Tourism & Hospitality

Canterbury to change name, close for 9-month renovation

September 24, 2013
Mason King
The historic downtown hotel's new owner says the $9.5 million revamp and affiliation with an international brand are needed to compete with new high-end hotels in the Indy area.
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Heartland Film Festival leader Sparks stepping down

September 17, 2013
Lou Harry
Jeffrey L. Sparks, who has led the Heartland Film Festival since he founded the internationally known movie event more than two decades ago, is bowing out of his leadership role, he confirmed Tuesday morning.
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Conner Prairie rolling out adults-only programming

September 14, 2013
Lou Harry
The inaugural Prairie Plates event Sept. 20 represents a big step in the Hamilton County living history museum’s increasing effort to target grown-ups—a trend happening around the country as once-staid institutions look to expand audiences and increase revenue.
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Milder summer weather boosts state park revenue

September 13, 2013
Dan Human
Revenue jumped to $12.3 million during the park system's summer season as cooler temperatures enticed visitors. A price increase this year for annual passes helped line the parks' purse.
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UPDATE: Stagehands union, state settle Indiana fair fines

September 10, 2013
Associated Press
A stagehands union fined $11,500 by a state agency following the deadly Indiana State Fair stage rigging collapse has reached a settlement with the state absolving it of those penalties.
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Pan Am Plaza hotel may sweeten bowl bid

September 7, 2013
Anthony Schoettle
Indianapolis officials hope to include plans for a new downtown luxury hotel in their bid for the 2018 Super Bowl, but they’re not sure all the pieces for a deal—potentially on Pan Am Plaza—can be put together before a bid presentation for 32 NFL owners in May.
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Herd of nominees up for $250K animal conservation prize

August 28, 2013
Lou Harry
Thirty-nine protectors of pronghorn antelope, sea turtles, jaguars, ibis, puffin and other endangered species have been named as nominees for the Indianapolis Prize.
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Good weather helps Indiana State Fair set crowd mark

August 19, 2013
Associated Press
Fair officials announced Monday that the crowds for the 17-day fair totaled about 4,000 more than the previous record in 2009.
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Well woes blamed on new Indianapolis sports park

August 14, 2013
Associated Press
Some Indianapolis residents living near where the World Sports Park is being built say its new irrigation system is sucking their home water wells dry.
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IUPUI to show off elaborate game at Gen Con

August 13, 2013
Associated Press
The entire Indiana Convention Center will be the stage for the game, which uses video mapping and projectors that will create a large crystalline display showing the game results. The four-day Gen Con event begins Thursday.
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Crowd funding taps passionate fan base for fantasy figurinesRestricted Content

August 10, 2013
Dan Human
A growing number of small game companies will join a pantheon of industry titans starting Aug. 15 at the Gen Con Indy gaming convention. The small guys are there largely because they can get the money they need to keep themselves alive via the fundraising technique known as “crowd funding” or “crowd sourcing.”
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Holiday World family takes dispute to Indiana appeals court

August 7, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl, Indiana Lawyer Staff
An agreement meant to keep a popular amusement park in the family has sparked a bitter dispute that has reached the Indiana Court of Appeals.
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Indiana golf course lands Senior PGA Championship

July 30, 2013
Associated Press
Officials are expected to announce Tuesday that the 2015 Senior PGA Championship will be played at the Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Springs Resort.
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State Fairgrounds to debut new $10M Youth Arena

July 30, 2013
Associated Press
The 30,000-square-foot Youth Arena will debut as the site of 4-H Horse & Pony classes and events. The fairgrounds' newest building will also host livestock shows, draft horse competitions and other events.
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Indiana tourism spending is fraction of nearby states'

July 27, 2013
Anthony Schoettle
As Indiana slashed its tourism budget, Michigan increased its widespread Pure Michigan ad campaign from $17 million to $27.4 million. Illinois, where budget problems have earned the state the nation’s worst credit rating—A3 by Moody’s Investors Service—spends more than twice as much as Michigan.
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Indy tourism officials take aim at close-in target

