IBJNews

Downtown Indianapolis gearing up for big visitor weekend

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Gen Con Indy gaming convention and the MotoGP motorcycle race are among several events the city is hosting this weekend that could produce a direct economic impact of $150 million, city hospitality officials estimate.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to converge on the city for just those two events, creating a boon for restaurants and hoteliers who will benefit from the economic impact that might rival the $176 million generated by the Super Bowl.

“This is truly a monumental weekend,” said Chris Gahl, spokesman for the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association. “We’re considering this weekend a virtual sellout, and that’s not only in our downtown core. The suburban hotel properties are benefiting also.”

Gen Con, one of the city’s largest annual conventions, and the MotoGP Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix have never taken place on the same weekend.

As part of the fifth-annual MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, about 10,000 riders are expected to participate in the Motorcycles on Meridian event, in which they’ll showcase their bikes Friday and Saturday on South Meridian Street.

In addition, country crooner Blake Shelton will perform at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday as part of the Indiana State Fair concert series, and the IndyFringe Festival begins Friday and runs through Aug. 26. IndyFringe features 68 different productions at seven theater spaces.

For the upscale Conrad Indianapolis, the weekend is shaping up to be “solid,” said Tim Miller, director of sales and marketing for the downtown hotel.

“It’s great excitement for the city,” he said, “and it should be a fun weekend for everybody who’s in town.”

Gen Con, which runs from Thursday through Sunday at the Indiana Convention Center, kicks off the festivities.

Pre-registrations are up roughly 25 percent over 2011 and exhibit space has been sold out since January—both strong signs that this year’s attendance will be the biggest ever. That’s pretty impressive considering the lingering economic uncertainty and the fact that last year drew the largest crowd in the 45-year-old gaming convention’s history.

Gen Con arrived in Indianapolis in 2003 and is celebrating its 10th year here this weekend. Total turnstile attendance has risen from 82,000 in 2005, the first year for which the organization has reliable figures, to 120,000 last year, a 46-percent increase.

To the delight of downtown businesses, Gen Con will be in Indianapolis for several years to come.

In December, the convention’s parent, Seattle-based Gen Con LLC, announced a five-year agreement with ICVA that will keep it in the city through 2020. Gen Con had a previous commitment through 2015.

“Gen Con is a perfect example of if you built it, we will stay,” Gahl said of the $275 million convention center addition that opened in January 2011.

Attendance for MotoGP’s Sunday main event last year was 64,151, a slight improvement from 2010’s 62,749, according to MotoGP officials.

But the three-day total going through the turnstiles at the Speedway last year was 134,766, the lowest of the event’s four-year stint in Indianapolis.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • other events
    You failed to mention the Fountain Square Grand Prix........this will be a large celebration!

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hello Dear Are you tired of Seeking Loans and Mortgages,have you Been Turned down constantly By your banks and Other Financial Institutions or Micro Finance scheme. This is let you know with 100% guarantee that we Offer loans ranging from $1,000 Minimum to $1,000,000.00 Maximum at 3% interest rate per Month. We give out LOANS for developing business. a competitive edge/business expansion. email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com We offer the following kinds of loans and many more; * Personal Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Business Loans ( Unsecured Loan) * Consolidation Loan * Combination Loan * Home Improvement * Xmas Loans for contact to seek for loan email this email address: michealscottloan124@gmail.com Thanks

  2. My name is Mr Henry Josh and i live in the USA California and life is worth living right now for me and my family and all this is because of one man sent by GOD to help me and my family, i once had a life filled with sorrow because my first SON needed a kidney transplant and all our savings were going towards his medications and this normally leaves us with no money to pay our bills or even put enough food on our table and our rent was due and no funds to pay these bills and life felt so unfair to me and every night my wife will cry herself to sleep every night until one day, i was browsing through yahoo answers and i saw a striking advert of a man that gives out personal loans and that the offer is opened to all and i have heard so many things about internet scams but at this point of my life, i was very desperate and ready to take any risk and at the end of the day, i applied for this loan and from one step to another, i got my loan within 12 hours through bank transfer and you know, it was all like a dream and i called Mr Daniel Jones A Man who is the GOD sent lender i found and said, i have received my loan and he smiled stating that to GOD be the glory and i was so shocked as i have never ever seen anyone with such a GOD fearing and kind heart and today, i am the happiest man on earth because by GOD’S grace, my SON kidney transplant was successful and today he is healthy, i and my family are living very comfortable and happy and if you are in my former situation or in serious and legitimate need of a loan, you can reach this GOD sent lender via fidelityloanfirm@outlook.com

  3. Greetings to everyone reading this comment!!! I am Greg William by name. I am out here to recommend the effort of Mark Oscar,I was in need of a consolidation loan amount of 50,000 and as soon as I got in contact with Mark Oscar Loan Firm on Wednesday last week and on Friday last week as well I receive an alert from my bank(Royal Bank of Scotland Group) that the fund was transferred,I want everybody on this site to contact Mark Oscar now via email on how to get a loan because I got my loan from them and I am very happy,so contact them now. Oscarloanfinance@hotmail.com Thanks!!!!!!

  4. Elected officials, like Mourdock, get vested in 8 years. It takes 10 years for all other public employees, most of whom make a lot less money. So much for the promise to finish out his term.

  5. Great state treasurer and a good man!! Just curious if the folks who didn't quite understand his quote would like to tell my daughter-in-law that God didn't intend her! Mourdock's comment was correct but twisted and the article didn't mention that his opponent and the press let the impression stand that Mourdock meant that the rape was intended. Stupid people!!

ADVERTISEMENT