WBEZ | Chicago tourism http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-tourism Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago hotels record near-record occupancy http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-hotels-record-near-record-occupancy-107798 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/chicago_flickr_Jens Travel Life.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago hotels continue to enjoy near-record occupancy, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it&#39;s a positive sign tourism is up in the nation&#39;s third-largest city.</p><p>Emanuel and the tourism office Choose Chicago announced Thursday hotels reported 81.2 percent occupancy in May. That&#39;s an 8.5 percent increase over May 2012.</p><p>The city also hit near-record tourism rates in 2012, with more than 46.2 million visitors.</p><p>Emanuel says the numbers show the city&#39;s strategic marketing approach is working. He says he&#39;s looking forward to more visitors coming to Chicago and that it&#39;s &quot;going to be a wonderful summer.&quot;</p><p>The mayor has set a goal of attracting 50 million visitors to Chicago by 2020. That would be an increase of almost 11 million over 2010.</p></p> Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-hotels-record-near-record-occupancy-107798 Chicago to renovate Navy Pier, build arena http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-renovate-navy-pier-build-arena-107251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/JCFO 12_0910_gateway fountain jet.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a multi-million dollar renovation plan Thursday that includes remodeling Navy Pier and building a 10,000-seat basketball arena near McCormick Place that would be the home court of DePaul University&#39;s basketball teams.</p><p>In a news release on Thursday, Emanuel&#39;s office said the first phase of a $278 million project to renovate Navy Pier will begin in the fall and will cost about $166 million. The city will put up $110 of that and private restaurants and the Chicago Children&#39;s Museum will put up the rest.</p><p>The arena built near McCormick Place also will be used as a hall for conventions and trade shows. McCormick Place and DePaul will each put up $70 million to design and build the arena.</p><p>Construction on the arena is targeted to begin in 2014, and officials hope to have it ready in time for the 2016-17 season. The facility likely will be able to host 17 men&#39;s basketball and 10 women&#39;s games.</p><p>The arena could be a boon for a once-proud men&#39;s program that has struggled in recent years.</p><p>The Blue Demons are coming off their sixth straight losing season and haven&#39;t made the NCAA tournament since 2004. They are 30-64 and just 6-48 in Big East play in three years under Oliver Purnell.</p><p>But there was a time back when Ray Meyer was the coach and Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings were electrifying fans that the Blue Demans were the most popular basketball team in the city. That also was before Michael Jordan landed with the Bulls.</p><p>The DePaul men&#39;s team has played most of its games at Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont, Ill., since 1980, making it difficult for students and fans living and working in the city to attend. The small crowds and older arena probably weren&#39;t an easy sell for recruits, either.</p><p>Many fans were hoping DePaul would build an arena on or near its main campus in the vibrant Lincoln Park neighborhood, but finding landing in a densely populated area was no small task. The school reportedly turned down an offer from Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to play at the United Center.</p><p>The new arena at McCormick Place would be near several major highways and be reachable by train from DePaul&#39;s campuses in the city.</p></p> Fri, 17 May 2013 15:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-renovate-navy-pier-build-arena-107251 Illinois' not-so-magnificent miles http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/illinois-not-so-magnificent-miles-106153 <p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>&#39;SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE.&#39;</strong> That&#39;s the American Society of Civil Engineers president assessing&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-illinois-infrastructure-report-card-0319-20130319,0,4904502.story" target="_blank">the D-plus his group&#39;s awarding Illinois for condition of its infrastructure</a>. The <em>Tribune</em> says the society found 73 percent of Illinois roads in poor or mediocre shape -- at an average annual cost to the typical motorist of $292 in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs.<br />* So come for a visit -- but just don&#39;t drive: Chicago&#39;s set to <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-tourism-bureau-sees-new-taxes-doubling-budget-to-32m-20130318,0,2517516.story" target="_blank">double its tourism and convention bureau budget</a> this year.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>&#39;MAYOR STEPHENS WANTS THE CUBS TO KNOW THEY HAVE AN OPTION.&#39;</strong> A spokesman for Rosemont elaborates on an offer to <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18944715-761/the-rosemont-cubs-thats-what-suburbs-mayor-is-pushing-for.html" target="_blank">give the Ricketts family 25 acres of land to build a replica of Wrigley Field in the &#39;burbs</a>&nbsp;if things don&#39;t work out in Chicago.<br />* Plan to spend&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-plans-to-expand-concert-pavilion-at-northerly-island-20130318,0,1261432.story" target="_blank">$3 million to expand the Northerly Island concert pavilion</a>&nbsp;up for vote Thursday.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>&#39;APOLOGIZE ON AIR FOR SYMPATHIZING WITH THE STEUBENVILLE RAPISTS.&#39;</strong> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/cnn-steubenville-rape-petition_n_2901462.html?ir=Media" target="_blank">More than 100,000 people</a> have signed <a href="https://www.change.org/petitions/cnn-apologize-on-air-for-sympathizing-with-the-steubenville-rapists" target="_blank">an online petition</a> demanding CNN renounce its &quot;disgusting&quot; portrayal of two athletes convicted of raping a woman.<br />* <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/18/fox-news-steubenville-rape-victim_n_2901635.html?ir=Media" target="_blank">TV networks aired 16-year-old rape victim&#39;s name</a>.<br />* Blogger who flagged Steubenville case fights <a href="http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/how-blogger-helped-steubenville-rape-case-unfold-online/" target="_blank">criticism she helped create &quot;Internet lynch mob.&quot;</a></span></p><hr /><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 20px;"><em><span style="color: rgb(128, 0, 0);">Get this blog by email, free.