McCormick Place expects to generate $ 1.2 billion for city and state this coming year, with impact far beyond the convention center – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – McCormick Place expects to generate $ 1.2 billion for the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois this coming year – not too bad at all given the COVID-19 pandemic.

CBS 2’s Tara Molina took a closer look at the current impact on Thursday and is progressing as conventions ramp up.

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The return of conventions, trade shows and large-scale events is already making a difference in the city right now – especially for our hospitality industry, which has been hit by the pandemic, Molina has learned that these events are filling the gap. ditch for them.

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority has announced that this fiscal year – which began in July and ends next June – will host 122 events that will attract 2.3 million visitors. More than 700,000 hotel nights will be affected.

As for the exercise, this is how the expected impact of $ 1.2 billion breaks down, according to the spokesperson for the MPEA.

“I hear the dizziness and excitement every day when people see the cordons of conventioneers walking down the Mag Mile or State Street,” said Michael Jacobson, president of the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.

The hustle and bustle you may have noticed downtown is already bridging the gap for hotels in the city.

“In a week, a convention wasn’t in town?” Our occupancy rate fell to 46%, which is one of the worst occupancy rates this year, ”said Jacobson. “But when did the return of conventions go back?” That number rose to 64% of hotel occupancy rates – one of the best occupancy rates since the start of the pandemic. “

And big shows, forced to cancel when the pandemic hit, are gearing up for big comebacks.

“We were the first major salon to be canceled in the United States when COVID first hit,” said Steve Greenspon of the International Housewares Association.

The International Home + Housewares Show is the largest annual trade show the city hosts each year, noted Greenspon. Forced to cancel two years in a row, he said they would be back in March – bringing over 60,000 with them.

The MPEA spokesperson reported that from July to September, McCormick Place hosted 37 campus events with nearly 240,000 people in attendance and an economic impact of over $ 142 million. This only includes events that MPEA defines as “city-wide,” meaning more than 3,000 hotel rooms are reserved. Chicago Sky playoff games, for example, would not be included.

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MPEA also brought back 1,000 full-time employees, in addition to the hours worked by contractors for trade shows. In a normal year, shows a contract of 3.9 million hours of union work, said the spokeswoman for the MPEA.

As of July, McCormick Place has hosted the following events without any significant COVID-related issues: NBA Draft Combine, Nike Tournament of Champions, Black Women’s Health Expo, Chicago Auto Show, RetailX, Advertising Specialty Institute , the National Apartment Association, National Black MBA Association, Morningstar’s 2021 Investment Conference and FABTECH – the largest metal forming trade show in North America.

The MPEA spokesperson stressed that the impact of this activity goes far beyond the McCormick Place campus itself. For example, it was estimated that those who attended FABTECH reported $ 73 million in corporate spending in Chicago.

So far in October, True Value Hardware has hosted its fall show for franchisees and vendors, attracting 11,000 people. The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) attracted over 22,000 attendees.

Other October events include:

• Urban Land Institute Fall Meeting 2021
• WEFTEC 2021
• the sweetest comedy jam of the day
• The OR Manager conference
• American Society of Radiology and Oncology
• American Society for Radiological Technology
• United States CBD 2021

With the list of events unfolding this month – and continuing into the colder months – expected to keep the comeback going, Jacobson said things were looking up.

“Conventions bridge a gap – knowing that leisure, even in normal times, diminishes during the winter months, especially in a market like Chicago,” he said.

The Illinois Restaurant Association did not yet have information on the impact. But Molina is told that the calendar of upcoming events should be a boost for all businesses in the region, with just two of the shows staging here this month, drawing more than 30,000 people.

CBS 2 is committed to Work for Chicago, putting you in touch every day with information that you or a loved one might need on the job market and helps you remove obstacles to your return to work.

We will continue to uncover information every day to help this community get back to work, until the jobs crisis passes. CBS 2 has several useful things here on our website, including an overview of specific companies that are hiring and information from the state on how best to file for unemployment benefits while waiting.

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