This afternoon at the historic Madame Walker Legacy Center, Visit Indy hosted it’s annual State of Tourism event. Distinguished guests included Mayor Joe Hogsett, who unveiled the 2020 Bicentennial logo, Alelia Bundles (great-granddaughter of Madame CJ Walker) and famed talk-show host and Indy native, Dave Letterman.
Letterman is the 2020 recipient of the Bill McGowan Leadership Award, Indy’s highest tourism honor.
During his speech, Hogsett remarked that it’s not our friendly climate, great location or natural resources that makes the city what it is. It’s about the residents. “Everything Indy is and Indy has, is because of it’s people,” he said. “It is because of our people we became the crossroads of the nation, racing capital of the world and a jazz hotspot that hasn’t gotten it’s proper due. We’re gonna change that.”
Visit Indy CEO, Leonard Hoops, presented a fun Top 10 of Indy tourism in true Late Show fashion. Highlights included the 2019 National Urban League conference and plans to build Belmont Beach along the White River near Mozel Sanders Park.
Chris Gahl, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Visit Indy, interviewed Letterman about his career, upbringing in Indy and other topics. When asked about the city’s Naptown nickname, Letterman said he doesn’t see it as a diss at all but rather a “term of endearment” and source of pride.
“(Hoosier hospitality), it’s the way people are supposed to be. It’s a manifestation of the Golden Rule… I try to carry that with me throughout my life. After living in New York City for 30 years you can’t take that for granted.”