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Posts Tagged ‘Downtown Chicago’

Tips for Air & Water Show Viewing

Posted on August 15th, 2010 by

If you’re in the hospitality industry, today is a big day. People from across the country have gathered for the amazing Chicago Air & Water Show. Yesterday was a huge hit, and plenty of fans gathered along the shore.

Despite the heat today, the crowd promises to be even bigger. So how can you help your clients or guests experience the show comfortably? Here are a few different options.


The show is free, so the determined don’t need fancy passes to see the show in all its glory. Direct your guests to take the brown line to Sedgwick and meander towards the lake. Take up a spot on the North Avenue beach, and enjoy! Remind them to bring plenty of water and sunblock.


To experience the show in a bit more comfort, encourage people to try one of the great cruises from Navy Pier to get a great view of the show. Tickets range from $45 to $65, and many include a meal or drinks. Learn more here.

High Roller

For those looking for the elite experience, they can do no better than the Signature Room at the John Hancock Observatory. For $100, they get the best possible view of the show with all the comfort of being at home. Tickets include a gourmet buffet and an open bar.

The Air & Water Show finishes today at 4 p.m. Enjoy!

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Firefighter Dies After West Loop Restaurant Accident

Posted on August 9th, 2010 by

Late last night, popular West Loop eatery Avec had a grease fire incident. In an attempt to battle the blaze, firefighters went to the roof to access the grease chute.

Unfortunately, public servant Christopher Wheatley, age 31, fell off the ladder while carrying heavy equipment.

Wheatley, a paramedic for 10 years, and a firefighter for 2, died early this morning as a result of his critical injuries. He is survived by his fiance, sister, and loving parents.

The hospitality industry mourns this loss and sends regards to his survivors. This also serves as a strong reminder that safety in our establishments is of the utmost priority.


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Illinois Tax Holiday Announced!

Posted on July 30th, 2010 by

Great news for you AND your clients. Just announced is that Illinois will slash its sales tax by 5% between August 6 and August 15th. With great shopping options like Old Orchard, the Mag Mile, Woodfield, and so much more, the options are limitless.

Hotels and shops will be getting a great influx of clientele during the period, and you should definitely steer your guests to this great event! Whether people are coming to town for Lollapalooza, Market Days, or just summer in Chicago, everybody can benefit.

If you run a shop, post a sign, and make sure your clients know of this great discount. Everybody wins.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve now got some shopping to plan.

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Transformers Filming

Posted on July 10th, 2010 by

Summer blockbusters are always exciting, and the filming of Michael Bay’s newest project is stirring things up downtown. Starting today, there will be all sorts of closures for the filming of Transformers 3.

Though filming will be ongoing through mid-August, it seems as though the majority of the traffic disruptions will be early on in the process. Today and tomorrow, shots are planned which will feature people jumping out of helicopters and landing in the park near the Aqua building in Lakeshore East. Needless to say, these areas will be closed to pedestrians as well as drivers when the jumpers actually take flight.

So what do you tell your clients? I’d go ahead and bookmark the CTA’s page on service disruption so you can deliver the most up-to-date news on closures, delays or reroutes.

As for road closures, they are listed as the following:

From 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday:

LaSalle Street will be closed between Jackson and Randolph streets.

Washington Street will be closed between Wells Street and Clark Street.

Randolph Street will be closed from Wacker Drive to Wells Street.

From 8 p.m. July 16 until 5 a.m. July 19:

Michigan Avenue will be closed from Wacker Drive to Ontario Street.

From 9 p.m. July 18 to 5 a.m. July 22:

Wacker Drive will be closed between Michigan Avenue and Wabash Street.

The filming will affect more than car and pedestrian traffic, however. Note that many of the river cruises and water taxis will be changing their dock locations if it interferes with the filming sites. For example, Shoreline will not be able to have its water taxis stop at the Michigan Avenue bridge during filming, but all other services will remain normal.

