Restaurant Convention Still Undecided About Staying in Chicago

June 20, 2006

Chicago tourism authorities say the city's convention business is strong. They're touting a busy July schedule for conventions and special events.

But, after almost 60 years in Chicago, one of the city's largest conventions may soon skip town.

The National Restaurant Association's convention alone brings in more money than convention authorities are trumpeting for the entire month of July - over $100 million.

The restaurant association has committed to stay in Chicago next year. But 2008 is another story, with association officials seriously mulling a move to Las Vegas or Orlando.

They say a recent contract for the Rigger's Union, in which the union made some controversial concessions, helps Chicago's cause. But other issues remain, including available hotel rooms for convention guests.

And four weeks after the 57th annual restaurant convention wrapped up, no one's talking publicly about the future.