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Indianapolis airport looking to build new hotel

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indianapolis International Airport could soon be getting what some say is a much-needed addition.

Local economic leaders have high hopes the new plan will give a financial shot in the arm to the local economy.

The Indianapolis Airport Authority issued a Request for Expression of Interest in an effort to explore the possibility of building a hotel on airport grounds.

The new full-service hotel would be located on a 12-acre lot next to the airport's terminal parking structure.

It's an idea officials with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce say will only spur further growth in an area that desperately needs it.

"The west side of Indianapolis has so much potential," Ian Nicolini, vice president of Indianapolis Economic Development with the Indy Chamber said. "I think that's why you're seeing so much interest. The opportunity to bring people that are going to take advantage of a No. 1-rated airport and have a place to stay that could bring the additional amenities. I think it is a great opportunity for the airport to at least be studying the potential impacts of."

The request, filed by the Indianapolis Airport Authority on March 30, is intended to gather additional input from hotel development and operations experts to determine how feasible a project like this really is.

Feasible or not, drivers waiting at the airport Wednesday say they fully support the idea.

"I think the hotel would be great," Pam Foster said. "There's nothing out here. If we had several of them even. For people coming in and waiting or even flying out early in the morning, they could stay the night before."

"There's nothing out here and there needs to be something," Jeff Johnson said. "This would be a great gathering place. So why not build something here? If one comes, more (are) going to come. If one restaurant comes, more (are) going to come. Because they have a customer base that would be out here. So why would you not do that? It would look good for Indianapolis and Indiana to do that."

24-Hour News 8 reached out to airport officials on this story; however, no one was available for comment as of Wednesday evening. 

The Indianapolis Airport Authority is accepting responses on this project through June 28. 

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