Articles

500 Festival retools after growth spurt

May is show time for 500 Festival Inc., and the local not-for-profit should have more than enough gas in its tank to cross
the 2008 finish line. In the past five years, it has doubled its budget, improved attendance–and quality–at its signature
parade, and continued to grow the nation’s largest half-marathon. But once the checkered flag flies, festival leaders will
sit down to consider whether they can maintain that pace without losing focus.

Read More

UPDATE: Centerplate snags NCAA contract

Connecticut-based Centerplate Inc. has purchased the Crystal Catering contract for the NCAA headquarters from Florida-based Sun Capital Partners. The contract was announced this afternoon along with four other contracts reported earlier today by IBJ. The four contracts cover food service at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum and Murat Theatre, and are […]

Read More

Leader of Super Bowl bid is upbeat

The leader of Indianapolis’ bid to host the 2012 Super Bowl is more optimistic than ever about the city’s chances after a meeting yesterday with NFL officials that lasted more than five hours. League officials seemed to like the direction the city is taking with the more creative aspects of the bid, including a pedestrian-zone […]

Read More

BREAKING: Centerplate lands key catering contracts

The Indiana Convention Center, the Indianapolis Zoo, White River State Park and Murat Theatre have agreed to transfer their catering contracts to Connecticut-based Centerplate Inc., a move that clears the way for Centerplate to purchase locally based Crystal Catering. Crystal, central Indiana’s largest caterer, had held all those contracts. Jack and Dan Bayt founded Crystal […]

Read More

Centerplate secures key catering contracts

The Indiana Convention Center, the Indianapolis Zoo and White River State Park have agreed to transfer their catering contracts to Connecticut-based Centerplate Inc., a move that clears the way for Centerplate to purchase locally based Crystal Catering. Crystal, central Indiana’s largest caterer, had held all those contracts. Jack and Dan Bayt founded Crystal in 1987 […]

Read More

Janitors’ contract falls short of Columbus, Cincy

The 1,500 local janitors covered under a new union agreement ratified Saturday will earn at least $9 an hour by 2012, less than similar pacts signed in recent months in Ohio. Like the Indianapolis contract, the Ohio pacts end in 2012. Under contracts negotiated by Washington, D.C.-based Service Employees International Union, the minimum for that […]

Read More

Company seeing big growth in family entertainment: Firm supplies parties with oddball acts from acrobats to mimes to ventriloquists

When Kathy Fitzgerald has a group of 85 day-camp kids to entertain, she needs someone who can hold their attention-easier said than done considering they range in age from 6 to 13, not counting the 12 young adults who work as camp counselors. If an act bombs, the result can be chaos. That’s why Fitzgerald, assistant park manager for Broad Ripple Park, has locally based FamilyTime Entertainment Inc. on her speed dial. FamilyTime can deliver a fully produced magic show,…

Read More

Film exec returns home to sell state: New tax credits helpful, but not enough to make Indiana stand out as movie venue

When Erin Newell was growing up in Greenwood, she and a friend would swipe her dad’s video camera and make movies in the basement. As a student at Ball State University, she studied filmmaking. And when she graduated, she was out like a shot to Los Angeles. Now, nearly nine years later-after scoring production and assisting credits on movies that even everyday folks have heard of-she’s back in Indiana, helping to beef up the state’s film-production industry so others might…

Read More

Tampa Super Bowl looks to local firm for software: High-profile client could help Simply Hospitality

Event-planning software developed by a local firm has been the backbone of volunteer efforts for the Men’s Final Four, the Indianapolis 500 Festival and the USA Track & Field Championships. Now it will add a Super Bowl to its resume. The Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee, which is staging the 2009 NFL championship, will use Indianapolisbased Simply Hospitality’s TRS software to recruit and coordinate the 6,000 volunteers it expects to use for the big game. Officials looked at eight…

Read More

Taking a 2-pronged approach: Indiana State Museum pushes for bigger internal and traveling shows

The Indiana State Museum is putting more emphasis on developing its own attractions, while still landing some high-profile visiting exhibits-all in an effort to keep visitors coming through the doors. This balancing act between highlighting its internal collection and hosting popular traveling exhibits can be seen through two current shows. One, “Footprints: Balancing Nature’s Diversity,” is already on display and features hundreds of specimens of taxidermied Indiana wildlife and fossils from the museum’s collection. The other, “Radical Lace & Subversive…

Read More

Polishing the pitch: Business-plan competitions give student entrepreneurs experience, exposure

College entrepreneurs in Indiana are sharpening their business plans and practicing their pitches in hopes of convincing experts-the possibly funders-that they’ve come up with the next big idea. The venue: the increasingly highstakes competitions that universities here and elsewhere sponsor to give them practice selling themselves and their ideas. Success can come with more than bragging rights, since judges often include venture capitalists who can help transform finalists’ dreams into reality. “I can’t imagine a better way to train for…

Read More

Charities are feeling pain of gas price spike: Groups scrambling for volunteers, dollars to beef up transportation

With gas prices on the rise-and expected to reach $4 a gallon this summer-local not-for-profits are losing volunteers and throwing money at skyrocketing transportation budgets. Indianapolis Meals on Wheels Inc. Executive Director Barb Morris is used to fielding calls from reporters whenever gas prices fluctuate. In the past, she quashed their theory that high prices at the pump drove away volunteers. Not now, though. “If you’d asked me four or five months ago, I would have said, ‘Absolutely not,'” Morris…

Read More

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: MATRIX LABEL SYSTEMS INC.: Label maker manufacturing growth – again Fourth expansion project set to open this summer

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE MATRIX LABEL SYSTEMS INC. Label maker manufacturing growth – again Fourth expansion project set to open this summer Within a month, Plainfield-based Matrix Label Systems Inc. will break ground on a fourth addition to its central Indiana facility, adding nearly 17,000 square feet of warehouse space and potentially more workers. That’s just the latest growth spurt at the 23-year-old company that started out of a garage and now has 50 employees and $15 million in annual revenue….

Read More

ICVA calls in headhunter to help fill top post: Experts say job should draw wide interest

A nationally renowned headhunter is tracking down candidates to fill the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association’s top job in hopes of having a new president in place by June 1. Industry observers expect plenty of applicants given an upcoming hospitality building spree. “This is potentially the chance of a lifetime for someone to come in and make a huge difference,” said Amanda Cecil, an assistant professor in IUPUI’s Convention and Event Management Department. She called the Indianapolis market a “gold…

Read More

Businesses eager for canal to be a ‘selling point’ again: Water should be back – and sparkling – soon

For nearly five months, leasing agents at Canal Overlook Apartments have relied on photos and visual aids to show potential renters what a perk a canal view can be. If the would-be renters take a gander now, all they get is a view of a drained Central Canal and workers scraping out decades worth of slime. “It is usually a selling point, but [the cleanup] has been long and it smells bad,” said Lynn Grine, leasing manager for the 125-unit…

Read More

Legislature set to give tax breaks to big events: NCAA asks for ‘super’ perk that NFL already requires

Lawmakers last year approved a bill that would have given the NFL a onetime tax break on spending and revenue tied to the 2011 Super Bowl, a moot point once team owners awarded the game to Dallas. Now, similar legislation has passed both chambers of the General Assembly-this time extending the exemption to the NCAA, which has committed to hosting its Final Four basketball championships in Indianapolis regularly through 2039. If signed into law, the measure would allow the NFL…

Read More