July 27, 2013
Anthony Schoettle
New program is designed to lure Indiana residents to capital city with large discounts at hotels, attractions
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Indy attracts more visitors than much-larger Houston

July 27, 2013
A comparison of convention and tourism cities.
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DEGARIS: Ballard’s cricket plan makes good business senseRestricted Content

July 27, 2013
Larry DeGaris / Special to IBJ
The mayor’s $6 million plan to renovate an east-side park to accommodate cricket, rugby, hurling and lacrosse has generated a lot of controversy, with the idea of cricket in Indianapolis receiving particularly close scrutiny.
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HENEGAR: Proposed panhandling ban appears unconstitutionalRestricted Content

July 27, 2013
Jane Henegar / Special to IBJ
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana believes in the power of the First Amendment to give the powerless a voice. Our constitutional right to free expression allows us to confront our greatest challenges, including poverty and homelessness.
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Construction on orangutan center halfway done

July 26, 2013
Associated Press
The zoo says construction is expected to be complete by December. The center is being funded by a $30 million capital campaign.
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Hamilton County wants squirrels on parade

June 15, 2013
Andrea Muirragui Davis
Inspired by more than 100,000 migratory squirrels that swarmed through Westfield and Fishers in the 1820s, a group of up-and-coming Hamilton County leaders is working on a public-art initiative celebrating the bushy-tailed rodents.
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Woodard sells Canterbury Hotel to Ohio firm

June 11, 2013
Scott Olson
Local businessman Turner Woodard had owned the upscale downtown hotel since 2010. Terms of the deal with Columbus, Ohio-based RockBridge Capital LLC, a hotel investment firm, were not disclosed.
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500 Festival hires Atlanta marketing exec as CEO

May 29, 2013
 IBJ Staff
Bob Bryant, a veteran sports marketing executive from the Atlanta area, has been named president and CEO of the 500 Festival, the Indianapolis-based organization announced Wednesday morning.
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Indy 500 fans will find track security tighter this year

May 24, 2013
Associated Press
Fans coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this weekend's Indy 500 will notice some changes in the traditional routine in response to last month's bombing at the Boston Marathon.
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Senior curator leaving IMA after 11-year stay

May 15, 2013
 IBJ Staff and Associated Press
Lisa Freiman directed the opening of the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres in June 2010 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. and is credited with transforming the experience of contemporary art in Indianapolis.
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  1. Aaron is my fav!

  2. Let's see... $25M construction cost, they get $7.5M back from federal taxpayers, they're exempt from business property tax and use tax so that's about $2.5M PER YEAR they don't have to pay, permitting fees are cut in half for such projects, IPL will give them $4K under an incentive program, and under IPL's VFIT they'll be selling the power to IPL at 20 cents / kwh, nearly triple what a gas plant gets, about $6M / year for the 150-acre combined farms, and all of which is passed on to IPL customers. No jobs will be created either other than an handful of installers for a few weeks. Now here's the fun part...the panels (from CHINA) only cost about $5M on Alibaba, so where's the rest of the $25M going? Are they marking up the price to drive up the federal rebate? Indy Airport Solar Partners II LLC is owned by local firms Johnson-Melloh Solutions and Telemon Corp. They'll gross $6M / year in triple-rate power revenue, get another $12M next year from taxpayers for this new farm, on top of the $12M they got from taxpayers this year for the first farm, and have only laid out about $10-12M in materials plus installation labor for both farms combined, and $500K / year in annual land lease for both farms (est.). Over 15 years, that's over $70M net profit on a $12M investment, all from our wallets. What a boondoggle. It's time to wise up and give Thorium Energy your serious consideration. See http://energyfromthorium.com to learn more.

  3. Markus, I don't think a $2 Billion dollar surplus qualifies as saying we are out of money. Privatization does work. The government should only do what private industry can't or won't. What is proven is that any time the government tries to do something it costs more, comes in late and usually is lower quality.

  4. Some of the licenses that were added during Daniels' administration, such as requiring waiter/waitresses to be licensed to serve alcohol, are simply a way to generate revenue. At $35/server every 3 years, the state is generating millions of dollars on the backs of people who really need/want to work.

  5. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

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