IBJNews

ICVA nearing hotel room-reservation target for 2010

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The organization responsible for keeping the Indiana Convention Center busy is closing in on a year-end goal to increase the amount of hotel room nights it books as an expansion of the building nears completion.

Through mid-December, the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association had hit roughly 93 percent of its target of booking 650,000 room nights this year for future conventions.

Final sales figures for December won’t be available until the end of the month. But the organization fully expects to hit its goal, ICVA spokesman Chris Gahl said.

“Based on where we stand as of Nov. 30, and based on the glimpse through Dec. 20, we’re highly confident we’ll hit or exceed 100 percent of our room nights,” he said.

The convention center expansion is set to officially open Jan. 20 with a program that will include appearances by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

The expansion adds 254,000 square feet of exhibit space, 63,000 square feet of meeting space, and 103,000 square feet of so-called pre-function space to the existing center.

Including Lucas Oil Stadium, the total amount of convention and meeting space increases from 725,000 square feet to 1.2 million square feet—pushing Indianapolis from 33rd to 16th place among major convention-hosting cities.

More convention space and the addition of another large hotel, the 1,000-room JW Marriott, scheduled to open in February, is putting additional pressure on ICVA to lure bigger conventions to the city.

This year’s room-night goal of 650,000 surpasses 2009’s aim of 500,000. Ultimately, 800,000 room nights will need to be booked annually to meet the demands of the center expansion and additional hotel, Gahl said.

ICVA considers conventions in which 3,000 room nights are reserved as “large.” It is striving to increase the number of those big conferences and trade shows from about 20 to 30 a year.

So far, 13 large conventions have cooked for 2011, 19 in 2012, 15 in 2013, and 12 in 2014.

In November, the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education reserved 4,712 room nights for a 2014 conference and the Boulder, Colo.-based Geological Society of America reserved 7,996 room nights for a 2018 gathering.

The holiday season provides little rest for ICVA, which is competing against several other cities that have increased their convention space as well.

“Nearly 20 sales team members are still actively picking up the phone, hosting prospective clients to the city, and going to visit meeting planners at their offices,” Gahl said.

Construction of the $275 million convention center expansion was 99 percent complete as of Dec. 10, John Klipsch, director of the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority, told the Capital Improvement Board at its Dec. 13 meeting. CIB operates the convention center, as well as the city’s professional sports venues.

A few interesting tidbits about the expansion: It contains 30,000 cubic yards of concrete, 8,000 tons of structural steel, 460,000 square feet of roofing, 3 million feet of electrical wiring, 168,000 feet of mechanical piping, and 8,500 light fixtures.

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. Really, taking someone managing the regulation of Alcohol and making himthe President of an IVY Tech regional campus. Does he have an education background?

  2. Jan, great rant. Now how about you review the report and offer rebuttal of the memo. This might be more conducive to civil discourse than a wild rant with no supporting facts. Perhaps some links to support your assertions would be helpful

  3. I've lived in Indianapolis my whole and been to the track 3 times. Once for a Brickyard, once last year on a practice day for Indy 500, and once when I was a high school student to pick up trash for community service. In the past 11 years, I would say while the IMS is a great venue, there are some upgrades that would show that it's changing with the times, just like the city is. First, take out the bleachers and put in individual seats. Kentucky Motor Speedway has individual seats and they look cool. Fix up the restrooms. Add wi-fi. Like others have suggested, look at bringing in concerts leading up to events. Don't just stick with the country music genre. Pop music would work well too I believe. This will attract more young celebrities to the Indy 500 like the kind that go to the Kentucky Derby. Work with Indy Go to increase the frequency of the bus route to the track during high end events. That way people have other options than worrying about where to park and paying for parking. Then after all of this, look at getting night lights. I think the aforementioned strategies are more necessary than night racing at this point in time.

  4. Talking about congestion ANYWHERE in Indianapolis is absolutely laughable. Sure you may have to wait in 5 minutes of traffic to travel down BR avenue during *peak* times. But that is absolutely nothing compared to actual big cities. Indy is way too suburban to have actual congestion problems. So please, never bring up "congestion" as an excuse to avoid development in Indianapolis. If anything, we could use a little more.

  5. Oh wait. Never mind.

ADVERTISEMENT