The Journal Gazette
Monday, January 06, 2020 1:00 am

Five questions for Dan O'Connell

President/CEO, Visit Fort Wayne

1 How did Fort Wayne fare last year in drawing visitors?

It was a banner year for Fort Wayne's visitor industry. We hosted more than 6.5 million visitors, including the International Blind Athletes' Paralympic Qualifier, an NCAA Basketball Championship and some very fun international jugglers.


2 What are you expecting in 2020? Are there major conferences on tap?

We are expecting a 3 to 5% increase with several national conventions, including for the first time ever the NCAA Division 1 Women's Midwest Regional Championship.


3How will the increase in the innkeeper's tax be used?

We going to tell the nation about our fabulous Genealogy Center, plus Turnstone and extend our advertising and marketing messages to a wider audience in a seven-state area.


4 Fort Wayne has a new attraction in Promenade Park – how will you market it?

Promenade Park will be featured on the cover of our Visitors Guide, have a full-page story and be included in all our print, digital and social media marketing. The park fits perfectly with our ongoing “family-friendly” marketing plan.


5 What does a dream vacation destination or weekend getaway look like for you?

Getaway weekend? What's that? My wife and I have 14 grandchildren. Our weekends are full of dance recitals, basketball games, baseball and sleepovers. We love it!

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