INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tourism officials who work to bring sporting events and conventions to Indiana's capital are cutting executive pay for the rest of the year to cope with heavy financial losses expected from the coronavirus pandemic.
The pay cuts by the Capital Improvement Board of Marion County, which owns and operates the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, and Visit Indy are intending to save money ahead of expected tax revenue drops following a wave of hotel reservation cancellations and other financial blows after numerous Indianapolis events have been canceled or postponed amid the pandemic.
CIB executives and hourly employees received at least a 20% pay reduction and executive director, Andy Mallon, lowered his $220,000 salary by 25% through 2020, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.
“We're really just trying to do what we though was a balanced approach, so as to keep people on payroll and provide them some money — rather than having layoffs across the board at this time,” Mallon said.
Visit Indy reduced its executive salaries by an average of 26% and froze all executive bonuses. CEO Leonard Hoops cut his own pay by 40% over the last nine remaining months of the year.
Both CIB and Visit Indy moved their employees to four-day work weeks and have cut travel and non-essential expenses.
Mallon said he does not have an exact figure for how much the board expects to save with payroll cuts and it is not clear at the moment if CIB plans to use its cash revenues, which exceed $100 million, for any shortfalls.
Senior Vice President of Marketing Chris Gahl said central Indiana has lost at least 88,000 hotel room nights with the cancellation of 22 events that were scheduled at the convention center between March and May, while another 13 have been postponed. He expects tens of millions of dollars lost in revenue if cancellations to continue later into the year.