Tourism & Hospitality

Filling the FFA gap in IndianapolisRestricted Content

September 22, 2012
Anthony Schoettle
Local tourism officials have known for nearly four years that the National FFA Organization annual convention will leave Indianapolis temporarily after an anticipated 55,000 members clad in their trademark blue corduroy jackets descend on the city for their confab Oct. 24-27.
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Event-planning vet Maribeth Smith has impressive resumeRestricted Content

September 22, 2012
Scott Olson
Maribeth Smith’s introduction to the world of event planning sure was a doozy—coordinating the city’s first significant Final Four in 1991. In the 20 years since, Smith has planned some of Indianapolis’ biggest soirees, highlighted this year by several events surrounding the Super Bowl, which helped cement her status as one of the city’s leading meeting planners.
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Lucas Oil Stadium meeting revenue expectationsRestricted Content

September 22, 2012
Mason King
Roughly four years after it opened its doors in late 2008, Lucas Oil Stadium appears to have crossed the threshold of dollars that its creators anticipated from hosting events beyond the scope of the Indianapolis Colts.
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Indy hotel to pay $355,000 to settle race lawsuit

September 21, 2012
Associated Press
The operators of an Indianapolis hotel have agreed to pay $355,000 to settle allegations they underpaid and fired African-American housekeepers because of their race.
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Indiana Grand Casino owners accept bid from Centaur

September 18, 2012
Kathleen McLaughlin, Associated Press
Central Indiana’s two racetrack-casinos may consolidate under a single owner after Indianapolis-based Centaur Holdings LLC submitted a winning bid of at least $500 million for Indiana Grand Casino in Shelbyville.
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Fumes sicken 13 workers at Indiana State Fairgrounds

September 4, 2012
Associated Press
A spokesman says more than a dozen people have been taken to hospitals after they were sickened by fumes from gas-fueled power-washing equipment while working at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
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Zoo breaks ground on $21M orangutan exhibit

September 4, 2012
Cory Schouten
Indianapolis Zoo officials are hoping to finish strong on the organization's largest fundraising effort since the zoo moved to White River State Park in 1988.
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Steak n Shake paying $3.8M for Ober Building

September 4, 2012
Cory Schouten
An affiliate of the Steak n Shake restaurant chain has agreed to pay $3.8 million to acquire downtown's Ober Building from the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County. The restaurant chain likely will move its headquarters to the 1910 building.
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Earth House cites unsustainable business model for closure

August 23, 2012
Dan Human
Leaders of a church-affiliated Indianapolis arts organization are citing an unsustainable business model as the reason why doors will close at the end of the month. Earth House Collective will host its final events on Aug. 31
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Indiana State Fair falls short of attendance goal

August 20, 2012
Scott Olson
This year's Indiana State Fair drew 853,941 visitors during a 17-day run that ended Sunday, falling short of its attendance goal by about 20,000 people. The fair had aimed for overall attendance of 875,000, a figure based on the average number of visitors the past five years.
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Fate of theme park remains on roller coaster ride

August 18, 2012
Associated Press
Efforts to reopen a closed Kentucky amusement park have taken a roller coaster ride for three summers, and now there's a new twist as the state seeks out more would-be operators even as a group of local business leaders floats a proposal to revive the attraction.
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City's convention agency changing to more 'hip' name

August 17, 2012
Anthony Schoettle
The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is changing its name to Visit Indy and dramatically altering its logo to appeal to leisure travelers as well as meeting and convention planners.
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Downtown Indianapolis gearing up for big visitor weekend

August 16, 2012
Scott Olson
The Gen Con Indy gaming convention and the MotoGP race are among several events the city is hosting that could produce an economic impact of $150 million, according to the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association.
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Stage company rejects Indiana State Fair settlement deal

August 15, 2012
Associated Press
The owner of the stage that collapsed at Indiana's State Fair last year and killed seven people rejected a settlement plan Wednesday that would have protected the state from further legal action and paid victims an additional $7.2 million.
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IMA chooses new CEO from Kentucky art museum

August 15, 2012
 IBJ Staff
Charles L. Venable, 52, the director and CEO of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville since 2007, was chosen to replace Maxwell Anderson, who left the IMA in January to become director of the Dallas Museum of Art.
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Museum of Contemporary Art names executive director

August 15, 2012
 IBJ Staff
The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art has removed the "interim" tag from the title of its executive director.
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Playoffs?! CIB predicts Colts won't host postseason game

August 14, 2012
J.K. Wall
The city entity that owns Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts play their home games, budgeted $1 million less in admission-tax revenue for 2013 for one reason: The board does not expect the Colts to host any playoff games.
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CIB plans $5M repair to Capitol Commons plaza

August 14, 2012
J.K. Wall
The project is part of a $63.9 million operating budget board members approved for 2013, which is lower than the current year's budget because it doesn't include Super Bowl costs or special payments to the Indiana Pacers.
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Hamilton County hotels report stronger occupancy

August 14, 2012
Helped in part by the Super Bowl, the county's occupancy rate increased 8.4 percent, to 63 percent, compared with the first six months of 2011, according to a report by Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research.
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ICVA eyes funds from sale by CIB of downtown's Ober building

August 14, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Capital Improvement Board wants to plug a $2 million funding hole that will open up next year for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association with the expiration of a $5.9 million grant from the owner of the JW Marriott hotel downtown.
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Indiana fair remembers stage collapse 1 year later

August 13, 2012
Associated Press
The Indiana State Fair came to a standstill Monday night to honor the victims of a deadly stage collapse one year ago that prompted sweeping overhauls of the fair's emergency plan and new regulations for temporary stages.
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Few regulations for Indianapolis food trucks to keepRestricted Content

August 11, 2012
Owners, restaurateurs are hoping to avoid new ordinances.
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Super Bowl bid might spur new downtown hotelRestricted Content

August 11, 2012
Anthony Schoettle
Downtown is short of the four- and five-star hotel rooms preferred by National Football League sponsors and partners for a 2018 Super Bowl host, but local tourism officials are hesitant to add more hotel space just to secure a second Super Bowl.
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Tourism agency names ISO exec as interim director

August 10, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development has named Mark Newman as interim executive director, replacing Amy Vaughan, who had led the tourism agency since 2005.
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Indy Zoo gets $2M gift for planned orangutan center

August 9, 2012
Associated Press
The Indianapolis Zoo said Thursday it that it received a $2 million gift toward its planned orangutan center from the family foundation of hotel developer Dean White.
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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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