Tourism & Hospitality

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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Stadium walkway carries $10M tabRestricted Content

December 18, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
An enclosed connector is set to be built, partly underground, that will link Lucas Oil Stadium to the soon-to-be expanded Indiana Convention Center. It will span about a quarter of a mile and cost more than $10 million.
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Residents say safety is a growing concern: Survey: Fewer feel comfortable downtown after darkRestricted Content

December 11, 2006
Cory Schouten
Most central Indiana residents feel safe in downtown Indianapolis when the sun is out, but remain leery of the city at night, according to a study by the IUPUI Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management. The annual study, which is designed to gauge the impact of cultural tourism on quality of life, gives the city high marks overall in areas ranging from cultural attractions to cleanliness, public transportation to parking. But it also shows the city has more work...
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Agreement forces INDOT to clean rest areasRestricted Content

December 4, 2006
Chris O'Malley
Many of Indiana's 36 rest areas have in recent years dumped illegal amounts of ammonia nitrogen and E.coli bacteria into nearby streams, state records show.
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Cable company rolls out on-demand advertising: Comcast already has signed deal with General MotorsRestricted Content

November 6, 2006
Anthony Schoettle
People don't typically pay for on-demand cable so that they can look at advertisements, but Comcast thinks they will. It's trying to turn an old axiom-that people avoid advertising like the plague-on its ear. The Philadelphia-based company that provides cable television in much of Marion County thinks its new on-demand advertising-launched earlier this fall-will be so popular, viewers will seek out the pitches. For Comcast digital cable subscribers, accessing on-demand ads is as easy as going to their video on-demand...
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Kite, Mansur, White pitch airport hotelRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
Three developers are vying for the chance to build a four-story, 250- to 300-room hotel connected to the new $974 million midfield terminal and garage at the Indianapolis International Airport.
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Chamber of Commerce explores casino recommendationRestricted Content

September 25, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
To shore up local government's enormous financial shortfalls, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce has begun investigating whether it wants to push for a downtown casino--a politically explosive idea that would face widespread opposition.
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New Ambassadair owner drops dues, brings back chartersRestricted Content

September 11, 2006
Chris O'Malley
The new owner of Ambassadair travel club has eliminated membership fees and will add a flurry of charter flights in January under a plan to revive an Indianapolis institution that shuttled thousands of Hoosiers around the globe for 34 years.
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IUPUI's tourism department luring hundreds of students: City's convention industry, program's focus on meeting planning make department fastest growing on campusRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
After Kelly Sernau earned an associate in arts degree in hospitality at Michigan State University, she began researching schools that offered a bachelor's degree in the field. She considered staying in her home state, then researched schools in Chicago and other places. Ultimately, she opted to transfer to IUPUI's Department of Tourism, Conventions and Event Management within the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management. "I wanted to focus on meeting planning, [but] most programs focus on the hotel aspect...
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Farming for tourists on the rise: Wine trails find followersRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Scott Olson
Whether you prefer a Chardonnay or Merlot, or you're simply trying to recall the opening lyrics to "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," one thing is certain: Indiana wineries are hardly withering on the vine. The Hoosier State now boasts 32 wineries and should add two more by the end of fall, according to the Indiana Wine Grape Council at Purdue University. Moreover, the winemakers are helping drive the state's fledgling agri-tourism efforts. "Nobody wants to tour a hog farm, but...
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Indiana encourages agri-tourism efforts:Restricted Content

July 31, 2006
Scott Olson
For Cliff Carley, Sept. 11, 2001, is a date of great personal significance unrelated to tragic events. That's the day the construction company owner bought a pair of Rocky Mountain elk and began raising the large deer on his northern Hamilton County property near Atlanta. Nearly five years later, Carley Elk Farm hosts Saturday tours for which visitors pay $5 to roam the rural acreage and help feed a herd that numbers about 50. On the way home, they can...
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Concierge helps famous, fashionable: Conrad job gets exciting during big eventsRestricted Content

July 10, 2006
It looked like a photo shoot for GQ or Elle. Guests wore denim that probably won't show up in American stores until next year, if even then. Other guests checking into the Conrad Indianapolis for the July 2 U.S. Grand Prix wore sparkling diamonds and designer apparel. They carried Coach handbags of all shapes and sizes, setting them on the concierge desk as they awaited delivery of their luggage. Without fail, Lynna Mills would peek around the bags and cordially...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Tale of 2 bridges has deeper meaningRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Morton Marcus
Two bridges at opposite ends of the state are of concern to neighboring citizens and all Hoosiers. Both are historic steel-truss bridges. One spans the Wabash River connecting New Harmony (Posey County) with White County, Ill. The second spans the Gibson rail yard in Hammond (Lake County) and carries the traffic of busy Indianapolis Boulevard. Both bridges are in poor condition. The Indiana Department of Transportation has recommendations for both bridges. Local officials are opposed to the INDOT plans. Whose...
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FUNNY BUSINESS: 'Restart Your Engines'-we have refrigerator magnets

