Indy visitors bureau exploring possible need for more hotels

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INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana): Indy’s visitors bureau is studying whether the city needs more hotel rooms.

Indy has lost a thousand hotel rooms in the last five years, with the closing of University Place at I-U-P-U-I, and closings and facelifts at other hotels. For megaevents like GenCon or the Final Four, the growth in suburban hotels has picked up the slack. But VisitIndy vice president Chris Gahl says planners need to know whether there are enough events of that size to fill additional hotel rooms, and whether having the space available would help Indy to land conventions which have gone elsewhere.

Gahl says the study will also examine whether it’s time to expand the Convention Center again, five years after the last expansion, but says hotel space is considered a more likely need.

Hotel developers don’t need VisitIndy’s blessing to build in Indianapolis, and Gahl says several have contacted the agency. But he says VisitIndy can act as a facilitator to keep an overall plan in mind for hotel development. He says the agency could help identify available land that can connect to the skywalk network which links several hotels to the Convention Center.


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