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Mayor Richard M. Daley said today the legislation passed earlier this year by the Illinois General Assembly to restructure operations at McCormick Place and Navy Pier already has had a “profound and positive” impact that has made Chicago’s convention industry as competitive as ever.
“We've taken important steps to reform how we conduct our convention business, but we have to keep our momentum going. We intend to stay the course with these successful efforts and grow Chicago's convention and tourism industry,” Daley said in a news conference held at McCormick Place during the Orgill, Inc., Fall Dealer Market, a show with 18,000 attendees and an economic impact of more than $24 million.
At the news conference, Daley and officials of the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) announced that the show will be held in Chicago in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The 2010 show opens here September 13.
IMTS brings with it 92,000 visitors who spend an estimated $200 million each time the show is held here. Daley said the changes made at McCormick Place and Navy Pier were a big factor in the decision to return to Chicago.
“Chicago's convention industry is one of the backbones of our economy. If it isn't healthy, it costs us jobs, revenue and other economic activity,” the Mayor said.
.He said that several months ago it became clear that for a variety of reasons, Chicago's convention industry was struggling to remain competitive with other cities.
Daley met with the Governor, with leaders from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, with local labor leaders and others about what had to be done to restore Chicago's position as the nation's leading convention destination.
The result was the legislation that re-invented Chicago's tourism and convention efforts by eliminating many of the unfair and burdensome work rules that were putting the City at a competitive disadvantage, changing the way contractors must do business and restructuring the Authority’s debt in a significant way.
Among other things, the overhaul expanded exhibitor rights, established new
labor work rules, reduced crew sizes and established a new policy for
As a direct result of the legislation, in June, the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau announced six customers had recommitted for future years and that it landed three new pieces of business as a result of the McCormick Place Reform Legislation.
Together, the new and returning business represents more than $1 billion in estimated direct expenditures to the city and state for future years.
“And over the next 60 days, the Bureau expects to confirm more new and returning pieces of business representing an estimated $700 million in direct expenditures to the city and state,” the Mayor said.
“We must think boldly when it comes to marketing, when it comes to providing services to our convention attendees and when it comes to the business practices of McCormick Place and Navy Pier.
“We’re now as competitive as ever and we have a new system and new leadership in place to take our convention industry to the next level,” he said.
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