WBEZ | tourism http://www.wbez.org/tags/tourism Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en If You Toured Chicago in 1910, What Would You Do? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/if-you-toured-chicago-1910-what-would-you-do-114606 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/thumb-touringchicago2.png" alt="" /><p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/if-you-toured-chicago-1910-what-would-you-do-114606 Chicago announces plans to build 88-story skyscraper http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-announces-plans-build-88-story-skyscraper-111271 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14773555050_6126cfb214_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago officials have announced that a Chinese developer is planning to build an 88-story hotel and condominium tower that would be the city&#39;s third tallest building.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an agreement Thursday between the Beijing&#39;s Wanda Group and the Magellan Development Group for a $900 million project to build a downtown high-rise designed by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang. It will be known as Wanda Vista.</p><p>Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016 and when completed it would be the third tallest structure in Chicago, behind Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel &amp; Tower.</p><p>Emanuel&#39;s office says the project represents the largest real estate investment by a Chinese company in Chicago and will create more than 2,000 construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs</p></p> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-announces-plans-build-88-story-skyscraper-111271 Secret recording shows Uber's efforts to poach Chicago cabbies http://www.wbez.org/news/secret-recording-shows-ubers-efforts-poach-chicago-cabbies-110072 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP81700915726.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For years, Chicago has struggled to recruit enough taxi drivers for the city. New competition from ridesharing companies is making that even harder. As the city looks to regulate those companies, it also seems to have abandoned its past policy of ensuring a robust corps of cabbies. Now, a secret audio recording reveals a newly aggressive push by the industry to persuade cabbies to become rideshare drivers.</p><p>WBEZ obtained the recording from a cab driver who attended a February information session at Uber offices in Chicago. The session was specifically to recruit taxi drivers to the company&rsquo;s popular ridesharing platform, called uberX.&nbsp; In it, an Uber representative pitches a room full of cabbies on the idea of dropping their cabs.</p><p>&ldquo;As Uber grows &ndash; this is why we&rsquo;re here today, is to teach you guys about the option that I think, quite frankly, is a little bit better for you guys in terms of your life and the cost,&rdquo; he told them.</p><p>UberX drivers get fewer fares than taxi drivers, but the company representative played up the advantages of switching from cab-driving to rideshare-driving. First, cab drivers wouldn&rsquo;t have to pay a weekly lease to use their vehicle anymore, because they&rsquo;d be able to use their personal cars. Taxi leases run anywhere from $400 to $700 a week.</p><p>Second, drivers could cash in on &ldquo;surge pricing&rdquo; &ndash; that&rsquo;s a term Uber uses for times of peak demand. The company hikes its fares during rush hour and when the weather&rsquo;s bad, sometimes charging up to seven times their normal rates. The representative told cab drivers in that session that if they got one taste of surge fares, they&rsquo;d want more.</p><p>&ldquo;It seems difficult to not drive a taxi in rush hour when you guys are taking a fare to the Loop &ndash; but just try uberX,&rdquo; he urged them, &ldquo;and you&rsquo;ll see that it might take a couple minutes longer to get that fare, but that fare will be at an increased rate.&rdquo;</p><p>WBEZ spoke with several taxi companies that say they are losing drivers to ridesharing. The question is, are fewer taxis good for the city?</p><p>The mayor&rsquo;s office wouldn&rsquo;t comment. Oddly, neither would the city&rsquo;s department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which regulates the taxi industry. A spokeswoman said they don&rsquo;t care about driver numbers.</p><p>But they certainly did before. Last year, the department head was very vocal about a shortage of cab drivers.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve seen it dropping down over the past five or six years,&rdquo; said former Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel, at a Taxi Driver Recruitment Fair that the city co-hosted at Olive Harvey College last year. Krimbel said the city was short 2,000 cab drivers. She called that a problem, and said it was the city&rsquo;s job to fix it.