Articles

NCAA mum on date to reopen fire-damaged Hall of Champions

Almost a full year after a fire in a single exhibit closed the NCAA Hall of Champions, the wait for the college sports
museum’s reopening is becoming as prolonged and agonizing as sitting through a college football game during
a freezing November rain. The NCAA is apparently in no hurry to relieve the suspense.

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EYE ON THE PIE: How I spent my summer vacation

Helen Heavybreath is one of the most intrusive persons in my life. She always wants to know, “Where have you been? What have you been doing? Whom did you see?” At least the woman’s grammar is good. Before she accosts me again, I will report my vacation activities. What do you think an economist would do this summer, given current circumstances? Quite naturally, high gasoline prices induced me to take a 3,000-mile driving vacation from Indiana into Colorado, New Mexico…

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Center at IU helps nation’s rec areas become inclusive: Venues of all types, sizes learn methods to make attractions more accessible to visitors with disabilities

Since its inception, the center’s staff has worked with venues ranging from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to local parks in the Indianapolis area. Besides facilities, it also comes to the aid of individuals. Recently, the center helped a bride who wanted to get married on the beach at sunset. A family member uses an electric wheelchair, so the center offered advice to her Florida hotel on how to construct a portable wheelchair path to the ceremony that…

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Hotels feeling travel slump: City occupany rates fall, but downtown operators performing well this year thanks to convention biz

Staggeringly high gasoline prices and a sputtering economy are preventing scores of would-be travelers from packing up their thirsty sport-utility vehicles and heading to their favorite vacation destinations. Nationwide, hotel occupancy rates slipped to 68 percent through June of this year, down from 71 percent the same time last year, according to the most recent data from Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research. For the most part, local hotel operators are feeling the same pain. Through the first six months of the…

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Tourism chief excited to sell world on Indianapolis: Former Seattle exec will have work cut out for him

Few in Indianapolis’ hospitality community knew what to think when Donald Welsh announced he was leaving Seattle to lead convention and tourism efforts here. But Seattle insiders say their loss is Indianapolis’ gain. “He’s behind a lot of the energy in the [Seattle] organization and getting people engaged,” said Anthony Anton, president of the Washington Restaurant Association. That energy will be needed at the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, which is working to fill an expanded Indiana Convention Center and…

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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Sky-high gas prices are revving up the political rhetoric

From all the noise surrounding gasoline prices, you’d think nobody actually benefited from the high prices. But, of course, some folks do benefit. Let’s figure out who they might be. Obviously, consumers don’t benefit. The average car owner in the United States pays about $80 more per month with gas at $4 per gallon than he did back when it was $2.25. Not good news, of course, but hardly the end of the world. Folks who provide goods and services…

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Central Canal might get floating stage

A floating stage for concerts and a submarine memorial are in the works for Indianapolis’ Central Canal, adding to the downtown
waterway’s growing base of attractions. Efforts to develop a one-acre site at the heart of the canal, meanwhile, remain stalled.

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Commentary: Do we need a disaster to wake us up?

About 20,000 historic properties were damaged in the storm, and Gay, executive director of Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, has led the charge to save them. “We never felt like throwing up our hands,” Gay said. “We don’t do that.” The Preservation Resource Center contacted owners of the nearly 4,000 historic properties that were condemned after the hurricane. About 600 of them have been spared to date. The PRC also has been helping review the planned demolition of buildings…

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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…

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THE TRAVELING LIFE: Not for the night life: On tour in Saudi Arabia

Shortly after arriving in Jeddah, it became clear that you don’t go to Saudi Arabia for its night life. With very little interaction of the sexes, a virtual ban on flirtation, a total prohibition on alcohol, smoking, dancing and movies, there was not much for our little tour group to do after dinner each evening. As for the days, well, they were different than anything you could experience here in the U.S. … particularly for the women in our group….

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Pedestrian bridge to state park still in the works: White River venues think hotel complex will be a boost

Developers of the $425 million hotel complex downtown still are working out plans for a pedestrian bridge spanning Washington Street that will connect it to White River State Park. Merrillville-based White Lodging Co. and Indianapolis-based REI Real Estate Services proposed a connector-either a bridge or an underground tunnel-in early designs of the convention hotel complex at the southwest corner of West and Washington streets. Although later site plans did not include the link, REI President Mike Wells said the developers…

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Convention Center President Bob Bedell to retire

Bob Bedell worked behind the scenes for months–if not years–to make the case for expanding the Indiana Convention Center
and building a 1,000-room hotel nearby. But someone else will have to fill both venues with visitors. The 60-year-old Indianapolis
Convention & Visitors Association president has said he’ll retire at the end of June.

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Event planners revive venues: Oasis finds new use for eatery, spruces up Murat

When John Stowers was looking to move on from his job managing several nightclubs for an Indianapolisbased partnership in 2002, he and his wife, Patti, wanted to buy a bar he could run. In the process of venue shopping, they stumbled across a space for lease-The Terrace at Market Tower, a restaurant on the second floor of the office building at 10 W. Market St. Like other so-called amenity restaurants, The Terrace was more a perk for building tenants than…

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THE TRAVELING LIFE: Genghis Khan slept-and was admired-here

Before we landed at the Genghis Khan Airport, checked into the Genghis Khan Hotel, and drank Genghis Khan beer, everything we had heard about the most famous Mongol of all time was negative. But that changed when we visited Mongolia in September. You might wonder what nice things could be said about a guy who conquered more territory in 25 years than the Romans did in 400? Well, the people we encountered perceived him as a combination of George Washington,…

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