Big events mean big business for downtown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some business owners said they are feeling the effects after two big events brought more people downtown. First it was Disney on Ice last week, followed by Jam Fest which brought hundreds of cheerleaders and their families to Indianapolis over the weekend.

While it’s too soon to know exactly how much money the events brought in, the out of town visitors kept executive chef at Weber Grill Matt Kovacinski busy.

“It was cool to see, it’s been a long time since I think any of us have seen something exciting and fun like that. We were packed all weekend, so it was nice, kind of like getting back to normal almost,” Kovacinski said.

Over on Mass Ave, at Silver in the City, manager Hannah Bair said it was the same story.

“Yesterday on Sunday, we still had a lot of out of towners, a lot of like bigger groups of people who were waiting on dinner reservations and then just decided to come in and shop,” said Bair.

For the first time in a long time, restaurants and shops were at capacity and some even had lines out the door.

However, it’s what happens between those big events that has Bob Schultz from Downtown Indy Inc concerned. He said while competitions, conventions and sports do bring money in, they don’t last forever.

“The sustainability of our tourism infrastructure is dependent on a consistent workforce as well as a reliable patronage of downtown residents,” said Schultz.

It’s a customer base businesses would like to see more of.

“As much as we like to see people from out of town and conventions and stuff, we love our neighbors and the people in our neighborhood to be able to come down and see us,” said Kovacinski.

Even as events continue to be canceled, business owners are hopeful for what’s to come.

In just a couple weeks, Bankers Life Fieldhouse will welcome a limited number of fans for Pacers games. After, they look forward to March Madness.