PARTNER NEWSLETTER: APRIL 2014

Chicago offers more than 37,000 hotel rooms within the Central Business District (CBD), and that number is growing continuously. A handful of luxury hotels have opened their doors to the public in the past year, ensuring Chicago remains a premier destination for business and leisure visitors alike.  


THE LANGHAM, CHICAGO

The landmark, riverfront Mies van der Rohe building has been transformed into a haven of European hospitality with The Langham, Chicago, opened in May 2013. It features 300 guest rooms, the award-winning Chuan Spa, and dining at Travelle. 

Occupying the first 13 floors of a 52-story skyscraper, which was declared a Chicago landmark in 2008, The Langham, Chicago offers sweeping views of the cityscape, which can be enjoyed from its Grand Rooms, Classic Junior Suites, the Classic Suites, or the exclusive Regent or Infinity Suites.

Inspired by The Langham, London, afternoon tea is served at Tiffin at The Langham in the hotel's Pavilion, with soaring ceilings and breathtaking views of Chicago. In addition, business professionals can take advantage of the excellent meeting spaces.


THOMPSON CHICAGO

On October 1, 2013, the 247-room Thompson Chicago hotel opened, steps from the Magnificent Mile, Oak Street shopping and downtown. Formerly the Sutton Place hotel, the Thompson features rooms all benefitting from spectacular city and/or lake views. 

Special attention was given to lighting and counter space in the guest baths and all standard rooms are equipped with spacious 5' x 10' showers with rain heads and hand-held sprays. Suites and Corner King rooms feature deep soaking tubs and a glass-enclosed shower.

Choose from six two-level penthouses, private dining rooms and reception area, and 12,225 square feet of meeting space to host your next event.

Restaurant NICO Osteria and bar/lounge Salone NICO are works from James Beard award winner Chef Paul Kahan and One-Off Hospitality Group and can be found within the Thompson.


THE GODFREY HOTEL CHICAGO

Located adjacent to the Hotel Felix in Chicago's River North neighborhood, this 16-story, 221 room key upscale boutique hotel opened February 1, 2014, featuring stunning architecture and a stylish overall interior. The space comes complete with 189 rooms and 39 suites, 24-hour fitness center and a 15,000 square-foot rooftop bar and lounge called the IO Urban Roofscape. 

The IO Urban Roofscape indoor-outdoor lounge and meeting space offers the largest 12-month outdoor lounge and bar space in Chicago. IO can host events ranging from small meetings to receptions of up to 1,500 guests. With a menu simply inspired by Chicago favorite brews and sliders, IO includes an indoor waterfall, a two-story outdoor firepit and a video wall to showcase Chicago sports. 


KINZIE HOTEL

The Kinzie Hotel (20 West Kinzie Street) officially opened in the space that previously housed the Amalfi Hotel earlier this year. The five story, 215-room, upscale boutique hotel's multi-million dollar renovation boasts a timeless contemporary look and new image that pays tribute to John Kinzie, an untamed man who made a historical stamp on Chicago throughout the 19th century.

Whether it's in the spacious 848 square-foot Fort Dearborn room, the more intimate 424 square-foot Wolf Point room, or the stately 424 square foot Sauganash boardroom, meeting professionals can find invigorating, stimulating spaces in which to do business. Larger event groups can be accommodated at adjacent facilities, with up to 67,000 square feet of space.

Whether a visitor's interests are arts, dining, shopping or nightlife, the Kinzie's ideal location easily allow for embarking on urban explorations of Chicago.

 

 


JAMES BEARD AWARD NOMINEES

The James Beard Foundation announced its 2014 JBF Award restaurant and chef nominees at The Publican in Chicago, March 18. The nominee ceremony was kicked off with a welcome speech by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who proudly stated that in the City of Big Shoulders, "no one stands as tall as our Chicago chefs." Indeed, Chicago received an impressive 11 nominations for the restaurant and chef awards.