&nbsp;</span><a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">Sign up here</a>.</em></span></span></p><hr /><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>THE STATE OF JOURNALISM.&nbsp;</strong>Know the story of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant" target="_blank">the blind men and the elephant</a>? That&#39;s the sort of treatment the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/2012/03/19/state-of-the-news-media-2012/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center&rsquo;s 2012 News Media Consumption</a> survey is getting. Choose your own adventure:<br />* &quot;Report:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/03/18/report_local_news_somehow_even_worse_than_it_was_before/" target="_blank">Local news somehow even worse than it was before</a>.&quot;<br />* &quot;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/03/new-coverage-local-politics-fading-away" target="_blank">News Coverage of Local Politics Is Fading Away</a>.&quot;<br />* &quot;State of the media: <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2013/03/18/state-of-the-media-the-cracks-are-still-widening-but-some-light-is-also-getting-in/" target="_blank">The cracks are still widening, but some light is also getting in</a>.&quot;<br />* &quot;<a href="http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/digital-as-mobile-grows-rapidly-the-pressures-on-news-intensify/" target="_blank">As Mobile Grows Rapidly, the Pressures on News Intensify</a>.&quot;<br />* &quot;<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/207392/nearly-one-third-of-u-s-adults-have-abandoned-a-news-outlet-due-to-dissatisfaction/" target="_blank">Nearly one-third of U.S. adults have abandoned a news outlet due to dissatisfaction</a>.&quot;<br />* &quot;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/this-is-the-scariest-statistic-about-the-newspaper-business-today/274125/" target="_blank">This Is the Scariest Statistic About the Newspaper Business Today</a>.&quot;<br />* &quot;<a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/03/18/state_of_the_news_pew_analysis_shows_cnn_drop_in_reported_pieces_and_domination.html">Newspaper Newsroom Staff Numbers Are at Lowest Point Since 1978</a>.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>... AND SO, CRY &#39;HYPOCRISY&#39; IF YOU WILL. BUT NOT IF YOU CLICK HERE.&nbsp;</strong><em>The Atlantic: </em>&quot;17,616 Men Went to the ER for <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/17-616-men-went-to-the-er-for-zipper-related-penis-injuries-between-2002-and-2010/274113/" target="_blank">Zipper-Related Penis Injuries</a> Between 2002 and 2010.&quot; &nbsp;</span></p><hr /><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* Looking for the most recent WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/news-quiz" target="_blank">Here you go</a>.</em></span></p></p> Tue, 19 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/illinois-not-so-magnificent-miles-106153 Chicago getting an extra $5 million to entice tourists to the city http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-getting-extra-5-million-entice-tourists-city-105666 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/O&#039;Hare Airport.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The city is chipping in $5 million in annual funding to boost Chicago&rsquo;s tourism traffic.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the announcement Thursday at an annual meeting hosted by the city&rsquo;s tourism agency, &ldquo;Choose Chicago.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>On average, Chicago gets about 46 million visitors every year.</p><p>But Emanuel wants to up that number to 50 million by the year 2020.</p><p>He joked about the importance of enticing more international visitors, even if it&rsquo;s just for a short stay.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s like family members, they stay for a week and leave, exactly like we want it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You obviously don&rsquo;t have a family member like I have a family member - you want them to come for just a weekend - but it helps the city of Chicago, it markets it and it continues to make sure we are doing what we need to do to build the business and build the jobs that are essential for our city.&rdquo;</p><p>Emanuel&rsquo;s office said the extra $5 million will come from revenue from city airports.</p><p>The office said the money will be put back into O&rsquo;Hare and Midway, using ad&#39;s and campaigns to market the usage of Chicago&#39;s two airports, in order to increase traffic.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 15:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-getting-extra-5-million-entice-tourists-city-105666 1,200-room hotel planned near McCormick Place http://www.wbez.org/news/1200-room-hotel-planned-near-mccormick-place-105598 <p><p>A 1,200-room hotel will be built near McCormick Place to accommodate the crowds that come to Chicago for conventions and trade shows.</p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to build the hotel in a news release Tuesday. They say the project will create nearly 2,500 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs.</p><p>Quinn says McCormick place is already an asset to Illinois and the hotel will help bring in more business and fuel the state&#39;s economic recovery by putting more people to work.</p><p>Emanuel says the new hotel will further establish Chicago as the best destination for conventions and trade shows.</p><p>McCormick Place is the largest exhibition and meeting facility in North America with 2.6 million square feet of convention space.</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/1200-room-hotel-planned-near-mccormick-place-105598 Emanuel: NATO summit marketing tool for Chicago http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-nato-summit-marketing-tool-chicago-99416 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he did a bit of business with foreign leaders who came to his city for the NATO summit, some for the first time.</p><p>Emanuel told reporters after the two-day summit wrapped up Monday that he talked with the Netherland&#39;s leader about the prospects of making O&#39;Hare Airport a North American hub for that country&#39;s flower trade.</p><p>The mayor also says he discussed education strategy with British Prime Minister David Cameron and with German&#39;s foreign minister about prospects of businesses there perhaps expanding or moving some of their operations to Chicago.</p><p>Emanuel didn&#39;t publicly offer any details. But he says Chicago&#39;s hosting of the summit successfully introduced the city to leaders on a global stage, and that he thought Chicago got favorable coverage from international media.</p></p> Tue, 22 May 2012 09:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-nato-summit-marketing-tool-chicago-99416