Wow, you leave on vacation for a week, and miss this: Two Indianapolis businessmen are hoping to build a balloon-ride attraction within a 20-story, tubular steel tower. The French-designed "Aerophare" would not only be an instant landmark, but could give more lift to the cityâ€™s $3.6 billion visitor and convention industry, Chris O'Malley reports
in this week's IBJ. AeroPhare America has had initial discussions with management of White River State Parkâ€”the firmâ€™s preferred location for the $2.5 million structureâ€”about building it there. AeroPhare America owners Tim Coughlin and Tony Sandlin are scheduled to present their vision to the parkâ€™s board later this month. At the base of the structure, which measures only about 50 square feet, would be a small theater featuring a history of balloon flight, perhaps with packages tailored to schools. Admission would be in the range of $4 to $8 a head. The owners also see potential for advertising revenue. The tower can be used to put on a light show, and a football-shaped balloon could be ready in time for the 2012 Super Bowl. What do you think? More than just hot air?