Tourism & Hospitality

Event planners revive venues: Oasis finds new use for eatery, spruces up MuratRestricted Content

December 31, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
When John Stowers was looking to move on from his job managing several nightclubs for an Indianapolisbased partnership in 2002, he and his wife, Patti, wanted to buy a bar he could run. In the process of venue shopping, they stumbled across a space for lease-The Terrace at Market Tower, a restaurant on the second floor of the office building at 10 W. Market St. Like other so-called amenity restaurants, The Terrace was more a perk for building tenants than...
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THE TRAVELING LIFE: Genghis Khan slept-and was admired-here

December 31, 2007
Frank Basile
Before we landed at the Genghis Khan Airport, checked into the Genghis Khan Hotel, and drank Genghis Khan beer, everything we had heard about the most famous Mongol of all time was negative. But that changed when we visited Mongolia in September. You might wonder what nice things could be said about a guy who conquered more territory in 25 years than the Romans did in 400? Well, the people we encountered perceived him as a combination of George Washington,...
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Union push under way at 2 Indianapolis hotels: They would be first to unionize in central IndianaRestricted Content

December 24, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Employees at two Indianapolis hotels have begun a push to unionize-a move that, if successful, would make the properties the only union hotels in central Indiana. Several workers at the downtown Westin and the Keystone Sheraton have met with representatives of New York-based Unite Here, a labor group that represents about 440,000 hospitality and textile employees nationwide. Both hotels are part of Bethesda, Md.-based Host Hotels & Resorts Inc.'s global portfolio. Backers said a union is needed to raise wages...
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VIEWPOINT: Why did we allow gambling to seduce us?Restricted Content

December 24, 2007
Tom Henderson
The money is seductive: an "easy" $1.6 billion. That's what gambling brought to Indiana in taxes this year. The prize might not be as big in 2008. There's new competition. And a big drop in gambling revenue would spoil the negotiations that all the nervous Indiana politicians have been doing. Their jobs are on the line, and they know it. Hoosiers are embarrassed. They don't like that. I have a beautiful picture of two of my children standing inside the...
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Commentary: A foreign investment that is sure to pay offRestricted Content

December 10, 2007
Brian Williams
As the year draws to a close, the business community remains focused on taxes and the health of the economy. The governor's privatization of the Indiana Toll Road generated a windfall of $3 billion. If managed properly, that money should fund Indiana's road and bridge repair work. However, perhaps we should consider investing some of the interest to radically change our stature in the global economy. Canada possesses coastlines along the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans; has abundant natural resources,...
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'Voluntourism' pioneer wants to go corporate: Once province of colleges, Ambassadors branches into businessRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Chris O\'malley
Companies wanting to build camaraderie and teamwork often send their employees on the all-too-predictable retreat. A couple of hours down the road, in a restful setting, they'll do role-playing games and problem-solving exercises. These corporate chums will cap it off with a bar tab equivalent to the national debt of Belize. Sally Brown thinks she has a better alternative to the typical company retreat. Why not send those employees to Belize? Or how about El Salvador, or even India, for...
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A&E: A&E goes on a road trip: 'Wicked' in the Windy City

December 3, 2007
Lou Harry
Musical-theater buffs in Indianapolis know that an occasional trip to Chicago is a must. Savvy ticket buyers willing to schlep up Interstate 65 have gotten advance looks at such longrunning Broadway hits as "Mamma Mia!," "Aida," "Monty Python's Spamalot" and "The Producers" before they opened in New York (and years before their tours arrived here). Right now, though, the big musical draws in Chicago-"Wicked" and "Jersey Boys"-aren't pre- but, rather, post-Broadway. And more than just stopping in the Windy City...
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Local hospitality market continues expanding: Last year's numbers are in; this year looking strongRestricted Content

December 3, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
More visitors are coming to Indianapolis and spending more money, leading to more jobs in the local hospitality industry, a soon-to-be-released report from the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association shows. And that's likely to continue, given the numbers predicted for 2007, even though the city's overall employment growth doesn't look strong. "These numbers show a continued growth in tourism in Indianapolis," said ICVA spokesman Bob Schultz. Tourism in Indianapolis had an economic impact of $3.6 billion last year-$31 million more...
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White River State Park to choose new marketing firm: Attraction's growing profile lures a slew of biddersRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Leaders at White River State Park are winnowing down a field of 18 candidates who want to lead the downtown attraction's public relations and marketing efforts the next two to three years. Park Executive Director Bob Whitt said a winner has not yet been chosen and declined to comment on the selection process, but industry sources identified three finalists: locally based firms Borshoff and Hirons & Co., and Bandy Carroll Hellige of Louisville. When park officials put out the call...
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Ballard to review city's art spending: Arts leaders concerned gains made during Peterson's tenure will be lostRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Mayor-elect Greg Ballard said he's got nothing against spending city money on the arts, but his administration nevertheless will evaluate whether devoting $2.5 million to it each year is the best use of that money. "It's OK to fund [the arts] as long as people are relatively safe in the city," Ballard said. Though acknowledging Indianapolis' "vibrant arts community," Ballard said it's mostly privately funded. "I'm not saying I'm going to cut all of the arts [funding]," he said. "We'll...
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New tourism ads paying off for city: Ten-second promotions attracting more visitorsRestricted Content

