updated: 2/8/2011 12:18:23 PM

Big Conventions Returning to NW Indiana

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority says it helped secure two conventions that will pump hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. The Salvation Army, which traditionally holds the largest convention in northwest Indiana, is coming on board for an additional three years. The United Council of Corvette Clubs is returning to the region after nine years in other locations.

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February 8, 2011

News Release


Merrillville, IN – The South Shore will be rolling out the welcome mats to returning conventions that will be hosted at the Star Plaza in Merrillville. Salvation Army and the United Council of Corvette Clubs are two of the most recent conventions that were secured by the South Shore CVA and the Star Plaza sales staff. Both will bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the local economy.

Salvation Army is traditionally the largest convention held in northwest Indiana, bringing in 3,000 people and approximately 1,000 room nights. The convention was not held in Merrillville in 2010, but will return to the area in 2011 and again in 2012 and 2014. Salvation Army will bring more than $250,000 to the local economy (each year) with the influx of people attending the convention. Salvation Army will be held June 10th through 12th in 2011.

The United Council of Corvette Clubs (UCCC) was secured for July 8th through 15th of 2012. The event will include drag racing, a road course, cars shows and plenty of social activities. A very large part of securing the event was having the support of the Northwest Indiana Corvette Club during the bid process. Julius Johnson, Vice President of the UCCC and Governor of the NW Indiana Corvette Club, is a local “bring it home” hero for helping secure the event in northwest Indiana. Johnson said, “We are excited to bring this event back to the region after 9 years in other locations. It’s going to be at great event for the community and also a great way to showcase the area to other Corvette enthusiasts.”

The United Council of Corvette Clubs will bring 200 attendees and will total approximately 560 room nights. Through visitor spending at local businesses and the Star Plaza, the convention will bring more than $140,000 to the economy.

The South Shore CVA has been aggressively working on the “bring it home” campaign, where locals can help influence a bid of regional, state or national events to come to northwest Indiana. Conference attendees spend an average of $250 (including hotel rates) during their stay in northwest Indiana. The SSCVA places great value on the “bring it home” message because it increases economic impact and supports local businesses. Anyone interested in bringing a meeting to the South Shore, can contact Kate Hurey, Convention Sales Manager at (219) 554-2227 or khurey@southshorecva.com. Once a meeting is booked, the CVA can provide assistance like coordinating room blocks, meeting facilities, leisure options and more.

Source: South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority

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