IBJNews

Hendricks County launches tourism campaign

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Six months into a $750,000 plan to increase Hendricks County’s profile as a tourist destination, officials say revenue from group travel has more than doubled and hotel occupancy is up almost 3 percentage points—and that’s before an end-of-the-year push to get travelers to “Spend the Holidays in Hendricks County.”

The Hendricks County Convention & Visitors Bureau on Tuesday launched its first-ever holiday tourism campaign, a $55,000 effort complete with a spokeswoman named Holly Hendricks who will make appearances at community events.

“Our primary goal is to increase the economic impact of tourism and awareness of Hendricks County,” said Jaime Bohler Smith, associate director of the CVB. “We’ve got great attractions here.”

As IBJ reported in April, the marketing initiative has focused on persuading travelers to spend an extra night in the county after a day watching drag races at O’Reilly Raceway Park or visiting relatives—two of the top reasons people visit Hendricks County.

The CVB has doubled its investment in the Tourism Enhancement and Development Fund, which supports new and improved attractions, and developed the Rural Routes to Main Street Cultural Trail, among other activities, Smith said.

At the end of September, estimated visitor spending from group travel for 2010 was nearly $250,000—more than twice as much as at the same time last year, she said. Year-to-date hotel occupancy was 57.5 percent, up from 54.6 in the first nine months of 2009.

The holiday campaign is a continuation of those marketing efforts. Among the highlights: a 10-stop, high-tech “Cookie Trail.” At each participating business along the trail, visitors will be able to sample a different cookie recipe and download the recipe to their smart phones. (For the slightly less technologically advanced, recipes also will be available online.)

The recipes come from local restaurants, businesses and individuals—including four submitted via a Facebook contest.

Hendricks County tourism officials are promoting the effort in newspaper and radio ads, online advertising and an electronic billboard along Interstate 70 near the Indianapolis International Airport.

The new airport terminal hasn’t been quite the boon officials had hoped.

Traffic from passengers boarding and leaving planes at Indianapolis International dropped 8 percent last year, according to the Indianapolis Airport Authority. The airport closed the top floor of its new parking garage because it was underused, and now is looking for ways to boost non-passenger revenue.

Average daily rates at Hendricks County hotels dropped last year. The rate, which is total hotel revenue divided by the number of rooms, fell 6 percent, from $80.90 to $76.07.

For a smaller market, Hendricks County has a relatively high hotel tax—8 percent. Most goes to CVB coffers to be spent on marketing. The agency’s overall operating budget, including marketing, is $1.8 million this year.

Smith said the CVB expects to spend its entire 2010 marketing budget.

ADVERTISEMENT

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. President Obama has referred to the ACA as "Obamacare" any number of times; one thing it is not, if you don't qualify for a subsidy, is "affordable".

  2. One important correction, Indiana does not have an ag-gag law, it was soundly defeated, or at least changed. It was stripped of everything to do with undercover pictures and video on farms. There is NO WAY on earth that ag gag laws will survive a constitutional challenge. None. Period. Also, the reason they are trying to keep you out, isn't so we don't show the blatant abuse like slamming pigs heads into the ground, it's show we don't show you the legal stuf... the anal electroctions, the cutting off of genitals without anesthesia, the tail docking, the cutting off of beaks, the baby male chicks getting thrown alive into a grinder, the deplorable conditions, downed animals, animals sitting in their own excrement, the throat slitting, the bolt guns. It is all deplorable behavior that doesn't belong in a civilized society. The meat, dairy and egg industries are running scared right now, which is why they are trying to pass these ridiculous laws. What a losing battle.

  3. Eating there years ago the food was decent, nothing to write home about. Weird thing was Javier tried to pass off the story the way he ended up in Indy was he took a bus he thought was going to Minneapolis. This seems to be the same story from the founder of Acapulco Joe's. Stopped going as I never really did trust him after that or the quality of what being served.

  4. Indianapolis...the city of cricket, chains, crime and call centers!

  5. "In real life, a farmer wants his livestock as happy and health as possible. Such treatment give the best financial return." I have to disagree. What's in the farmer's best interest is to raise as many animals as possible as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. There is a reason grass-fed beef is more expensive than corn-fed beef: it costs more to raise. Since consumers often want more food for lower prices, the incentive is for farmers to maximize their production while minimizing their costs. Obviously, having very sick or dead animals does not help the farmer, however, so there is a line somewhere. Where that line is drawn is the question.

ADVERTISEMENT