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Local hotel bookings fell in 2010, projected to rise in 2011

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The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association on Monday reported a 5-percent decline in hotel room nights booked in 2010 compared with 2009.

Still, said ICVA spokesman Chris Gahl, local hospitality officials reached 99 percent of their goal to book 650,000 hotel rooms in 2010.

“Considering the economy and what we’ve seen in some other cities, we’re pretty pleased,” Gahl said.

The 649,686 hotel rooms booked in central Indiana were down from 687,686 in 2009, according to ICVA figures.

“We had an incredible year in 2009, with two sizable conventions booked,” Gahl said. “What we saw in 2010 was a little bit of the downturned economy come into play.”

The number of hotel rooms booked in central Indiana had been on the rise since 2007, when about 500,000 hotel rooms were booked.

“We’ve added staff and we’ve increased marketing, all with the goal of increasing that number,” Gahl said.

With the Indiana Convention Center addition set to open later this month and the 1,005-room JW Marriott hotel set to open on the west side of downtown in February, local hospitality officials expect the number of bookings to escalate in 2011 and again in 2012, when the Super Bowl is hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“Now that the Convention Center expansion project is finished, we can walk them through a finished product, and we’re confident that will translate into new business,” Gahl said. “We’re going to need to book 750,000 to 800,000 room nights annually to meet the demand of the Convention Center expansion. We know we can’t do that overnight. So we’re ramping up.”

The $275 million expansion project will add nearly 350,000 square feet of exhibit space to the Indiana Convention Center, pushing the facility from the 32nd largest U.S. convention center to 16th. With the expansion, the Indiana Convention Center has 749,000 square feet of exhibit space.

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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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