Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2019

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B M & T ••• March/April 2019 ••• 45 AREA GUIDES I N D I A N A MEETING IN INDIANA A PLANNER'S DELIGHT B Y R U F U S M C K I N N E Y Indiana offers many opportunities for a memorable meeting or convention. Indianapolis is known for its sports, from the Indianapolis 500 to the NFL, NBA and host city for Big Ten Tournaments. Tour the NCAA Hall of Champions and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museums. The state's second largest city, Ft. Wayne features an award- winning Children's Zoo. Evansville's Riverfront/Dress Plaza is a great place for a leisurely stroll, outdoor concerts and spectacular views of the Ohio River. And Bloomington, home to Indiana University, is a vibrant college town with a thriving arts community, music and sports scene. Add to this an inventory of world-class meeting facilities, accommodations and cultural attractions and the Hoosier State has it going on! • • INDIANAPOLIS • • From expansive exhibit halls to inti- mate historic venues, and everything in between, Indianapolis tourism officials are confident Indy has the right settings to bring your event to life. The Indiana Convention Center is the centerpiece of the Indy convention campus. With 566,600 sq. ft. of nearly column-free exhibit space, it is one of the country's premier convention spaces. The center is connected by enclosed walkway to Lucas Oil Stadium to offer 750,000 sq. ft. of space under one roof. Indianapolis will soon welcome a 235,000-sq. ft. expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. The expansion will include a 50,000-sq. ft. ballroom (the state's largest), 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting rooms, and 40,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space. The skybridge connecting the expansion to the center will offer an addi- tional 9,200 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor function space. With an additional 1,400 new hotel rooms coming online connected to the convention center, and downtown hotels investing $70+ million in recent renova- tions, the innovative vision of the Marriott IndyPlace complex, Indianapolis offers an attractive convention package. This includes 32,000 rooms in the metro area, 7,100 rooms downtown, more than 3,000 in the pipeline, and 4,700 connect- ed to the center. Indy offers more than 20 meeting hotels with more than 10,000 sq. ft. of event space, and will welcome 1,400 rooms at two new anticipated-to- be Hilton branded properties connected to the convention center in 2022. Planners and their delegates should block out enough time to visit the Madam Walker Theatre Center. Madame CJ Walker was the daughter of a former slave, and worked her way from the bot- tom earning just $1.50 a day to running an empire which made her one of the wealth- iest, successful women in the 20th centu- ry. The theater is last of the iconic build- ings that lined Indiana Avenue and still has much of its 1927 architecture. But this is more than a building—the center pro- motes social justice, provides cultural education, and empowering the next gen- eration of entrepreneurs, business own- ers, and civil leaders. The building itself is a symbol of African-American pride and continues to be a beacon within the com- munity. Indianapolis International Airport is a mere 15 minutes from downtown Indianapolis, averaging 145 daily depar- tures to 50 nonstop destinations for busi- ness and leisure travel. • • FORT WAYNE • • As Indiana's second largest city, Fort Wayne offers top-of-the-line meeting ven- ues, 500 restaurants, 60 hotels and hun- dreds of activities and attractions! Located in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, the Grand Wayne Convention Center welcomes hundreds of state, regional and national meetings, conven- tions, conferences and trade shows each year. The Grand Wayne Center is the second largest convention center in Indiana, boasts over 225,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, four exhibit halls, eight breakout rooms, and is adjoined to two full-service hotels, making it a premier Midwest meetings destination. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Fort Wayne – (800) 767-7752 Indianapolis skyline and the White River Photo Credit: rudi1976 • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS JW Marriott Indianapolis1,005 The Westin Indianapolis 575 Hyatt Regency Indianapolis 499 Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites 332 Indianapolis Marriott Downtown 650 EXHIBITION FACILITIES Indiana Convention Centre Total Exhibit Space 566,600 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms 71 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Indy – (800) 323 INDY

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