the city’s graffiti problem. But, so far questions about how far an ordinance would go have held up the solution. Thursday night, the city council took one more look at erasing the city’s ugly art problem.

Last year the doors on Ripley’s Bar and Grill in Terre Haute opened. Its owner Kenneth Hess said while business is doing well, the scenery around Ripley’s isn’t helping.

“In the 9th and Oak area there is quite a bit of graffiti and I think maybe people have concerns about the neighborhood when they see that,” Hess said.

Just across the street, a large building is tagged top to bottom, outside and inside the fence.

“You know it’s not necessarily a neighborhood you are going to want to frequent and I want you to frequent that neighborhood because that’s where my business is,” Hess said.

The art of tagging brought Kenneth to a special Thursday night city council meeting. In support of an ordinance that would allow the city to take care of the problem.

“My experience has been when someone tags the building if we get there right off the bat and cover it up with paint, they are less likely to do it again,” Hess said.

But, he can’t do anything about the rest of the neighborhood.

“There’s a business next to (Kenneth), when he told her about the graffiti she just didn’t wanna do anything about it. All we’re asking is for is for the city clean it up if you can’t or are not able to,” Terre Haute Police Chief John Plasse said.

Plasse has spearheaded the ordinance. Thursday night he and the council hammered out some of the final questions, but as far as passing the ordinance they won’t vote for another month. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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