November 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
When Indianapolis promoters were deciding what to do to lure leisure travelers to the city over summer break, they decided being short and to the point was the way to go. So, the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association partnered with eight area attractions to produce extremely brief television and radio travel commercials. The resulting ad campaign was wellfunded-with a budget $240,000 more than the previous year-and produced stellar results, including more awareness of Indianapolis attractions, more nights spent in Indianapolis,...
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Indiana themed food trails will court culinary touristsRestricted Content

October 1, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The Mississippi Delta has its hot tamale trail. Alabama and Texas boast a Southern BBQ byway. Now Indiana is getting in the game with planned candy and pork tenderloin trails. State boosters are looking to tap into a growing travel industry niche: culinary tourism.
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After putting $25M into Conrad, city finally will conduct auditRestricted Content

September 3, 2007
Cory Schouten
The city plans to hire an outside auditor in the next few months to review the books of the Conrad Indianapolis Hotel and determine how its investment is performing. It's a routine process, Mayor Bart Peterson said. But it's one hotel-industry experts say is overdue.
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States stake their tourism claims to LincolnRestricted Content

August 27, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
With the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth approaching, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky all are fighting for a share of the bicentennial limelight. Each has a valid claim to the 16th president: Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Ky., on April 12, 1809, moved to a southern Indiana farm with his family at age 7, then moved to Illinois at 21.
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Opportunistic VMS builds event-planning powerhouse

August 6, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Local hospitality firm's early work with Lilly helped it carve out a major niche in the pharmaceutical market.
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New management brings youth, profit: Industry experience makes hotel more professionalRestricted Content

June 25, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
After unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day 2005, Colleen Fanning got something else from her dad: an offer to run the small inn he bought in 2002. Bill Fanning spent more than two years tearing down, rebuilding and expanding the Brick Street Inn, a fixture on Main Street in Zionsville. But it struggled financially after reopening in the fall of 2004, and his patience was at an end. "He told me: 'Either I'm going to sell the inn or you can...
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Transportation museum rolls out expansion planRestricted Content

June 18, 2007
Amanda Getchel
After 47 years of relative anonymity, the Indiana Transportation Museum is steaming ahead with an effort to increase its visibility, attract new riders and eventually grow the organization.
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Design changes afoot for state Web pages: Online renovation includes search-engine upgrade that features Scott Jones' ChaCha instead of GoogleRestricted Content

May 7, 2007
Scott Olson
A redesigned state Web portal unveiled last month should make it easier for Hoosiers to plow through mounds of government minutia. But, more important, the revamping set to be finished in mid-2008 represents a major shift in state policy. By contracting with locally based ChaCha Search Inc.- tech entrepreneur Scott Jones' new humanassisted Internet search engine-the state no longer relies solely on big, name-brand computer technology such as Microsoft. "We have somebody who is local and excited about taking the...
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State springs for beefed-up tourism campaign: Early study shows "Restart your Engines" worksRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
When the state kicks off its spring tourism ad campaign April 22, it will have a little more staying power thanks to a 38-percent surge in spending. The increase, made possible by cutting back in other areas, means a total of $550,000 will be spent on TV, radio and magazine ads targeted not only at neighbors in Chicago and Cincinnati but also Hoosiers from Evansville to South Bend. "We thought it was really important to put more money into that...
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Carmel to get $30M Renaissance hotelRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
Cory Schouten
A prestigious, full-service hotel soon will complement Carmel's booming office market along North Meridian Street. A Cincinnati developer broke ground this month on a roughly $30 million Renaissance hotel with 263 rooms and 14,000 square feet of meeting space.
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City out to wow travel writers: Officials think large effort for small group will pay off by boosting coverageRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
When The New York Times ran an article about Indianapolis' Stone Soup Inn several years ago, owner Jeneane Life got calls from people on airplanes looking to book a room. And the phone's still ringing in the aftermath of a fall Chicago Tribune review of the new wellness program at Life's Villa Inn. "People will say, 'I kept that article because I've been meaning to come and stay with you,'" said Life, who also owns the Looking Glass Inn in...
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Indiana joins splashdown of water parks: Indoor resorts on the rise as hotels try to lure guests during offseasonRestricted Content

April 2, 2007
Scott Olson
The names Caribbean Cove and Paradise Bay inspire thoughts of tropical destinations where sunbathers slather lotion like Hoosiers butter their corn on the cob. In reality, these types of "resorts" are spouting up throughout the Midwest, including Indiana, and require no protection from harmful ultraviolet rays whatsoever. They're indoor water parks, a trend hoteliers are embracing to cater to families seeking a weekend getaway-and to boost occupancy during the off-season. The Indianapolis area features just one such water park so...
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ROSE awards ceremonies honor hospitality workers: Eleven employees commended for top-level serviceRestricted Content

April 2, 2007
Staff Report
After the passing of the restaurant's general manager, "Mama" stepped into the grief-filled void, providing leadership while consoling the staff. During a charity silent auction, Camerone auctioned off herself as an inhome chef for an evening. She ended up generating the most proceeds, enough to make a dream come true for a child during the Make-a-Wish Telethon. Pamela Evans, customer service agent, American Airlines Evans is a customer service agent for American Airlines and her territory often can be among...
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Red Hat Society over-50 women pursued by marketersRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
Members of the Red Hat Society get together monthly to celebrate life after 50, a demographic marketers often overlook. But these women-and their spending habits-are attracting attention as the California-based club gains traction.
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Mansur lands $50M midfield airport hotelRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The Indianapolis Airport Authority has tapped Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. to develop a $50 million-plus Westin hotel at the new midfield terminal. But the hotel's final design may be one submitted by a former competitor, White Lodging Corp. of South Bend.
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