Why 2017 could set Grand Park’s attendance baseline

With complexes in place, and new hotels, Westfield believes 2017 will set an attendance baseline. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)

WESTFIELD, Ind (WISH) – New numbers show Grand Park’s 2016 impact. But with new hotels, and venues, the city is looking forward to 2017, which should set the facility’s attendance baseline.

The city projected 1.5 million people would visit this year. Instead, new numbers show it’s closer to two million.

A boost felt downtown, where Jan’s Village Pizza employees found themselves busy. “It’s been amazing,” Jan’s Village Pizza owner Kim Kercheval said. “It’s been a definite increase, and we do attribute that to Grand Park.”

This year, the complex opened two indoor facilities. The Jonathan Byrd Fieldhouse, and Grand Park Events Center.

“Phenomenal,” Grand Park Sports Campus Director William Knox said. “It was a phenomenal year, and the activity we had on campus was great. Our numbers continue to grow. We’re just excited to see what happens in 2017.”

Grand Park won’t be opening any massive buildings next year, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any new upgrades. Right now, work is underway on the city’s first two hotels.

“The one thing that impacts a trip the most is the facilities, second to that is the hotels,” Knox said.

This is one of two hotels opening in Westfield in 2017. Facilities that should increase Grand Park's attendance. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)
This is one of two hotels opening in Westfield in 2017. Facilities that should increase Grand Park’s attendance. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)

New numbers show the complex generated 60,000 hotel stays this year. But with two new hotels in 2017, the number should climb.

“We’ll probably use 2017 as our new baseline because we have all the pieces pulled together,” Knox said.

If it’s anything like this past year, these pizza shop workers won’t slow down anytime soon.

“We are excited about what next year is going to hold,” Kercheval said. “My mind is going how can we market this. How can we capitalize? How can we support Grand Park so that it benefits everybody.”

One hotel should open this spring. The other will open in the fall.

As for who’s generating the visitor boost, Grand Park relies heavily on travelers. Knox said about 80 percent of the tournaments are regional or national.

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