</p><p>&ldquo;I think there&rsquo;s a solution,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;And I hope to increase the number of drivers and support them.&rdquo;</p><p>But now the city says it has no role in keeping enough taxis on the road. Some say that&rsquo;s not a wise position for the city to take.</p><p>&ldquo;I definitely think it&rsquo;s very important for the tourism industry to have outstanding taxi service,&rdquo; said Charles Goeldner, a professor emeritus of tourism and marketing at the University of Colorado. Goeldner literally wrote the textbook on tourism, called &ldquo;Tourism: Principles, Practices, Philosophies.&rdquo;</p><p>Goeldner said cities that are serious about tourism actively support their taxi industries. He says taxi drivers are ambassadors for the places where they drive. They offer visitors knowledge and predictability.</p><p>&ldquo;There has to be a trust element,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and the taxi industry has always been regulated and licensed and has to meet certain requirements for cities.&rdquo;</p><p>Uber claims it holds its ridesharing drivers to high safety standards. It also talks a lot about promoting consumer choice in transportation. But if cab drivers heed Uber&rsquo;s call and switch to ridesharing &ndash; making rush hour commutes more expensive than ever &ndash; isn&rsquo;t that bad for consumers?</p><p>&ldquo;The goal is not to surge at rush hour,&rdquo; said Andrew MacDonald, Uber&rsquo;s Midwest Regional Director. &ldquo;But the pitch to drivers is &lsquo;Hey, right now we are undersupplied at rush hour, and so the opportunity is good to be on the Uber system.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>MacDonald said as more people, cabbies or not, sign up to drive for uberX, prices won&rsquo;t surge as much. That might push some cab drivers back into the taxi industry.<br />But for now, it might be harder than ever to get a taxi in the Loop during rush hour.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/secret-recording-shows-ubers-efforts-poach-chicago-cabbies-110072 Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Navy Pier - Flickr - Bernt Rostad.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With Navy Pier headed toward a re-design in the next couple years, can the design continue to attract so many tourists? And, Matteson, Illinois, officials are closing Lincoln Mall. What does this imply about the future economy of the south suburbs?&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-42" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Navy Pier's future facelift has to strike balance" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 08:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-13/morning-shift-navy-piers-future-facelift-has-strike ‘Nonsensical walk’ tempts tourists through Loop’s lesser-known parts http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/%E2%80%98nonsensical-walk%E2%80%99-tempts-tourists-through-loop%E2%80%99s-lesser-known-parts-106481 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/loop%20tunnel%20flickr%20minglespy.jpg" style="height: 481px; width: 620px;" title="Chicago Detours is launching a walking tour of lesser known spaces inside the Loop. (Flickr/MingleSpy)" /></div><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.9427589514766905">When Amanda Scotese taught video production to high school students in neighborhoods like Avalon and Albany Park, she&rsquo;d bike or take public transit and arrive early enough to walk around and explore.</p><p dir="ltr">Scotese studied urban theory at the University of Chicago and was taken in by the 19th century concept of the <em>flaneur</em>, a kind of urban explorer or &ldquo;connoisseur of the street&rdquo; who walks for pleasure more than transportation. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;On the most basic level I just love walking,&rdquo; Scotese said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s such a basic way of learning about the world. Some people prefer to read books, but I walk a ton.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Scotese took indirect routes though Chicago&rsquo;s neighborhoods that offered her sights to see. She&rsquo;d wind up side streets and meander down alleys and boulevards. She looked for details in the landscape that might escape someone in more of a hurry, or in a car: a block where two-flats bled into old factories, another where storefront churches outnumbered every other kind of building; children playing in a hydrant or an elderly woman sitting on her porch in a forest of plants. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">In our daily lives, we are often stuck in predictable patterns of movement, taking the same routes to and from work, accidentally tracing the same footsteps we made yesterday and the day before.</p><p dir="ltr">But Scotese says that &ldquo;by stepping off the same route, we can learn a lot.