Convention Center, JW Marriott on Schedule in Indy

With less than six months to go before their respective openings, the expanded Indiana Convention Center and the new JW Marriott – Indianapolis Downtown are both on pace to open in early 2011, according to local reports.

Construction of the $275 million Indiana Convention Center expansion is 85 percent complete, The Indianapolis Star reported this month. Set to open in January — with its first event scheduled for February — the upgraded facility will have over 1.2 million square feet of meeting space, up substantially from its previous 725,000 square feet. So far, according to the Star, the expansion's banquet kitchen is 100 percent complete, its exterior framing is 99 percent done, its technology is 70 percent complete, and a new tunnel connecting the convention center with Lucas Oil Stadium is 85 percent finished.

The JW Marriott also is nearing completion and is on track for its opening on Feb. 4, 2011, it announced last week. So far, the new hotel has booked 100,000 room nights for 2011. Upon opening, it will be the world's largest JW Marriott hotel, with 1,005 guest rooms and the Midwest's largest ballroom, at 40,500 square feet.

"With the grand opening just around the corner, we have already garnered such great success in booking several new conventions and meetings," said Director of Sales and Marketing Cory Chambers. "Our first large group event is scheduled to visit when we open, and we look forward to welcoming them as our first guests."