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NRA Indy Means Paychecks, Invaluable Exposure

The VP of Visit Indy says conventions help pay for services and the record number of people who work in tourism.

INDIANAPOLIS--When you hear the NRA Annual Meetings are bringing $35 million into the state, it's a lot more than just a number. Conventions like it mean jobs in the tourism and services industries, said Chris Gahl, with Visit Indy, the organization that brings large conventions to Indianapolis.

"It keeps out hospitality industry fueled and working," said Gahl. "We have a all-time record 81,600 men and women who depend on tourism for a paycheck. Our ability to fill up the city with a convention and visitors keeps people working."

Gahl said the NRA meetings will be the fifth largest convention the city will host this year. An estimated 75,000 people are expected to attend, with that number possibly being closer to 80,000. The president and vice president are both expected to speak Friday.

"We know that out of the four plus million NRA members, many of them are located in the Midwest. So, it's very affordable, very easy, very quick trip to Indianapolis and that could tip it closer to 80,000 attendees."

Gahl also said the expected media coverage is invaluable for the city.

"More than 1,000 credentialed media will be here to cover the president speaking, covering the NRA. Some of it will be positive coverage, some negative, some neutral," he said. "They'll be bantering about not only what's happening with the NRA, but about the host city."

He likened the convention to a major sporting event, noting that thousands, possibly millions of people will be reading articles and watching coverage.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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