by Michael C. Lowe | April 01, 2014
Why Here?
Millions of dollars are being invested in enhancements to the hotels linked to the Indiana Convention Center. The Westin Indianapolis (above) is enjoying a $14 million upgrade, while the Crowne Plaza Hotel Indianapolis Downtown Union Station recently wrapped up an extensive renovation.

Green Is Taking Off
In 2011, Indianapolis International Airport became the first such LEED-certified facility in the country. Last year, the airport opened a 75-acre solar farm that will generate 16.5 million kilowatt hours of energy annually -- the equivalent of what's needed to run some 18,000 average homes for a year.

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, unveiled last year, is an eight-mile-long bike path connecting the city's six designated cultural districts, including top restaurants and attractions.

Beacon and Apes
The Indianapolis Zoo will inaugurate its new $26 million International Orangutan Center this month. At the center of the 4-acre exhibit is the Beacon of Hope structure (pictured), which serves as a unique event venue.
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Local Update

• The Westin Indianapolis has completed a $14 million renovation of its 573 guest rooms, which now feature new carpeting, wall coverings, lighting and more. The property, attached to the Indiana Convention Center, includes 39,000 square feet of meeting space.

• The 100-room downtown Historic Canterbury Hotel is closed while undergoing a $9.5 million renovation. The project includes a refurbishment of the lobby, upgrades to guest rooms, and a revamp of the restaurant. When it reopens this fall, the hotel will be rebranded as Le Méridien Indianapolis. The property features more than 1,750 square feet of meeting space and is connected to the Indiana Convention Center.

• The 273-room Crowne Plaza Hotel Indianapolis Downtown Union Station has finished an $8 million renovation of its guest rooms and 55,000 square feet of meeting space. Additional upgrades were made to the hotel's dining outlets.

• The Alexander, a 209-room boutique hotel that opened in January 2013, features more than 40 contemporary works of art curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Dolce property offers upscale dining and an IACC-certified conference center that includes more than 16,000 square feet of meeting space.

• The 407-room Wyndham Indianapolis West is fresh from a $1.5 million renovation of its meeting rooms and public spaces. The hotel has 35,000 square feet of meeting space.

• At the Indiana State Fairgrounds, The Coliseum completed a $53 million renovation last month. The 75-year-old structure now serves as a flexible meeting and event space that can accommodate up to 8,000 people seated. Next door, a new $10 million Youth Arena offers approximately 30,000 square feet of multi-purpose event space.

Meeting Hotels: Indianapolis is home to about 32,000 hotel rooms, 7,100 of which are downtown. Major properties with meeting space include the 1,005-room JW Marriott Indianapolis, 622-room Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 573-room Westin Indianapolis, 499-room Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, 407-room Wyndham Indianapolis West, 360-room Embassy Suites Indianapolis Downtown, 332-room Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites, 315-room Indianapolis Marriott East, 297-room Courtyard Indianapolis Downtown, 241-room Conrad Indianapolis, 221-room Embassy Suites Indianapolis North and 221-room Hilton Indianapolis North.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium; exhibit space, 749,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 83; (317) 262-3400,

Airport Transit: Indianapolis International Airport, 15 minutes from downtown Indianapolis. Transfer cost by taxi to convention center area, approximately $30. Transfer cost by shuttle to downtown Indianapolis, $10

Taxes: Room tax, 10%; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 17%

Group Venues: The 1,005-room JW Indianapolis offers groups two dining outlets with space for events. The upscale High Velocity sports bar is a lively venue surrounded by high-definition plasma TVs. For an exclusive game-day event, groups can book the bar's Skybox, a private room with multiple HD TVs, including an 85-inch, 3-D plasma TV. The space can host up to 24 guests. (317) 860-5800; 

In addition, the hotel's Osteria Pronto restaurant serves regional Italian cuisine such as pan-seared sea bass over spinach risotto, and Tuscan meatballs with grilled crostini. Groups of up to 12 can experience private dining in the eatery's wine room. For larger groups, a separate room can accommodate up to 85. (317) 860-5800;

Contact: Visit Indy, (800) 323-4639;