Successful Meetings - October 2008 - (Page 8)

10.08 & ANALYSIS > Supplier News NEWS New Stadium Sends Indianapolis Off to the Races Like a pace car on the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Aug 16 opening of Lucas Oil Stadium officially marked the starting point for a cavalcade of downtown infrastructural changes designed to transform “The Racing Capital of the World” into a first-tier convention city. The 63,000-seat Lucas Oil Stadium (LOS)—the new home of the NFL’s Colts—has added more than 180,000 square feet of exhibition space to the city’s stock. Just as important, the LOS’ launch ushers out the old RCA Dome, which will be imploded to make way for a major expansion of the Indiana Convention Center set to open in late 2010. Also transforming Indianapolis’ convention package in a big way is Marriott International’s 1,600-room, four-hotel complex across from the center. It is > ON THE RECORD anchored by a 1,000-plus-room JW MarBjorn Hanson: from analyst riott, with a 40,000-square-foot ballroom to teacher . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 10 and 105,000 total square feet of meeting space that will be the city’s biggest hotel > CALENDAR upon its March 2011 launch. The JW will Upcoming industry be preceded by Courtyard, Fairfield, and events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 13 SpringHill properties in March 2010. > PLANNER NEWS And Indianapolis’ new $1.1-billion NBTA plans SMMP certifiairport, with two 20-gate concourses, cation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 15 will debut on Nov 11, shuttering the current facility, which has been in use for the last 40 years. “We’ve always heard comments about being in Chicago’s shadow,” said Chris Gahl, senior spokesperson for the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association (ICVA), during a pre-opening, hardhat tour of LOS held in late July. “The stadium and expanded convention center complex will allow us to stack two citywides at the same time. We will have the amenities of a Tier One city, priced at a Tier Two.” One big selling point of the center-stadium complex is its convenience. Especially in the winter months, attendees will appreciate the planned underground walkway linking the expanded convention center with the new stadium, Gahl notes. The Marriott complex also will be linked to the convention center via skywalk. The ICVA claims that by 2011, its center will be physically connected to 4,700 hotel rooms among 12 properties, the most out of all similarly connected convention complexes in the country. All the properties are within a three-block radius, and the skywalks also lead to many of the 200 restaurants and 50 attractions downtown. “Once you’re downtown, there’s no need for a car,” says Dawna Money, ICVA’s director of convention sales. The new stadium’s meetings-friendly design is also energizing convention prospects. With the Colts using the building just 13 percent of the time, according to Gahl, it was important that LOS be purpose-built for non-sports functions. As such, the walkway from the convention center, now under construction, leads directly to LOS’ two secondary exhibit halls and 12 meeting rooms. The 140,000-squarefoot, field-level exhibition floor is divisible by two. Eleven loading docks are event-level to ease move-ins and outs, and the stadium’s wide pedestrian concourses and severcontinued on page 13 OCTOBER 2008 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS Inside 8

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - October 2008

Successful Meetings - October 2008
Editor's Note
Supplier News
On the Record
Planner News
Planner Spotlight
Personal Success
Technology Talk
Food &Beverage
Tools of the Trade
On Site
Technology for Modern Meetings
A Tale of Two Cities
A Cast of Thousands
Places & Spaces
Mexican Destination Resorts
New Orleans
Lake Tahoe / Reno

Successful Meetings - October 2008