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CHICAGO NEWS & UPDATES FOR TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS

October 2016: New Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibits, Chicago's Award-winning Shopping, Michael Jordan Statue Relocating, and more.

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  • Lincoln Park Zoo Opens New Polar Bear and Penguin Habitats
  • Travel + Leisure Names Chicago No. 2 Best Shopping City in U.S.
  • Michael Jordan Statue Returned to Permanent Location
  • Tasting Room at Moody Tongue Opening Soon
  • Hotel EMC2 Opening March 2017
  • The Robey Chicago Opening Mid-October
  • Terminal 5 Expansion and Plan to Redevelop O’Hare International Airport
  • Conrad Chicago Appeals to Athletes
  • Arena Partners Offers Official Soldier Field Tailgate Experiences
  • Hotel Zachary to Open in Wrigleyville in 2018
  • American Writers Museum Opens in March 2017

  • LINCOLN PARK ZOO OPENS NEW POLAR BEAR AND PENGUIN HABITATS

    Lincoln Park Zoo will unveil two immersive new homes for polar bears and penguins in fall 2016. Roughly 45,000 square feet of habitat will be transformed to evoke the species’ native Arctic tundra and rocky shores of South Africa. The $22 million project will mimic the species’ natural habitats, with pools for the polar bears to encourage natural underwater play, and a penguin cove that will serve as home to more than a dozen African penguins. The penguins will play in a pool fronting the habitat’s rocky cliffs and cuddle up in private nest boxes. The penguin habitat opens October 6, 2016. 

    Learn more about the new habitats

    Lincoln Park Zoo


    TRAVEL + LEISURE NAMES CHICAGO NO. 2 BEST SHOPPING CITY IN U.S.

    As part of its World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asked readers to share their favorite shopping cities nationwide. Chicago ranked second in a top 10 list, just behind top-ranking New York City.

    See the full list here.

    Shopping 


    MICHAEL JORDAN STATUE RETURNED TO PERMANENT LOCATION

    The Michael Jordan statue will be inaccessible until the new United Center atrium opens mid-2016-17 season. The popular photo spot has been returned to its permanent location at the entrance to Gate 4 of the United Center, which will now be enclosed by the new United Center atrium, currently under construction. The statue was temporarily moved in April 2015 to the southeast corner of the United Center to allow fans to visit the statue during the first stages of construction of the atrium and new employee office building. Due to the delicate and complicated nature of the statue relocation process, the statue had to be moved back to its permanent location now, before the atrium is fully enclosed.

    Learn more about the United Center project.


    TASTING ROOM AT MOODY TONGUE BREWING COMPANY OPENING SOON

    Moody Tongue Brewing Company announced the Tasting Room at Moody Tongue, located alongside the brewery in the historic Glass Factory in the Pilsen neighborhood. The 75-seat space plans to feature up to 12 taps of Moody Tongue’s year-round beers and limited-edition special releases alongside a curated food menu in an intimate, mid-century modern atmosphere. Moody Tongue will also begin offering tours with beer education and tastings led by the brewing team on a first-come, first-serve basis once the Tasting Room launches. Moody Tongue Brewery and Tasting Room are available for buyouts for private parties and corporate events, and are conveniently located near McCormick Place for convention and meeting attendees.

    Learn more about Moody Tongue Brewing Company.

    Jared Rouben Moody Tongue 


    HOTEL EMC2 OPENING MARCH 2017

    EMC2, a new 195-room Streeterville hotel, broke ground earlier this year with a March 2017 opening planned. The 21-story hotel is part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection and is partially funded by investors from China, Canada, India and Dubai.

    Learn more about Hotel EMC2

     


    THE ROBEY CHICAGO OPENING MID-OCTOBER

    Wicker Park’s 1929 flatiron-shaped Northwest Tower will become an 89-room boutique hotel called The Robey. The hotel, which sits at the corner of North, Milwaukee and Damen avenues, is expected to open by Thanksgiving. The property will include ground floor retail, two restaurants and a rooftop bar with views of the Chicago downtown skyline.

    Learn more about the Robey Hotel project

    the Robey


    TERMINAL 5 EXPANSION AND PLAN TO REDEVELOP O’HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

    The city of Chicago and its airline partners are working together to design and develop a multi-billion dollar capital investment program at O’Hare International Airport that expands Terminal 5, redevelops Terminal 2, creates space for new gates. These initiatives serve as the next step in Mayor Emanuel’s O’Hare 21 vision for the airport. The planning process is expected to be completed next year.

    The first step calls for expanding Terminal 5 by 25 percent to provide up to nine additional gates, which is underway. This represents the first expansion of Terminal 5 since it opened 23 years ago. With more gates, airlines will have the ability to offer more flights to more destinations with increased frequency. This investment – estimated at approximately $300 million and funded without any local taxpayer dollars – will support approximately 1,100 total jobs.

    Learn more about the Terminal 5 expansion.

    O'Hare International Airport


    CONRAD CHICAGO APPEALS TO ATHLETES

    Opening in late summer 2016, Conrad Chicago is designating a block of rooms for professional and collegiate sports teams that includes extra-large king beds and 65-inch televisions.

    Learn more about Conrad Chicago Hotel

    Conrad Chicago Hotel


    ARENA PARTNERS OFFERS OFFICIAL SOLDIER FIELD TAILGATE EXPERIENCES

    Arena Partners acquired E3 VIP and the launch of Exclusive Event Experiences, LLC, a destination management company and the Official Tailgate Partner of Chicago’s Soldier Field. As the official tailgate producer at Soldier Field, the company offers tailgate options for a variety of fans. Among them, the Arena Club combines the amenities of a luxury suite with the authentic pre-game atmosphere of a tailgate. The Arena Club specializes in corporate clients looking for a unique and upscale hospitality option before an event. Club Passes are $179 each, including gourmet food and premium drinks, with discounts available for group purchases. The Arena Club operates for a three-hour period, prior to the start of major events at Soldier Field.

    Learn more about Arena Partners.

    Arena Partners


    HOTEL ZACHARY TO OPEN IN WRIGLEYVILLE IN 2018

    Adjacent to Wrigley Field at 3630 N. Clark St., boutique lifestyle lodging newcomer Hotel Zachary will offer an authentic Wrigleyville neighborhood experience. Expect restaurants from four well-known Chicago groups, including a two-story restaurant and cocktail bar and 300-seat Smoke Daddy BBQ. The new hotel is slated to open in early 2018.

    Learn more about Hotel Zachary.

    Hotel Zachary rendering


    AMERICAN WRITERS MUSEUM OPENS IN MARCH 2017

    Chicago has been selected as home to the new American Writers Museum. Opening in March 2017, the museum will be the first and only of its kind in the nation, celebrating American writers through themed galleries, interactive exhibits, educational programs and special events. Rotating exhibits will span a range of topics, possibly including Nobel Laureates Censorship: Banned Books, Villains in American Literature, Revolutionary Writing, The Short Story, and First Novels that Rocked the World.

    Learn more about the new museum.


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