Dear Industry Partners,

Visit Fort Wayne has worked for over 65 years to promote Fort Wayne & Allen County for conventions and tourism. We do so to attract visitors’ spending to boost our economy, sustain jobs and enhance our city as a great destination for meetings, sports tournaments and tourism. 

Over the years, we’ve supported many developments that made Fort Wayne a better destination. We’ve supported expanding the Grand Wayne Center, growing the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, enlarging the Memorial Coliseum, creating Headwaters Park and relocating the ballpark to downtown. These all proved to be excellent investments in making Fort Wayne a better destination.

Today, we support the developing of our riverfront. It will add another space to attract and entertain visitors in Fort Wayne. We believe a new riverfront would be a ‘game changer’ for our destination, as it has been for Des Moines, Chattanooga and Greenville. When these cities developed their riverfronts they experienced a huge jump in tourism, as well as growth in civic pride, attracting a youthful workforce and a significant amount of additional private sector investment in their downtowns with new housing, commercial and entertainment places. Developing their riverfront improved the quality of life for all their residents, as well as tourism.

Our Board of Directors voted last week to support Dr. Crawford’s proposal to increase the Allen County Local Option Income Tax by .15%. The tax proceeds will be dedicated to develop the riverfront and repair our city’s deteriorated sidewalks and alleys. Raising taxes is never popular.  Our Board decided to support this increase because the tax funds were dedicated to the riverfront, a project we have long supported in our strategic plan. It also means the development will be accomplished sooner than later, and with a sufficient funding source to insure the riverfront will be built into something we can all be proud of, just like the convention center, coliseum and ballpark. 

Please visit our website to view Dr. Crawford’s Powerpoint presentation with his rationale and reasons why our Board supports this tax increase. 

If you also agree, please consider emailing or calling any City Council members (see list below) to voice your support by Tuesday, July 11th when they will vote on the income tax proposal. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, or any of Visit Fort Wayne’s Board of Directors.  


Dan O’Connell, President/CEO
Visit Fort Wayne


District  Name Email Phone
1st District Paul Ensley 255-5176
2nd District Russ Jehl 255-4580
3rd District Tom Didier 489-4559
4th District Jason Arp 210-0310
5th District Geoff Paddock 432-5700
6th District Glynn Hines 447-7144
At-Large Michael Barranda 426-1300
At-Large Dr. John Crawford 433-0295
At-Large Tom Freistroffer 704-4229