Tourism & Hospitality

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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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: IMA art park is a grand slamRestricted Content

March 5, 2007
Lest we overlook it among the rash of crimes, stock-market gyrations and General Assembly shenanigans reported in the media recently, the Indianapolis Museum of Art deserves some major kudos. Amid the chaos, the IMA announced the names of the 10 artists, artists' groups and architects who will create works for its Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park set to open in 2009. It was a grand slam. Unveiled in New York Feb. 27, the list includes individuals or collectives...
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Hotel veteran launches own firm: A Q&A with local hospitality leader Tim WorthingtonRestricted Content

February 12, 2007
Cory Schouten
While he was a student at Indiana University, Tim Worthington spent summers washing dishes, cooking breakfast and delivering room service for locally based General Hotels Corp. It was the beginning of a 31-year career that would include 14 years as president of the company. Worthington, 60, retired last February but quickly realized he wanted back in the action. So he and partner Michael Arnold, also a former employee at General Hotels and a 20-year veteran of the hotel industry, launched...
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Super Bowl travel plans mix business, funRestricted Content

January 29, 2007
Cory Schouten
Super Bowl XLI has become a can't-miss event for dozens of local business executives and government honchos, who are shelling out several thousand dollars apiece to watch the Feb. 4 game in person.
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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Greetings from Indianapolis SouthRestricted Content

January 22, 2007
NAPLES, Fla.-Here I am more than 1,000 miles from Indianapolis and yet feeling right at home. Seems like everywhere I turn, there are signs of the city. The first night I was here, I ate dinner at a restaurant where six Indianapolis people I know were sitting at the table next to ours. During the course of my stay so far, American United Life Insurance Co. held a board retreat here and the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation threw a fund-raiser...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Mirror, mirror, which is fairest tax of all?Restricted Content

January 15, 2007
Morton Marcus
With some hesitation, I take you inside the men's rest room at the Statehouse. There, I found a new member of the General Assembly combing his hair over his otherwise empty scalp and asking, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest tax of all?" The mirror responded, "The sales tax is the fairest of them all." Startled, both the legislator and I looked around, only to hear another mirror say, "No, the income tax is fairest of them...
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Labor sector diversification could spur local economy: $200,000 study targets finance, retail and constructionRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Sexier industry sectors like life sciences or motorsports get all the press. But to remain robust, the Indianapolis Private Industry Council believes, the area economy needs diversification. The 23-year-old work-force-training not-for-profit believes the nine-county area also should target three tried-and-true industries: finance and insurance; retail, hospitality and restaurants; and construction. IPIC, whose $9 million annual budget comes from public and private grants, plans to spend $200,000 during the first quarter studying the three sectors, which collectively employ 270,000 people in...
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EYE ON THE PIE: In 2007, sweat the little thingsRestricted Content

January 8, 2007
Morton Marcus
This time of the year, serious people make serious resolutions about important matters; people like me, experienced and lacking determination, avoid resolutions. If, however, I were to recommend resolutions to business and government leaders, my list could be condensed into this: Attend to the little things. For too long, we have heard the preaching of management gurus and public-policy mavens that we must keep our eyes focused on the bigger issues. If you are a decision maker, you are supposed...
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Circle Truss proposed as gateway landmarkRestricted Content

January 1, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The Arch welcomes visitors to St. Louis. San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge ushers in the masses. And soon the Circle Gateway Truss could greet travelers entering downtown Indianapolis.
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