May 15, 2006
Mike Redmond
I'm not sensing a lot of enthusiasm for the state's new tourism slogan, "Restart Your Engines." Wait. What am I saying? What I sense is some outright hostility because the state paid $85,000 for this clunker, then was so tone deaf as to unveil it right after the income tax deadline, setting off a wave of "Your tax dollars at work" jokes in newspapers, blogs and coffee shops. So here we are in May, at the start of another tourist...
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Battle of the brands: Planners go back to drawing board after city slogan nixedRestricted Content

May 15, 2006
Matthew Kish
They thought they had a winner with The New Midwest. They even had the logo-a stylized "I"-all figured out. And a color palette. But then they hit a bump in the road. When Mark Miles became CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership in January, he joined the big group and said the slogan was a dud. At the least, he said, participants should run it by focus groups. They only had to run it by two before they realized...
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Special events pay off: Growth seen in career opportunities, event numbersRestricted Content

May 8, 2006
Shari Held / Special to IBJ
Special events aren't just fun and games-they're big business, generating careers and economic activity that are anything but frivolous. Special event spending in Indianapolis is nearly $3 billion a year, according to Bob Shultz, public relations director for the Indiana Convention & Visitors Association. Annual spending for special events worldwide is $500 billion, according to research conducted by the Chicago-based International Special Events Society. In Money Magazine's annual "Best Jobs in America" survey, meeting and convention planners were ranked in...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Mysteries abound in IndianaRestricted Content

May 1, 2006
Morton Marcus
There is so much I do not understand about Indiana. After living here for 35 years, after visiting every county and traveling almost every mile of state highway, after making friends with thousands of Hoosiers, I am in the dark on so many issues. Here are three examples: Example 1: What do Mitch Daniels, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana have in common? They are all governors who have massive approval deficits. According to Survey USA (and...
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Tourism's new buzz: Product development: Officials want to build on Indiana's unique assetsRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Matthew Kish
Billboards in southern Indiana used to tug spelunkers in four different directions. Come to Marengo Caves. Spend an afternoon at Bluespring Caverns. Visit Wyandotte Caves. Don a headlamp at Squire Boone Caverns. Two years ago, however, operators at the four attractions decided it might be a better use of cash to market the area as a single attraction. They pooled their advertising budgets and printed a brochure that listed all four destinations. They also created a passport that visitors could...
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City gives cultural trail green light: Long-anticipated project could cost $35M to $42MRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Matthew Kish
The long-discussed trail will loop through downtown and cost $35 million to $42 million. All the money will come from federal transportation dollars and private contributions. "The trail has been officially approved," said Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, the project's lead managing partner. "It's definitely a project that's going to happen now." Tourism officials greeted the news with enthusiasm. It's a "huge win for White River State Park as well as the city," said Bob Whitt,...
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Indiana Avenue looks for revival: Cultural plan: stresses retail, residential growth, and a possible extensionRestricted Content

April 3, 2006
Scott Olson
Indiana Avenue looks for revival Cultural plan stresses retail, residential growth, and a possible extension Indiana Avenue's glory days as a haven for black-owned businesses and vibrant nightclubs exists only in the history books. But a plan to revitalize the city's newest cultural district could restore some of the luster. City leaders completed the blueprint for redevelopment early this year and now are in the early stages of executing a plan that organizers say could take 20 years to play...
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TAWN PARENT Commentary: Bill offers new hope for Main StreetRestricted Content

March 13, 2006
Recycling isn't just good for the environment. It's good for buildings, and ultimately for economic development. When the Disciples of Christ moved its international headquarters downtown from Irvington in 1995, it left behind a 121,000-square-foot structure built in 1910 that could easily have become a vacant eyesore in the east-side neighborhood. Instead, local developer Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. helped give it new life as Mission Apartments for seniors. That $6.5 million project might not have happened without the help...
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Emerging India: Opportunity or threat?: Indiana businesses brace for growing global competitionRestricted Content

February 27, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Opportunity or threat? Indiana businesses brace for growing global competition Next month, President Bush will make his first official visit to India. To most of the American media, it'll be just one more round of global terrorism discussions with a distant foreign nation, perhaps worthy of a brief. The Indian press knows better. Six weeks ahead of Bush's trip, banner headlines about it ran in every newspaper. Al Hubbard knows better, too. Friends with Bush since their days at Harvard...
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City's cultural districts take artful approach: Five areas use $250,000 in grants on original public art projectsRestricted Content

February 13, 2006
Matthew Kish
Two wall-size murals now welcome people to Massachusetts Avenue. An abstract sculpture that looks like an Alexander Calder tribute sits on a bridge in the Canal District. A towering blue and green obelisk marks the north end of Broad Ripple on College Avenue. The works aren't part of an elaborate conspiracy by a renegade public artist. They're the result of two years of careful planning by the city's Cultural Development Commission. In 2003, the commission designated five areas of the...
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