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicago%20detours%20tour%20guide%20photo.jpg" style="float: left; height: 414px; width: 300px;" title="A Chicago Detours guide walks tourists through the Loop. The company is now offering a more unorthodox selection of walking tours. (Chicago Detours/Amanda Scotese)" />Not just an academic, Scotese has also channeled these interests into a business.</p><p dir="ltr">She has worked in tourism for more than a decade, including a stint with travel maven Rick Steves. In 2010, Scotese founded&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagodetours.com/">Chicago Detours</a>, which bills itself as &ldquo;a tour company for curious people.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">In addition to offering walking tours that showcase downtown staples you can often see from a boat, Scotese has done things like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/03/04/in-the-jumble-of-the-pedway-can-an-amateur-map-fill-in-the-blanks">publish a map to Chicago&rsquo;s underground Pedway</a>. Now she&rsquo;s launched a quarterly series of walking tours that explore the sorts of overlooked spaces she discovered on her own quirky trips.</p><p dir="ltr">The first, a &ldquo;Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces,&rdquo; takes place this Friday, and will lead participants through a series of publically accessible &ndash; if rarely seen &ndash; Loop lobbies, Pedway passages, shortcuts and corridors. The tour starts at Block 37 and ends at the Chicago Board of Trade.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We go through the Daley Center, City Hall and the Thompson Center,&rdquo; Scotese said, ticking down her itinerary, which also includes &ldquo;taking the Pedway through the parking garage under [Millennium] Park.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The tour&rsquo;s unconventional narration will involve a game of telephone: The tour leader will pass back snippets of information to the first few participants, who will pass it back to the people behind them and so on.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I did this walk . . . to get a sense of what interior spaces are open to the public,&rdquo; Scotese said. &ldquo;It was just this entire world that I had never imagined: wild shortcuts, eateries tucked away in spaces you&rsquo;d never notice from outside.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Scotese hopes participants will get from the tour what she has from this and her other walks.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;In the few hours I wandered around downtown I had a much better sense of the city,&rdquo; she said.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Chicago Detours&rsquo; Nonsensical Walk of Indoor Spaces takes place April 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. Meet in the Pedway atrium of Block 37 at 108 N. State Street. Tickets are $20, space is limited and<a href="http://www.chicagodetours.com/"> reservations are required</a>.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Follow Robin Amer on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/rsamer">@rsamer</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 12:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/%E2%80%98nonsensical-walk%E2%80%99-tempts-tourists-through-loop%E2%80%99s-lesser-known-parts-106481 Chicago reviewed: 'A city of constant despair and rebirth' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/chicago-reviewed-city-constant-despair-and-rebirth-105208 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/tourism.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><a href="http://www.gadling.com/2013/01/29/budget-guide-2013-chicago/" title="Navy Pier by CafeYak.com, on Flickr"><img alt="Navy Pier" src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4115/4933056521_be8c4e5cb7.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 224px; float: right;" /></a>&#39;IT IS A CITY OF CRIME, SEGREGATION AND FLOURISH, A CITY OF CONSTANT DESPAIR AND REBIRTH.&#39;</strong>&nbsp;That&#39;s from the introduction to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gadling.com/2013/01/29/budget-guide-2013-chicago/">a new &quot;budget guide&quot; review of Chicago</a> by the Gadling travel blog.<br />* Public school <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/17889243-761/one-week-after-attending-inaugural-south-side-teen-shot-dead-in-neighborhood-park.html">student who performed last week at the Obama inauguration</a> among <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-2-shot-at-or-near-south-side-high-school-20130129,0,6824507.story">latest dead in Chicago shootings</a>.<br />* <em>The Onion: </em>&quot;<a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/chicagos-annual-homicide-drive-off-to-most-promisi,31066/">Chicago&#39;s Annual Homicide Drive Off To Most Promising Start In Decades</a>.