Tourism Up in Hamilton County

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Officials say the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield contributed to the growth. Officials say the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield contributed to the growth.

Officials from Hamilton County Tourism Inc. report the economic impact of tourism in the county rose 4.8 percent in 2014. The organization says the opening of the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield and a continued strong weekday business market contributed to the growth.

The Indiana Office of Tourism Development's annual study showed direct visitor spending grew to nearly $389 million and tourism-related jobs grew to 2.4 percent in 2014. The study says along with indirect spending, the economic impact was $581 million.

"This particular study was important because it showed how new visitors to Grand Park contribute greatly to our tourism spending number,” said Brenda Myers, Hamilton County Tourism president and chief executive officer. "This level of growth in a single year is considerable and can be attributed to both weekday and weekend visitor numbers."

Myers says growth between 2012 and 2013 was primarily flat, due to the influence of the Super Bowl in 2012.

County officials say a countywide shortage of hotel room supply on some weekdays and on most weekends that featured Grand Park tournaments "compressed a significant amount of tourism economic impact throughout the region."

The study says Hamilton County retained 91 cents of every tourism dollar spent. Tourism in the county also generated over $165 million in federal, state and local taxes.

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