Tourism & Hospitality

ICVA might take out loan to market city for conventionsRestricted Content

August 24, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is so desperate for more marketing funding, the organization charged with promoting the city as a convention and tourism destination is considering taking out a loan. While that would be the last resort, ICVA CEO Don Welsh said it is one he will have to consider if the money can’t be raised through local taxes.
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Adam's Mark converting to Wyndham

August 20, 2009
Scott Olson
The Adam’s Mark Hotel Indianapolis has become the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel.
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Columbia Club hires Cincinnati native as GM

August 17, 2009
 IBJ Staff
James B. “Jim” Rentschler, former general manager at the University Club of Cincinnati, has been named general manager of The Columbia Club.

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EDITORIAL: Partisan games plague councilRestricted Content

August 17, 2009
The City-County Council wisely averted disaster for the Capital Improvement Board Aug. 10 by voting to raise the city’s hotel tax from 9 percent to 10 percent, but the razor-thin vote was another disappointing case of elected officials making decisions based on partisanship rather than good judgment.
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CIB OKs budget, but awaits council vote

August 10, 2009
Scott Olson
Members of the Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board this afternoon passed a $63 million budget for 2010 that hinges on the City-County Council’s approval of a hike in the local hotel tax.
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Corn dogs, elephant ears and spas ... at the fair

August 7, 2009
Kim Puckett
The Indiana State Fair brings to mind images of deep fried foods and carnival rides, but fair-goers sometimes buy big ticket items—like hot tub spas.
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State Fair planners expecting record crowds

August 7, 2009
Indiana State Fair organizers are anticipating this month's longer fair will attract a record crowd, but they are setting modest expectations.
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A new centerpiece for city's convention strategy: medical, science groupsRestricted Content

August 3, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association is putting together an all-star corporate consortium to make the city a hub for medical and life sciences conventions, meetings and trade shows. The ICVA began running the initiative full-speed this year and already has signed deals to bring 40 medical meetings to Indianapolis through 2015, including annual meetings for the American Association of Diabetes Educators in 2012 and the American College of Sports Medicine and American Chemical Society in 2013.
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Lawmakers cut state tourism office's budget in halfRestricted Content

August 3, 2009
Scott Olson
Destinations throughout Indiana no longer can count on a state marketing campaign to help drive summer crowds. Lawmakers who passed a budget during the special session at the end of June sliced the state’s annual contribution to the Indiana Office of Tourism Management in half—from $4.8 million to $2.4 million.
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Small town, budget hotels hold own in difficult economyRestricted Content

August 3, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
While the local hotel industry is being rocked by the current economy, budget hotels and those in the small towns surrounding Indianapolis are actually seeing gains. Properties affected by the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and Big Ten Tournament are among the losers.
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LOU'S VIEWS: Thrill parks offer rides of our lives

July 27, 2009
Lou Harry
This week, three of my fellow IBJ scribes join me in picking our favorite area amusement park rides
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Earle Travel Co. perseveres despite flu scare, recessionRestricted Content

July 27, 2009
Riya V. Anandwala
Earle Travel Co. has been weathering challenges as the recession has deepened and H1N1 influenza spiked earlier this year. Those problems have nearly capsized many travel agencies, but co-owner Kelly Shea said Earle’s business slumped only 8 percent last year.
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Indianapolis hotels feel pain of national slumpRestricted Content

July 27, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
Hotel occupancy rates are way down in Indianapolis, as they are elsewhere, but local operators and national analysts think the city is in a good position to bounce back when the economy improves.
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Ambrosia to open downtown restaurant in former BadaBoomz siteRestricted Content

July 27, 2009
 IBJ Staff
The owner of the popular Broad Ripple Italian restaurant Ambrosia plans to open a location downtown on the first floor of the Hampton Inn along Maryland Street.
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Westfield moves ahead with sports facility plan

July 21, 2009
 IBJ Staff
A study commission has concluded that a major development involving a new youth-sports complex would be viable for Westfield, the city announced this morning.
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Conrad Indianapolis adding wine bar, sidewalk diningRestricted Content

July 13, 2009
Cory Schouten
Plans are in the works for a wine bar called Tastings that would take the first-floor corner space at the Conrad Indianapolis. The $1 million project would add an entrance to the luxury hotel at the northeast corner of Washington and Illinois streets and include a total of 80 outdoor seats along both streets, in the shadow of the Artsgarden.
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BASILE: Following in the footsteps of Darwin in the Galapagos