&quot;<br />* And <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-city-council-bed-bug-hearing-0130-20130130,0,7376561.story">what about the bedbugs</a>?</p><p><strong>&#39;HE&rsquo;S GOT A SET OF BALLS, AND HE SAYS WHAT HE BELIEVES.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>That&#39;s New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, describing Vice President Joe Biden in <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/michael-bloomberg-joe-biden-has-set-of-balls-86900.html">an interview with <em>Politico</em></a>.<br />* Bloomberg&#39;s super PAC airs ad <a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/blogs/hotlineoncall/2013/01/bloomberg-super-pac-airing-tv-ad-against-halvorson-29">condemning possible Jesse Jackson Jr. replacement Debbie Halvorson</a>: &quot;When it comes to preventing gun violence, she gets an F.&quot;</p><p><iframe align="right" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="288" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="http://www.hulu.com/embed.html?eid=s7zc1n0code9rwobk_3s8w" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="512"></iframe><strong>&#39;THEY PROBABLY READ EVERY FIFTH WORD, YOU KNOW, SO JUST MAKE IT THOSE FIVE WORDS.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>The TV series &quot;Portlandia&quot; takes <strong><a href="http://www.newscastic.com/news/did-portlandia-show-us-the-future-of-journalism-62509/?action_type_map=%7B%22594380677243438%22%3A%22og.likes%22%2C%22594379623910210%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&amp;action_object_map=%7B%22594380677243438%22%3A103842249796871%2C%22594379623910210%22%3A488367477876215%7D&amp;fb_action_types=og.likes&amp;fb_source=other_multiline&amp;fb_action_ids=594380677243438%2C594379623910210&amp;action_ref_map=%5B%5D">a painful look at the state of journalism</a></strong>.<br />* Traditional&nbsp;<a href="http://ijnet.org/blog/why-its-time-rethink-beat-reporting">beat reporting&#39;s time may be past</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<em>Washington Post</em>&nbsp;debuts&nbsp;<a href="http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/29/washington-posts-truth-teller-and-the-future-of-robots-doing-journalism/">realtime fact-checking program</a>.</p><p><strong>DOES FACEBOOK OWE YOU $10?</strong>&nbsp;If one of your photos was used in its &quot;sponsored story&quot; ads, you may be in for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/29/facebook-lawsuit_n_2573290.html">a (tiny) windfall</a>.<br />* Despite&nbsp;<a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/double-standard-palin-hate-page-flourishes-as-facebook-bans-conservatives">complaints</a>, Facebook allows page called &quot;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-hate-it-when-I-wake-up-and-Sarah-Palin-is-still-alive/129929197021040?v=wall">I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive</a>.&quot;<br />* 8 reasons to&nbsp;<a href="http://mashable.com/2013/01/28/reasons-deactivate-facebook/">deactivate your Facebook account</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;A JUGGERNAUT THAT SEEMS TO HAVE PERMISSION FROM ITS SHAREHOLDERS TO NOT TURN ANY PROFITS IS REALLY FRIGHTENING.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>Amazon&#39;s take is down 45 percent year-over-year, but Matthew Yglesias writes in <em>Slate</em> that the company is nevertheless awesome -- <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/01/29/amazon_q4_profits_fall_45_percent.html">even for people who never buy from Amazon</a>.<br />* &quot;Welcome to <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2013/01/welcome-end-barnes-noble-you-knew-it/61488/">the End of Barnes &amp; Noble as You Knew It</a>&quot; (<em>The Atlantic</em>).</p><p><strong>EVERYBODY DUCK.</strong>&nbsp;In a little more than two weeks,&nbsp;<a href="http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/429263/20130130/asteroid-2012-da14-near-earth-nasa-doomsday.htm#.UQioP0q-Js8">Earth will be buzzed by an asteroid about 50 meters wide</a>&nbsp;-- in <a href="http://www.universetoday.com/99660/in-two-weeks-this-50-meter-asteroid-will-buzz-our-planet/">a record-setting near-earth flyby</a> -- closer than many satellites (<em>Universe Today</em>).</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong><br />* Tools used to prepare this post include <a href="http://blog.zite.com/2012/01/11/zite-under-the-hood/">the Zite smartphone app</a>, which helps monitor an otherwise almost incomprehensibly vast Twitter feed that probably includes your tweets -- if you&#39;re following <a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson">@Meyerson</a>. What are you waiting for?</em><br /><em>* Next&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/we-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140">WBEZ Meyerson blog news quiz</a>: Friday morning. Be here.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/01/29/asteroid-flyby-february/1875121/">You may not get another chance</a>.