Articles

New management brings youth, profit: Industry experience makes hotel more professional

After unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day 2005, Colleen Fanning got something else from her dad: an offer to run the small inn he bought in 2002. Bill Fanning spent more than two years tearing down, rebuilding and expanding the Brick Street Inn, a fixture on Main Street in Zionsville. But it struggled financially after reopening in the fall of 2004, and his patience was at an end. “He told me: ‘Either I’m going to sell the inn or you can…

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Design changes afoot for state Web pages: Online renovation includes search-engine upgrade that features Scott Jones’ ChaCha instead of Google

A redesigned state Web portal unveiled last month should make it easier for Hoosiers to plow through mounds of government minutia. But, more important, the revamping set to be finished in mid-2008 represents a major shift in state policy. By contracting with locally based ChaCha Search Inc.- tech entrepreneur Scott Jones’ new humanassisted Internet search engine-the state no longer relies solely on big, name-brand computer technology such as Microsoft. “We have somebody who is local and excited about taking the…

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State springs for beefed-up tourism campaign: Early study shows “Restart your Engines” works

When the state kicks off its spring tourism ad campaign April 22, it will have a little more staying power thanks to a 38-percent surge in spending. The increase, made possible by cutting back in other areas, means a total of $550,000 will be spent on TV, radio and magazine ads targeted not only at neighbors in Chicago and Cincinnati but also Hoosiers from Evansville to South Bend. “We thought it was really important to put more money into that…

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Carmel to get $30M Renaissance hotel

A prestigious, full-service hotel soon will complement Carmel’s booming office market along North Meridian Street. A Cincinnati
developer broke ground this month on a roughly $30 million Renaissance hotel with 263 rooms and 14,000 square feet of meeting
space.

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City out to wow travel writers: Officials think large effort for small group will pay off by boosting coverage

When The New York Times ran an article about Indianapolis’ Stone Soup Inn several years ago, owner Jeneane Life got calls from people on airplanes looking to book a room. And the phone’s still ringing in the aftermath of a fall Chicago Tribune review of the new wellness program at Life’s Villa Inn. “People will say, ‘I kept that article because I’ve been meaning to come and stay with you,'” said Life, who also owns the Looking Glass Inn in…

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Indiana joins splashdown of water parks: Indoor resorts on the rise as hotels try to lure guests during offseason

The names Caribbean Cove and Paradise Bay inspire thoughts of tropical destinations where sunbathers slather lotion like Hoosiers butter their corn on the cob. In reality, these types of “resorts” are spouting up throughout the Midwest, including Indiana, and require no protection from harmful ultraviolet rays whatsoever. They’re indoor water parks, a trend hoteliers are embracing to cater to families seeking a weekend getaway-and to boost occupancy during the off-season. The Indianapolis area features just one such water park so…

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ROSE awards ceremonies honor hospitality workers: Eleven employees commended for top-level service

After the passing of the restaurant’s general manager, “Mama” stepped into the grief-filled void, providing leadership while consoling the staff. During a charity silent auction, Camerone auctioned off herself as an inhome chef for an evening. She ended up generating the most proceeds, enough to make a dream come true for a child during the Make-a-Wish Telethon. Pamela Evans, customer service agent, American Airlines Evans is a customer service agent for American Airlines and her territory often can be among…

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Mansur lands $50M midfield airport hotel

The Indianapolis Airport Authority has tapped Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. to develop a $50 million-plus Westin hotel
at the new midfield terminal. But the hotel’s final design may be one submitted by a former competitor, White Lodging Corp.
of South Bend.

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: IMA art park is a grand slam

Lest we overlook it among the rash of crimes, stock-market gyrations and General Assembly shenanigans reported in the media recently, the Indianapolis Museum of Art deserves some major kudos. Amid the chaos, the IMA announced the names of the 10 artists, artists’ groups and architects who will create works for its Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park set to open in 2009. It was a grand slam. Unveiled in New York Feb. 27, the list includes individuals or collectives…

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Hotel veteran launches own firm: A Q&A with local hospitality leader Tim Worthington

While he was a student at Indiana University, Tim Worthington spent summers washing dishes, cooking breakfast and delivering room service for locally based General Hotels Corp. It was the beginning of a 31-year career that would include 14 years as president of the company. Worthington, 60, retired last February but quickly realized he wanted back in the action. So he and partner Michael Arnold, also a former employee at General Hotels and a 20-year veteran of the hotel industry, launched…

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CHRIS KATTERJOHN Commentary: Greetings from Indianapolis South

NAPLES, Fla.-Here I am more than 1,000 miles from Indianapolis and yet feeling right at home. Seems like everywhere I turn, there are signs of the city. The first night I was here, I ate dinner at a restaurant where six Indianapolis people I know were sitting at the table next to ours. During the course of my stay so far, American United Life Insurance Co. held a board retreat here and the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation threw a fund-raiser…

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EYE ON THE PIE: Mirror, mirror, which is fairest tax of all?

With some hesitation, I take you inside the men’s rest room at the Statehouse. There, I found a new member of the General Assembly combing his hair over his otherwise empty scalp and asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest tax of all?” The mirror responded, “The sales tax is the fairest of them all.” Startled, both the legislator and I looked around, only to hear another mirror say, “No, the income tax is fairest of them…

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Labor sector diversification could spur local economy: $200,000 study targets finance, retail and construction

Sexier industry sectors like life sciences or motorsports get all the press. But to remain robust, the Indianapolis Private Industry Council believes, the area economy needs diversification. The 23-year-old work-force-training not-for-profit believes the nine-county area also should target three tried-and-true industries: finance and insurance; retail, hospitality and restaurants; and construction. IPIC, whose $9 million annual budget comes from public and private grants, plans to spend $200,000 during the first quarter studying the three sectors, which collectively employ 270,000 people in…

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EYE ON THE PIE: In 2007, sweat the little things

This time of the year, serious people make serious resolutions about important matters; people like me, experienced and lacking determination, avoid resolutions. If, however, I were to recommend resolutions to business and government leaders, my list could be condensed into this: Attend to the little things. For too long, we have heard the preaching of management gurus and public-policy mavens that we must keep our eyes focused on the bigger issues. If you are a decision maker, you are supposed…

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Stadium walkway carries $10M tab

An enclosed connector is set to be built, partly underground, that will link Lucas Oil Stadium to the soon-to-be expanded
Indiana Convention Center. It will span about a quarter of a mile and cost more than $10 million.

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