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Stuff to do in Indianapolis - While visiting the Midwest Metropolis

Know of an upcoming modeling event?

Postby TMSmalley » Tue May 31, 2005 7:20 am

If your significant other is saying "What am I supposed to do all day while you are out playing U-boat captain at the SubRegatta?" - I saw this in USA Today on Friday.

If you click this link you will go to the actual story with photos. If for some reason the link doesn't work - the text is pasted below...

USA Today Story about Indianapolis Tourism Opportunities

Indy ups the 'hip' factor
By Kitty Bean Yancey, USA TODAY
Indianapolis is revving up its tourism engine.


The city known for sports — especially the Memorial Day weekend Indy 500 car race — has a growing roster of attractions and is gearing up to become a hipper, multifaceted draw.

"Things are rocking and rolling here," says Bob Schultz, public relations director for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. Now visitors will find "martini bars, cultural districts and a club atmosphere," he says.

Image

Among new developments:

• An interact-with-dolphins attraction at the Indianapolis Zoo. The Dolphin Adventure, opening Saturday, features what's billed as the world's first fully submerged viewing area and a program that lets visitors feed and play with dolphins. Information: indyzoo.com.

• The Indianapolis Museum of Art's $220 million expansion. It includes a 100-acre Art & Nature Park, restaurant from L.A. chef Wolfgang Puck and nearly doubled exhibit space. On the grounds is recently renovated Lilly House, home of late Indianapolis pharmaceutical mogul and philanthropist J.K. Lilly Jr. Information: ima-art.org.

• The city's largest-ever public art exhibit. Two dozen whimsical bronze sculptures by New Yorker Tom Otterness are on display in public spaces in downtown Indianapolis through July 31. The show was a hit in its previous run on a stretch of Broadway in Manhattan. Information: indyarts.org.


AJ Mast, AP
Gulliver: A sculpture by New York artist Tom Otterness.

• The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art unveils a $20 million expansion June 11. It's one of just two museums east of the Mississippi to focus on Western and Native American works. Information: eiteljorg.org.

• The Children's Museum of Indianapolis marks the first anniversary of its Dinosphere in June. The Dinosphere is one of the world's biggest displays of dinosaur fossils, and it includes fun, interactive stations. The museum, the largest in the USA for children, also is the only Midwest stop of the largest traveling exhibit of Norman Rockwell's work for Indianapolis-based The Saturday Evening Post. Running June 18-Jan. 16, 2006, it will allow visitors to step into re-creations of the artist's famed covers. Information: childrensmuseum.org.

Also coming to a city whose downtown has been revitalized by a powerful partnership of government and private groups is a new sports stadium with retractable roof that will host the Colts football team and NCAA basketball championships. The $900 million project, which is due in 2008, includes an expanded convention center. Other projects are listed at indy.org.

Indianapolis is viewed as a "second-tier" U.S. city when it comes to tourist appeal, says Dave Downing, travel columnist and editor of Fodor's guides. "But it has the potential to move up."

One barometer is employees in industries that serve tourists. In 2002, Indianapolis had 55,000, Schultz says. In 2003, there were 69,000, and the number is growing, he says.

Another measure of cachet is upscale hotel offerings. The Conrad chain — Hilton's luxury line — is opening a 243-room property next March. Conrad Hotels president Clem Barter says he is hoping to attract "high-end leisure travelers and captains of industry (who) are coming into town and not finding the accommodations they desire. Indianapolis, I think, has a wonderful potential."

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Tim Smalley
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