Conner Prairie Talks Growth Plans, Increased Attendance

Posted: Updated:
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park covers 800 acres. Conner Prairie Interactive History Park covers 800 acres.
FISHERS -

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park officials used their annual meeting this week to discuss rising attendance figures, a new indoor exhibit and a big donation from longtime supporters. The $500,000 support from Anderson-based Ricker Oil Co. founders Jay and Nancy Ricker will help cover restoration of the 800-acre museum's Chinese House.

The project, which will cost $1.4 million in all, is set to start next year. The house was purchased in 1949 by museum founder Eli Lilly and currently serves as a private event venue.

Officials details plans for a new maker space focusing on historic trades that is slated for construction next year. Fundraising and a feasibility study are already underway. Conner Prairie is in the midst of developing a 10-year master plan and Chief Executive Officer Norman Burns says "our dream is to explore the potential of our untapped resources, including the White River and the acres we own on both sides of its beautiful banks."

Attendance in 2016 hit 391,261, a 4 percent increase from 2015. The total numbers were drive by a record turnout for the annual Headless Horseman events and a week-long summer day camp for children. Also up were daily general admission and membership. Conner Prairie took in $11,118,691 in revenue last year and operated with a balanced budget for the 11th consecutive year.

  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Conexus)

      Getting the Word Out About Manufacturing & Logistics

      As the epicenter of the nation’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, Indiana has a compelling story to tell about how Hoosier companies make and move the goods people depend on every day. Our goal is to ensure everyone hears these stories – many of which share a common theme focused on cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way products are made and moved around the world and the people who use them. Conexus Indiana launched an...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

      A one-time mansion that once hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and replaced with condominiums, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana. 

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Photo courtesy of Purdue University

      Purdue Offers 'Stranger Things' Replica Tee

      Purdue University has partnered with trademark licensing agent CLC to produce a special-edition replica Purdue shirt that appeared on an episode of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3.”  The university also teamed up with Venley to accurately replicate the shirt, which will be available at retailers on the West Lafayette campus and online later this month.

    • Timothy Rushenberg

      Electric Co-Op Names VP

      The Indiana Electric Cooperatives has named Timothy Rushenberg vice president of government relations. He most recently served as vice president of the Indiana Energy Association. Rushenberg has also served with the Indiana Manufacturers Association and the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.  

    • Alexa Deaton and Colby Shank

      Higher Ed Commission Promotes Two

      The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has promoted Alexa Deaton to associate commissioner and Chief Financial Officer. She previously served as director of accounting. Also, Colby Shank has been promoted to associate commissioner for student financial aid, a new position for the organization. He most recently served as assistant commissioner for financial and student support services.