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INDIANAPOIS — The City of Indianapolis will spend $1 million on a marketing campaign to bring people back downtown.

The announcement came Wednesday from Mayor Joe Hogsett, City-County Council President Vop Osili and Visit Indy President & CEO Leonard Hoops.

The center city has suffered since March when the pandemic shut down offices, sports, convention, restaurants and hotels. Then, two nights of looting following protests of the Minneapolis police death of George Floyd left many businesses boarded up.

The marketing campaign includes discounts to downtown hotels, and will highlight local businesses, cultural institutions, restaurants, and more. Advertisements will run on television, radio, digital, and social media platforms through Labor Day.

“From the uncertainty of the pandemic’s first days, to the difficult adjustments we made in March and April, to the chorus of voices that have filled our streets calling out for justice, to our ongoing efforts to find a “new normal” in the midst of a global pandemic – to say 2020 has been an unprecedented time in our city’s 200-year history would be an understatement,” said Mayor Hogsett.

“Now, as we continue to work with Dr. Caine and state leadership to safely keep our economy open, we want to begin to invite visitors back to Indy. Research shows that nearly 50% of Indiana residents plan to take a trip in July and August. Many of them are planning for a trip within driving distance. And we want to ensure when they are planning a trip, that trip is to Indianapolis.”

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