Downtown Indianapolis revenue associated with people visiting the city dropped significantly this year, but tourism officials say the city is well positioned to see that money return in 2021.
The Capital Improvement Board, CIB, oversees the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium and gave an update on downtown business. The pandemic drove tax revenue down more than 50 percent, mostly from hotel and restaurant business losses.
But Leonard Hoops, Visit Indy President and CEO, said downtown Indianapolis is slowly building back and is better off than many other cities.
"It seems to me, as I’ve talked to peers in other cities, that it’s a pretty decent year by most city standards," Hoops said.
Officials gave examples of things that put the city in a promising position -- it was able to hold some sporting events in 2020 and is working to host the entire NCAA tournament in March.
The Convention Center is nearly booked for the second half of 2021.
Hoops said he’s optimistic about next year.
"That there will be a fairly robust recovery, again not all the way to 2019 levels in 2021, but a good way back from where we’ve been," Hoops said.
Last year, 2019, was a record year for tourism business in downtown Indianapolis.