Anderson/Madison County Visitors Blog
The city of Anderson is part of a prestigious and exclusive club that is limited to only 32 cities across America. The benefits are great and the spotlight is about to shine.
I am referring to being the host of an NFL training camp. To be associated with the NFL—the most powerful and respected brand in all of sports—has countless benefits. To be part of that brand by playing host to the training camp of the Indianapolis Colts, one of the most respected franchises in the league, is even better. Camp this year is slated to run from July 24-August 13 at Anderson University.
When the Colts arrive in town they bring with them thousands of fans. Of course, these visitors have a positive impact on our economy as they spend money eating, getting gasoline, and perhaps staying in a hotel while they are here.
But many of the visitors come from within an hour or so drive of Anderson, and that can help the economy all year long. You see, we all know how easy the drive is from Anderson to Indianapolis. We do it all the time. We go down to Colts games and Pacers games. We go shopping. We go out to eat. We go to attractions. We do this because we know Indy is only about 45 minutes away.
But the road is paved in both directions and the drive from Indianapolis to Anderson is just as easy. However, unless a person makes the trip at least once, they may not realize just how close Anderson is. Heading to Anderson and Madison County may not be something that even enters their mind.
When I worked at Hoosier Park I used to hear all the time from people who lived in Indianapolis that they were surprised about how quickly they were able to get to Anderson. Hoosier Park still provides that benefit for the community and Colts Camp does too. Both are compelling reasons for someone to make the drive for the first time. And once they do, they usually come back.
They may come back for an Anderson Symphony Orchestra concert at the Paramount, for a visit to Mounds State Park, or a race at Anderson Speedway. They may go to the Gaither Family Resource Center. They may decide to try White River Zip Lines or Paintball. They may come back to eat at a restaurant they enjoy. They may come back to shop. The point is, we don’t know when they might be back or why, but there is a good chance they will be back. And each time they come, whether it is for Hoosier Park, Colts Camp, or any of the reasons I listed above, we benefit as a community.
So let’s show our Colts Pride during camp. Let’s be the gracious hosts we always are and be proud of what we have to offer. And remember, the person that comes to town during the three weeks the Colts are here just may be back one of the other 49 weeks in the year too!
News, notes, and thoughts— It is looking like we may have a positive resolution to the Wigwam saga as all signs point to Wigwam Sports and Entertainment taking possession of the historic complex early this month. I will write more extensively about the process and what I think it can mean for Anderson in the August newsletter…Kudos to everyone involved with the inaugural Anderson Brewfest. It was a great event. A huge crowd gathered downtown to sample craft beers and to listen to live music. It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to more in the future…VisitAndersonMadisonCounty.com continues to be on pace for more than 2 million page views in 2014. The one millionth page view of 2104 happened in June. The site had nearly 1.8 million page views in 2013…Do you like the Anderson Madison County Visitors Bureau on Facebook? Our page started last August and we already have over 5,000 fans…Look for an announcement in mid July from the Visitors Bureau, the Herald Bulletin, WQME, Ricker’s, and We are Madison County. We have all teamed up for an exciting new project. Details will be coming soon.
--Tom Bannon is executive director of the Anderson/Madison County Visitors Bureau