In August, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association CEO Don Welsh told the Capital Improvement Board his organization
might seek a loan if the city of Indianapolis can’t come up with $3 million to $5 million in 2010 to market the city
to potential visitors.
“We’re going to continue to be diligent—to seek funding that is essential to the viability of the facilities that we own,” Welsh said at the Aug. 10 CIB meeting. “We’re looking at loans ourselves.”
“We’ve judiciously and pragmatically presented our case for additional funds. We understand the situation. We don’t like the situation. Unfortunately, it is what it is,” Welsh told CIB members.
The idea of the not-for-profit ICVA’s taking out a loan was not warmly received by city officials. Welsh also discovered financial institutions were less than thrilled with the idea given the ICVA’s diminishing revenue and increasing costs. With its reserve funds shrinking, Welsh discovered the ICVA had little to offer in terms of collateral to secure a loan.
High-ranking City-County Council members on both sides of the aisle said they’d like to fund the ICVA’s expanded marketing initiative, but simply don’t know where they’ll find the money. The City-County Council has until the end of this month to set its budget.