The annual report of the city’s Capital Improvement Board shows the number of events at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium—and the total attendance for those events—fell sharply from 2014 to 2015.
The section of Georgia Street west of the fieldhouse was conceived as a way to create an eye-catching Super Bowl pedestrian zone in 2012. The challenge since has been to find a sustainable role for the venue.
While Indianapolis pursues major sporting events and massive conventions—gatherings that attract tens of thousands of people and score tens of millions of dollars in economic impact—many neighboring counties are chasing small and midsize corporate confabs, weddings and senior-citizen bus tours.
Visit Indy CEO Leonard Hoops told Capital Improvement Board members that standing pat is not an option when it comes to hospitality infrastructure, but a major expansion wouldn't be needed in the near future.
CIB Executive Director Barney Levengood implored the board not to be overly concerned about the projected $46 million shortfall. The City-County Council is set consider the budget at its Sept. 25 meeting.
The closure of a handful of hotels across the city has essentially wiped out the gains made when the JW Marriott opened with its 1,005 rooms. Now Visit Indy and the city’s Capital Improvement Board are studying whether the city needs more rooms and more convention center space.
While the new law applies to all employers, it could hit the hospitality sector harder than most. The hotel industry is one that relies heavily on modestly paid middle managers, who are exempt from overtime, to pick up the slack—and extra hours—when called upon.