June 29, 2009
Frank Basile
There's nothing like following the wildly influential thinker Charles Darwin's own footsteps, which I had the pleasure of doing by visiting the beautiful, mysterious, isolated and enchanted Galapagos Islands.
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Clean air strategy: Some nightspots opt to tighten smoking rulesRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
Kathleen McLaughlin
Coaches Tavern, MacNiven's Restaurant and Bar, and The Jazz Kitchen are among Indianapolis bars that recently limited or banned smoking. Those establishments join a short list of bars that already buck the trend in Indianapolis. Smoking in public places, including restaurants, has been banned in Marion County since 2006, but it's still OK to puff away in places that don't admit minors.
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National cycling event pulled from VelodromeRestricted Content

June 29, 2009
 IBJ Staff
An 11th-hour deal to keep this year's USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships at the Major Taylor Velodrome has fallen flat, and the event has been moved to Colorado Springs.
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Marketing veteran to lead Circle City ClassicRestricted Content

June 15, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
The Circle City Classic has hired Marc Williams, an East Coast marketing consultant, as its executive director, a post vacated in March when Tony Mason left to become senior vice president for the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee.
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White River park passes on balloonRestricted Content

June 8, 2009
 IBJ Staff
Conner Prairie has $2.2 million riding on a ballooning exhibit that opened June 6. One thing that won't stand in the way of its success is a competing ride--at least not at White River State Park.
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Experts doubt Indianapolis can lure huge conventionsRestricted Content

June 1, 2009
Scott Olson
Indianapolis already hosts three of the top 200 conventions in the country. But additional meeting space coming online late next year could help the city double the number.
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Outlying counties, tired of waiting for Indianapolis convention spillover, set own strategiesRestricted Content

June 1, 2009
Anthony Schoettle
Some industry insiders worry that, while Indianapolis is busy chasing bigger conventions, adjoining counties may raid the cupboard made plentiful by investments within Marion County, particularly downtown.
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Indianapolis outpaces Cincinnati in many convention measuresRestricted Content

June 1, 2009

In this Quick Hits look at a competing convention city, Cincinnati boasts more convention space, but Indianapolis draws more guests.

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State tourism advertising poses tough questionRestricted Content

May 18, 2009
Mike Hicks
If Indiana is to be marketed as a region, government will be the one to do it.
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  1. to mention the rest of Molly's experience- she served as Communications Director for the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and also did communications for the state. She's incredibly qualified for this role and has a real love for Indianapolis and Indiana. Best of luck to her!

  2. Shall we not demand the same scrutiny for law schools, med schools, heaven forbid, business schools, etc.? How many law school grads are servers? How many business start ups fail and how many business grads get low paying jobs because there are so few high paying positions available? Why does our legislature continue to demean public schools and give taxpayer dollars to charters and private schools, ($171 million last year), rather than investing in our community schools? We are on a course of disaster regarding our public school attitudes unless we change our thinking in a short time.

  3. I agree with the other reader's comment about the chunky tomato soup. I found myself wanting a breadstick to dip into it. It tasted more like a marinara sauce; I couldn't eat it as a soup. In general, I liked the place... but doubt that I'll frequent it once the novelty wears off.

  4. The Indiana toll road used to have some of the cleanest bathrooms you could find on the road. After the lease they went downhill quickly. While not the grossest you'll see, they hover a bit below average. Am not sure if this is indicative of the entire deal or merely a portion of it. But the goals of anyone taking over the lease will always be at odds. The fewer repairs they make, the more money they earn since they have a virtual monopoly on travel from Cleveland to Chicago. So they only comply to satisfy the rules. It's hard to hand public works over to private enterprise. The incentives are misaligned. In true competition, you'd have multiple roads, each build by different companies motivated to make theirs more attractive. Working to attract customers is very different than working to maximize profit on people who have no choice but to choose your road. Of course, we all know two roads would be even more ridiculous.

  5. The State is in a perfect position. The consortium overpaid for leasing the toll road. Good for the State. The money they paid is being used across the State to upgrade roads and bridges and employ people at at time most of the country is scrambling to fund basic repairs. Good for the State. Indiana taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the toll roads to the tune of millions a year as we had for the last 20 years because the legislature did not have the guts to raise tolls. Good for the State. If the consortium fails, they either find another operator, acceptable to the State, to buy them out or the road gets turned back over to the State and we keep the Billions. Good for the State. Pat Bauer is no longer the Majority or Minority Leader of the House. Good for the State. Anyway you look at this, the State received billions of dollars for an assett the taxpayers were subsidizing, the State does not have to pay to maintain the road for 70 years. I am having trouble seeing the downside.

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