It's been a big few weeks for Indianapolis in the facilities arena. Both the expansion to the convention center and the new J. W. Marriott hotel have been completed, and are open. I stopped by and took some pictures of what I could. Without further ado...
This is shot just inside the new, main conference center entrance. There's a lot of glass and light in this area. It's nice and bright.
There's a nice little eating area right by the entrance. It's the same places as the similar area by the overpass to the Marriott, but with much more seating room.
Here's the corridor that runs north-south. It ends in an escalator that goes below the street and ends up in Lucas Oil Stadium. This means possible easier access to surface parking. I think there's also access to the Crowne Plaza hotel down this direction, but I haven't checked it out yet.
Looking the other direction (east-west), we have this corridor. It runs parallel to the main corridor in the old section of the convention center. There's lots of new space on both sides of this.
Under the escalator you can see in the distance in the last picture is this nice, cozy little area. Not sure what's going behind the bar, but hopefully something good. Not a bad place for a quick game of something between events.
This is taken on the far west end of the hall, looking east towards the main entrance on the second floor. the space is very light and well done (depending on your opinion of that industrial carpeting, lol).
This was a hard shot, but it's looking from the new area, back north to the old portion of the conference center.
Stats..you want stats? Here you go. New addition doubles the size of the conference center. 254,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit hall and 63,000 sq. ft. of new meeting rooms for a total of roughly 930,000 sq. ft. of space for Gen Con now :).
Here at the west end of the old center is the set of overpasses that takes you to the new J. W. Marriott and the assorted Marriott suite hotels. This thing looks like a booze flask. All it needs is a big silver water tank up top to complete the image. Seriously though, it's very nice inside.
This is the main entrance to the new J. W. Marriott. Very swanky for those staying here. I think they even have a parking garage, so you can put that car you pulled up in someplace (parking has traditionally been an issue downtown).
The J.W. is designed with a very modern feel. The lobby is well laid out, and currently bursting with helpful staff. What you can't see in this picture is the very nice sports bar you will run into if you continue in the direction the camera is pointing.
Turning around from the last picture, there's this cozy area. Lot's of areas to lounge in. If we don't have gamers at least playing Zombie Dice back in here, we've all failed as con goers :).
The conference center area of the hotel has a lot of these little sitting areas. Each is done differently, with a different style. Again...we need to put these to good use I think.
Finally, from the conference center portion of the J.W., you have a great view of Victory Field. If there are any games going on during Gen Con, you'll be able to see them from here, should you care to. All you can see now though, is the remnants of the ice storm we just got hit with.
I hope you all enjoyed this little photo tour of the new facilities. I'm no "member of the press", so I didn't get inside any of the halls, or get to see the rooms (or even the biggest ballroom in the midwest, located at the J. W. Marriott). Still, this should whet your appetite for some awesome gaming coming in August.