Life's Better Here: Berne 2011

By Eric Olson

July 27, 2011 Updated Jul 27, 2011 at 6:14 PM EDT

BERNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Paris has its Eifel Tower, New York its statue of liberty. Berne Indiana has the Munsterberg clock tower.

“Aesthetically it’s just beautiful,” says Clock Tower Committee member Jim Beitler, Jr. “The size of it the feel…it’s great eye candy.”

It’s still under construction but the tower is already creating the buzz this town hoped it would. Te giant clock tower is a tribute to the Swiss founders of this town as evidenced by the Settlers Statue on the tower plaza’s northwest corner. But it’s also a shrewd investment. Berne has capitalized on its Swiss heritage as a tourist draw and the clock tower will be the biggest draw of all.

“The tourist bus traffic this year has exceeded all of last year by about double,” says Beitler. “Small towns need that brand of marketing they need that kind of brand. We think this is part of our branding.”

Beyond economic benefits the tower will also be a public playground with a beautiful plaza, gardens, a stage, pavilion even a splash pad for the kids. A place for public and private events and celebrations large and small. And a place to remind everyone, citizen and tourist, of Berne’s proud heritage and history, and its very candid confidence in its future.

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