Dealer Expo returning to Indianapolis through 2016

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Massive powersports trade show Dealer Expo has committed to keep its annual event in Indianapolis through at least 2016—extending its stay by five years.

Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association officials announced the deal Monday morning, attributing the score to recent investments in Lucas Oil Stadium, a Indiana Convention Center expansion, and construction of the JW Marriott hotel complex downtown.

“Indianapolis will be an even stronger city host to Dealer Expo over the next five years,” Danny Phillips, executive vice president of trade show owner Advanstar Communications, said in a prepared statement.

Dealer Expo is one of the biggest events held in Indianapolis and among the top 100 conventions in the country. It draws about 36,000 attendees each year, generating more than $20 million in direct visitor spending.

While size matters in the case of Dealer Expo, so does timing. The show, which features motorcycle, ATV, personal watercraft and snowmobile products, is held in February—traditionally a slow month for cold-weather locations like Indianapolis.

The Circle City has bucked that trend, however, in part because of Dealer Expo’s 13-years-and-counting commitment. With the extension beyond next year, Indianapolis’ February 2012 convention calendar is full, ICVA said.

“Because of our climate-controlled skywalk system and connected facilities, cold-weather months continue to produce major convention bookings for Indianapolis,” said CEO Don Welsh.

After the 2012 Super Bowl, the city will host three major conventions: Dealer Expo, Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo, and the National Truck Equipment Association’s annual gathering. 

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