<br />* Comments on this blog? Post below or <a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org">send email</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/chicago-reviewed-city-constant-despair-and-rebirth-105208 Illinois' tourism numbers are highest on record http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-tourism-numbers-are-highest-record-101125 <p><p>According to new state data, the lines for favorite tourist attractions around Illinois were longer this year.<br /><br />Illinois&rsquo; tourism industry generated about $32 billion in revenue in 2011, the highest on record, according to figures released on Monday by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.<br /><br />Department officials say the figures mean the tourism industry has returned to pre-recession levels.<br /><br />Randy Stancik, the general manager at Skydeck Chicago, said the popular tourist spot atop Willis Tower has seen the same kind of growth.<br /><br />&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been waiting for this for many years. We&rsquo;ve been waiting for, you know, for people to bounce back, to continue to travel,&rdquo; Stancik said. &ldquo;Even if times are a little bit tougher they&rsquo;re getting better, you know we&rsquo;ve been seeing that over the last three years. It&rsquo;s been a growth for us.<br /><br />Department officials say Illinois is now the ninth most visited state in the country, up one spot from last year.</p></p> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 18:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-tourism-numbers-are-highest-record-101125 Chicago's Buckingham Fountain opens for season http://www.wbez.org/culture/chicagos-buckingham-fountain-opens-season-99039 <p><p>Chicago's famous lakefront fountain has opened for the season.</p><p>The Chicago Park District announced Thursday that Buckingham Fountain is operating daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through autumn.</p><p>The popular fountain is one of Chicago's most recognizable images with its towering stream of water and evening light shows.</p><p>The fountain shoots water from a center jet 150 feet into the air during a display every hour on the hour. Beginning at dusk, the fountain's major display is accompanied by a 20-minute light and music show. A final display begins at 10:35 p.m.</p><p>Buckingham Fountain was dedicated on Aug. 26, 1927, and has become a favorite backdrop for tourist snapshots, wedding photographers and filmmakers.</p></p> Fri, 11 May 2012 08:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/culture/chicagos-buckingham-fountain-opens-season-99039 Emanuel: 50M visitors yearly in Chicago by 2020 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/emanuel-50m-visitors-yearly-chicago-2020-97991 <p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he wants to open city tourism offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan this year.</p><p>Emanuel says he wants to "dramatically" increase the number of visitors to Chicago. He spoke Thursday to members of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Last year a Chicago tourism office opened in London. Offices opened in Mexico City and Toronto in March of this year. Chicago would have tourism offices on four continents with the addition of offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan.</p><p>Emanuel says one of his goals is to attract 50 million visitors a year by 2020. He also announced that the city will host the 2014 U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow.</p><p>City officials say they're particularly interested in attracting overseas visitors.</p></p> Fri, 06 Apr 2012 09:55:16 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/emanuel-50m-visitors-yearly-chicago-2020-97991 Quinn, Emanuel appoint McCormick Place Board http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-emanuel-appoint-mccormick-place-board-96964 <p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have appointed eight members to the board that runs the McCormick Place convention center.</p><p>State law gives them each four appointments to the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.</p><p>Quinn's appointees include attorney Carmen Lonstein and union leaders Ronald Powell, Bob Reiter and Becky Strzechowski.</p><p>Emanuel is appointing former state Comptroller Dan Hynes, retired ComEd CEO Frank Clark Jr., Bank of America executive Julie Chavez and Roger Kiley Jr., an attorney who was Mayor Richard Daley's chief of staff in the 1990s.</p><p>In a news release Monday, Emanuel says it is important to have a good team in place because McCormick Place is essential to Chicago's economic future. Quinn says the appointees have the experience need to attract new tradeshows.</p></p> Mon, 05 Mar 2012 15:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-emanuel-appoint-mccormick-place-board-96964