Tourism has big impact in Hamilton County

December 19, 2013
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Visitors spent an estimated $375 million in Hamilton County last year, according to local results released Wednesday in connection with a broader report on the economic impact of tourism in Indiana.

Statewide, the industry maintains nearly 140,000 jobs and contributes $10 billion in revenue to Indiana businesses, the full report said.

The study found Hamilton County—home to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers, Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville and Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts—supports more than 10,500 tourism jobs.

And that’s before Westfield opens its massive Grand Park Sports Complex, which is expected to draw more than 1 million youth-sports fans to the growing suburb beginning next year. Mayor Andy Cook has said hospitality is the city’s primary industry.

“Collaborative place-making efforts are paying off, and the biggest dividends are yet to come as product continues to mature or come on line,” Visit Hamilton County exec Brenda Myers said in a prepared statement.

As IBJ reported last month, the number of visitors traveling to Hamilton County increased from 1.7 million in 2005 to 2.1 million in 2011.

About 34 percent of the county’s visitor spending went for food and beverages, the new report said; 32 percent was spent shopping and 16 percent on entertainment and recreation. Lodging represented just 11 percent of the total.

For every travel dollar spent, 92 cents stays in the county, the report said.

What’s your take on the county’s tourism performance—and prospects?


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  1. The deductible is entirely paid by the POWER account. No one ever has to contribute more than $25/month into the POWER account and it is often less. The only cost not paid out of the POWER account is the ER copay ($8-25) for non-emergent use of the ER. And under HIP 2.0, if a member calls the toll-free, 24 hour nurse line, and the nurse tells them to go to the ER, the copay is waived. It's also waived if the member is admitted to the hospital. Honestly, although it is certainly not "free" - I think Indiana has created a decent plan for the currently uninsured. Also consider that if a member obtains preventive care, she can lower her monthly contribution for the next year. Non-profits may pay up to 75% of the contribution on behalf of the member, and the member's employer may pay up to 50% of the contribution.

  2. I wonder if the governor could multi-task and talk to CMS about helping Indiana get our state based exchange going so Hoosiers don't lose subsidy if the court decision holds. One option I've seen is for states to contract with Or maybe Indiana isn't really interested in healthcare insurance coverage for Hoosiers.

  3. So, how much did either of YOU contribute? HGH Thank you Mr. Ozdemir for your investments in this city and your contribution to the arts.

  4. So heres brilliant planning for a $30 M sports complex with tax dollars, yet send all the hotel tax revenue to Carmel and Fishers. Westfield will unlikely never see a payback but the hotel "centers" of Carmel and Fishers will get rich. Lousy strategy Andy Cook!

  5. AlanB, this is how it works...A corporate welfare queen makes a tiny contribution to the arts and gets tons of positive media from outlets like the IBJ. In turn, they are more easily to get their 10s of millions of dollars of corporate welfare (ironically from the same people who are against welfare for humans).