The 2014 James Beard Awards will be awarded on May 5. Good luck to the following Chicago award nominees:

  • Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dana Cree, Blackbird, Chicago
  • Outstanding Restaurant: Spiaggia, Chicago
  • Outstanding Restaurateur: Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican and others)
  • Outstanding Service: Topolobampo, Chicago
  • Rising Star: David Posey, Blackbird, Chicago
  • 2013 Who's Who Inductees: Paul Kahan
  • Best Chef - Great Lakes: Dave Beran, Next, Chicago; Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago; Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago

 


CELEBRATING NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK

Choose Chicago will be celebrating National Travel & Tourism Week at Goose Island in Wrigleyville this year, championing the power of travel. The event will take place at Goose Island Brew Pub in Wrigleyville, Friday, May 2 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. prior to the Cubs vs. Cardinals game.

The event is free and open to the public. It will include free food, live music, raffles, giveaways and more. Please stop by and visit with us!

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The theme of the 2014 National Travel and Tourism Week is the "Travel Effect," which aligns with the current industry-wide campaign to prove the positive effects of travel. Motivating workers to use their paid time off to focus on family, relationships and personal goals has been shown to be a boon to the economy.

The U.S. travel community has collectively marked the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local legislative bodies. Each year, localized events are presented in cities, states and travel businesses nationwide to champion the power of travel.

For more information about National Travel & Tourism Week, please visit U.S. Travel's official website.

 


WHY CHOOSE CHICAGO: BILL JOHNSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF SEGWAY EXPERIENCE OF CHICAGO

Bill Johnson Segway Experience

Riding a Segway is one of the most unique methods of exploring the city, and the folks at Segway Experience of Chicago have crafted premier sightseeing tours designed to educate and entertain.

Segway Experience has developed one of the finest, most educated teams of docents in its touring category, and is proud to be entering into its ninth year as the exclusive Segway Tour operator for the Chicago Architectural Foundation.

Segway Experience also provides Chicago's only Segway-authorized dealership, selling these efficient vehicles for business or recreational use.

Bill Johnson, President and CEO of Segway Experience, talks about joining Choose Chicago as a partner and how the industry network has benefitted his business. 

How would you describe your position?

I'm president and CEO, managing oversight of daily operations, including strategic planning with Manager Dan Jorisch. (pictured, on left)

What are your current projects?

We're currently ramping up and getting ready for (hopefully) warmer weather and a strong kickoff to our season. By partnering with Choose Chicago, we hope to identify new revenue growth opportunities. 

What are some of the goals of your organization?

Our goal is to provide a rewarding and exciting experience for visitors and local residents of Chicago. We will show them the City in a way that's not available in any other manner. We strive to be one of the highlights of a tourist's visit to the City.

How has your relationship with Choose Chicago benefited your business directly?

Choose Chicago has provided us opportunities to network with other hospitality organizations in the City, leading to increased business. The ability to "brainstorm" with Choose Chicago representatives on ways to promote our business has been very helpful. We have benefited from the networking along with a continual stream of hospitality industry news and information.

People are reluctant to try new things - however, with the resources behind Choose Chicago, they offer a tremendous return on your investment. They're a great team of talented people eager to help us grow our business.

Choose Chicago has introduced us to many "Event Planning" organizations in Chicago. This has resulted in partnerships with outside entities that have been very valuable.  

Why did you join? What were your expectations?

We wanted to partner with the city's official destination marketing organization that reaches out to Chicago's business and leisure visitors. We certainly expected to establish partnerships that would lead to increased visibility and sales.

Since joining, how has the organization lived up to your expectations?

Not only has the organization lived up to our expectations, but exceeded them. We believe we only get out of a partnership as much as we're willing to put into the relationship. We have found there's been a strong reciprocal ongoing outreach from Choose Chicago.

