City officials throughout central Indiana are already preparing for the Super Bowl in February. For Bloomington, the big game is a way to showcase the city for tourism dollars.
Bloomington is one of 17 areas across south central Indiana designated as a Super Celebration Site for fans looking for a place to stay or visit during the week of the Super Bowl.
Bloomington’s Director of Tourism Julie Warren will soon be directing fans to Fountain Square Mall off the downtown square as the welcome area.
“We’re trying to promote Bloomington to visitors as a unique destination. The fact that we’re home to IU and all those different assets makes us a little unique from some of the other surrounding communities,” Warren says.
She compares the economic impact being like having an IU home football game, but during a slow time of the year.
“We have definitely invested some money in signage, we’re working with several different partners to do some advertising in the visitor’s guide, so there’s some resources being put into it, but it’s not tremendous.”
Their ‘Super Bloomington’ website lists a variety of activities already planned for the week along with hotel availability.
Hilton Garden Inn General Manager Mike Campbell says rooms are still available but filling quickly.
“Right now, Indianapolis itself is starting to fill up and so some of the blocks that are being held for the NFL are starting to firm up so we’re starting to field those calls.”
Campbell says prices have gone up, but not as much as Indianapolis. Prices listed on VisitBloomington.com go anywhere from $99 to $399 a night.