WESTFIELD, Ind (Sept. 18, 2015) - With a land mass greater than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Grand Park is living up to it's name. Westfield wants to build a hotel on the property to keep visitors and their dollars in the community.
“Its on an accelerated path. It really is,” said Todd Burtron with the City of Westfield.
And the city is confident if they build it, people will come.
“Travel youth sports is an $8.5 billion a year industry, so with Grand Park being a destination visitors will spend on average $143 per person per day,” said Burtron.
The problem is that some of those dollars are being spent at hotels outside the area.
“We’ve had teams travel as far away as Lafayette and Anderson to lodge and I think Grand Park is quality it’s a single point destination for their games,” said Burton.
That’s why the city is developing five acres on the property to build a hotel to accommodate those overnight guests.
Westfield received six proposals and right now Greenwood-based Jonathan Byrd’s plan is the front runner.
“Byrd has really made an impact in Westfield in a positive way. Not only partnering with the city for a restaurant in our indoor sports facility , but also with the private Jonathan Byrd Fieldhouse,” said Burtron.
Surrounding hotel and retail development in the works now will complete the picture.
“It’s about visitor experience and accessibility,” said Burtron.
Residents and businesses we spoke with support the plan.
“I think it’s great for the community. I think its great for all the people that come in from outta town and it benefits everybody,” said resident Rene Couto.
Chris Weiler, owner of The Mill Tavern just down the street says taking care of their regular customers and providing excellent food and service to out of town guests is the key.
“A good balance I think of businesses and residential tax base coming in and Grand Park was the lure for all of it, so its helping everybody around here.”
Burtron believes Westfield is on the right track for those that live and play here.
“We’re here working to create a quality of life that people desire and enjoy.”
In 2014, the City of Westfield made an economic impact of $43 million to the region. With new year-round facilities being added, those dollars are expected to increase.
More details about the hotel will be released in the next couple of months.