AIM ideas summit makes Evansville new target

"The words out that we're back in business and we seem to be doing very well," said Bob Warren, Executive Director of Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Its been 10 years since Accelerate Indiana Municipalities Ideas Summit set its sites on Evansville, and for a conference focused on local growth, AIM leaders say lack of growth was exactly why they haven't been back to the Tri-State since 2007.

"There was no facility once the Executive Inn came down, the capacity was not here to hold our conference, we need upwards of 600-700 hotel rooms, that wasn't here in the downtown,"said Matt Greller, CEO of AIM.

This year's president of the summit, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is able to tell and show his colleagues how Evansville's grown since 2007.

“Its why were back, they're able to accommodate us event space wise, hotel room wise," said Greller.

The very roof over conference goers head is serving as the perfect teaching aid for local economic growth, said Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

Winnecke said,"I can't tell you how many conversations I've had in the last two days with people who haven't been here in the last several years and they're amazed at the level of growth and excitement and level of vibrancy in our city."

Long time AIM member and now CEO, Matt Greller says he remembers Evansville from 2007, and barely recognized the city when he came back a decade later.

"Its changed dramatically, the downtown, the main street area, there doesn't seem to be a vacant shop or vacant restaurant, the DoubleTree Hotel, the new Ford Center arena, its really a different city from the last time we were here,"said Greller.

Greller says AIM plans on coming back to Evansville in the next two to three years, and making sure the city is part of the normal rotation.

Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau says the conference fills more than 500 hotel rooms and brings in thousands of dollars to the cities' economy.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb plans on making a stop at the summit Thursday for a question and answer session held by Mayor Winnecke.

Thursday will be the last day of the conference.


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