Fort Wayne lures long-time conventions from Indy

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Fort Wayne's expanded convention center and a planned downtown hotel are proving attractive to conventions, including at least four events long held in Indianapolis.

The Grand Wayne Center said six new conventions will be held starting this fall, including events by the Indiana Music Educators Association, the Indiana Library Federation, the Hoosier Hospitality Conference and Indiana Farm Bureau. All four groups had previously conducted their conventions in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Music Educators Association, which draws about 3,500 people to its annual convention, agreed to move its event from Indianapolis for the first time. It’ll take place in Fort Wayne in January 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Music Educators President Barbara Resch said the group agreed to a three-year booking to give Fort Wayne a fair chance to prove it could host such a large conference. She said lower costs and a downtown Courtyard by Marriott hotel that's expected to open in 2010 were key factors in the group's decision.

The Indiana Farm Bureau had long held its annual convention in Indianapolis before moving it to Evansville last year due to construction on the expanded Indiana Convention Center. This year, the event will take place Nov. 19-21 in Fort Wayne and is expected to draw 1,700 people.

The Indiana Library Federation expects attendance of about 1,200 at its Oct. 18-20 conference in Fort Wayne. It has conducted the event in Indianapolis for the past 20 years.

The Hoosier Hospitality Conference, scheduled for March 16-17, 2010, also is meeting outside of Indianapolis for the first time.

The Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the four events will have an economic impact of $5.9 million.


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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.