INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Downtown Indianapolis’ latest annual report was released on Thursday.
Sherry Seiwert, president of Downtown Indy Inc., said her organization’s report shows many signs of progress.
The meeting was held at the Hilbert Circle Theater, which was a momentous event as it was the first major event at the Monument Circle venue since the coronavirus pandemic began, which happened 415 days after the previous one.
“The condition of the city center is getting better and better,” said Seiwert.
According to Seiwert, the top figure in this year’s report is $ 413 million, the value of developments completed in 2020.
“I think we’re on our way back. I know that it is us, ”said Seiwert.
She said the success of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in March and April along with the Indy 500 in May was no small matter. She said it was already paid off with interest from other parties.
“If we show that we can continue to hold events safely, it will send a message to the world that Indianapolis can do it,” said Seiwert.
Visit Indy President and Chief Executive Officer Leonard Hoops and others believe these major sporting events, as well as the other special events aimed at local audiences – the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra or professional theater productions – will also help keep the needle moving .
“Downtown is really in a lot better shape than I think most people have long realized, but it takes things like the NCAA to get people back to see what happens,” said Hoops.
Hoops shared an interesting tidbit for the crowd: On Saturday night, Marion County and the surrounding counties had the ninth-highest-selling hotel rooms ever sold. The only other nights that topped that number were big events like the 2012 Super Bowl and the annual GenCon gaming convention.
But that was not the case on Saturday; only many smaller events added up.
“I think that’s a good sign of the pent-up demand. People just want to get out there and do something, ”said Hoops.
Discussion Thursday also looked ahead to the next challenge: How can you thrive in a world that has been constantly changing and where more people than ever before either work full time or work from home in a hybrid model? But, said Seiwert, when compared to other cities, Indy is ahead of the curve.
“All of these little components add up to ‘we’re on our way back’ but it will take time,” she said.
Seiwert said she believes a real change in downtown life as it used to be will happen this fall. She believes more companies than ever will bring their employees back after Labor Day.