So keep your eyes peeled for Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, and John Malkovich, though they likely won’t be the ones jumping out of helicopters.

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Hear Governor Quinn Speak July 13

Posted on July 9th, 2010 by

The River North Business Association is hosting a luncheon where you can learn about Governor Quinn’s vision for Illinois’ future.

The event takes place on Tuesday, July 13 at the Holidy Inn Chicago – Mart Plaza in the Wolf Point Ballroom on the 15th floor.

Main topics at the event will be job creation, small business tax credits, and more.

The River North Business Association connects local businesses to promote communication, marketing, and advocacy. This luncheon is a great opportunity to meet other businesses and network!

The event begins at 11:30 a.m. and will conclude at 1:30 p.m. Register online by clicking here. Each ticket is $60.

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Congrats Chicago!

Posted on July 9th, 2010 by

Let’s hope they are correct. Travel + Leisure magazine just came out with their Worlds Best Awards 2010 readers’ poll. and we did pretty well!

Out of all the cities in the U.S. and Canada to visit, we were selected as Number 4 (behind NYC, San Francisco, and Charleson SC).

And to top even that, the top-ranked large city hotel in North America is none other than our own Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Go Chi-Town! Now you have even more to brag about when you are touring guests through the city.

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Marriott is all Abuzz!

Posted on July 1st, 2010 by

What’s that? An infestation of vuvuzelas you might ask? Not quite…

If you are on the rooftop of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, what you are actually hearing is the buzzing of the roughly 100,000 bees kept for their succulent honey.

It’s true, Executive Chef Myk Banas began keeping bees on the rooftop over a year ago, and has been expanding the program consistently. The honey harvested is used for dishes in the hotel food services. Most notably, it lends its flavor to the Rooftop Honey Wheat Beer.

Beekeeping is becoming an important part of the Go Green initiative sweeping the country. Even City Hall boasts a few hives in their rooftop garden!

The honey making is just one aspect of the home-grown style of food preparation at the Marriott. Chef Banas says that 95% of all food served is made on site, from the cured bacon to the fresh pastas. That being said, the next time I’m there, I’m going straight for the beer.

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Chicago Website Gets a Facelift

Posted on June 1st, 2010 by

Visited lately? It’s a whole new world. Only a week old, this new version of the website is beautiful to look at, and a great new resource for tourism professionals and tourists alike!

Take the time to check out all the new features. Neighborhood profiles abound, as well as tips on where to eat, sleep, and play. If you work for a business within the hospitality industry, check out your listing!

For all those concierges out there, this is a great new resource for you in your work. You can help clients find restaurants by neighborhood or type of food, and printable maps with lots of choices are readily available. Use the trip planner to create detailed itineraries as well!

All of this is just in time for the summer season. Well done Chicago!

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Hospitality Nights with the White Sox

Posted on May 22nd, 2010 by

Thanks to our good friends at the Chicago White Sox, we’re pleased to announce the 2010 Tourism and Hospitality Nights.

Tickets usually priced between $20 and $39 will sell at half of face value. It’s a great way to get to a game and check out the amazing U.S. Cellular Field. Plus, if the Sox get a home run, you’ll get a free fireworks show!

In addition to the game, the ballpark features great food and drinks. One of the newcomers to the culinary team is my obsession: Wow Bao.

These deal is available for the games June 1-3 and July 27-29. Tickets are available here. Get out there and enjoy what Chicago has to offer!

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CLA Cruise Networking Event

Posted on May 10th, 2010 by

Save the date! The week of June 7, the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) is hosting a networking event on a Shoreline Sightseeing boat. Catered by the Italian Village Restaurant, this is going to be an excellent event.

CLA promotes events downtown of all types, and can provide a great opportunity to meet others in the industry. If you aren’t a member, consider signing up here.

Follow the CLA website for more details on the cruise, and hope to see you out there!

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