 


ASCO CELEBRATES 50th ANNIVERSARY IN CHICAGO, MAY 30-JUNE 4

2014 marks the 50th Anniversary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), one of the largest conventions dedicated to oncology research in the world. Chicago is proud and honored to serve as the host city for ASCO on an annual basis. Over 32,000 people attend or exhibit ASCO each year, bringing an estimated delegate expenditure of over $75 million to our economy.

We cordially ask that your establishment or organization prominently feature the logo over the dates of the 2014 ASCO convention - May 30 - June 4 - to welcome them back to our city.

To download a zip folder of a variety of ASCO logos, click here.

A few creative ways on how/where to use the logo: 

  • Create something in your entrance featuring the logo. (In past, similar situations, hotels have created anniversary cakes, ice sculptures or signage for the lobbies.)
  • Create signage for your bar promoting a specialty ASCO 50th Anniversary drink.
  • Offer a special ASCO anniversary discount in your store or restaurant, and feature a sign in the front of your establishment touting the special offer.
  • Create a welcome letter from the GM of your hotel, to be given to the guest as they check in, acknowledging the 50th Anniversary and welcoming them to Chicago.
Thank you for your continued support of Chicago's vitally important convention business!
 


MAY 21, 2014: CAPTURE THE VALUE - MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR CHOOSE CHICAGO PARTNERSHIP

8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602

Discover the best ways for your organization to connect with our Choose Chicago team. Meet one-on-one with representatives from across Choose Chicago to share information about your products and services during our informal and energetic networking event. Event details and registration coming soon. 

 


JUNE 18, 2014: PARTNER NETWORKING EVENT

5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
John Barleycorn
149 W. Kinzie St.
Chicago, IL 60654

Event details and registration coming soon.

 


JULY 15, 2014: CHICAGO GOLF CLASSIC

Cog Hill Golf & Country Club
12294 Archer Avenue
Lemont, IL 60439

Event details and registration information will be announced soon.

 


CHOOSE CHICAGO COLLATERAL DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM

Choose Chicago partners now have the opportunity to promote their organization to over half a million visitors by participating in the Choose Chicago Collateral Distribution Program. This program will allow our partners to display their collateral at our official Visitor Information Centers for an annual rate of $500 or seasonal rate of $350 (April-September).

The Official Visitor Information Centers are located at the Chicago Cultural Center at 77 E. Randolph Street, the Chicago Water Works at the Historic Pumping Station at 163 E. Pearson Street, and most recently in the Macy's on State Street, 111 N. State St.

Our City Concierges found at the Visitor Information Centers maximize the visitor experience in Chicago by showcasing the best of what Chicago has to offer through activities, attractions, tours and events. Our knowledgeable team assists visitors with navigating the city, planning customized itineraries, making restaurant reservations and booking tours and attractions. Maps and complimentary concierge services are also available.

For more information, please contact Alicia Silva, Manager of Visitor Services at aliciasilva@choosechicago.com.

 


WELCOME OUR NEW PARTNERS

Join us in welcoming the newest partners this year to Choose Chicago:

 


THE LAST SHIP: BROADWAY IN CHICAGO

The Last Ship is a new musical with an original score by 16-time Grammy Award winner Sting. Inspired by Sting's own childhood experiences, this World Premiere production features direction by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Wicked), a book by Tony Award winner John Logan (Red) and Pulitzer Prize winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) and choreography by Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett (Once).

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Broadway In Chicago. Click here to purchase Sting's new album, The Last Ship.

 


MOTOWN THE MUSICAL: BROADWAY IN CHICAGO

It began as one man's story... became everyone's music... and is now Broadway's musical. Motown the Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy's journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as "My Girl" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," experience the story behind the music in the record-breaking smash hit Motown the Musical!

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Broadway In Chicago.

 


GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL

The nation's only free, outdoor classical music series of its kind, The Grant Park Music Festival is in its 80th season this year. Each summer, the Festival presents 10 weeks of free classical concerts to all of Chicago at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

The music series kicks off with the Festival's 80th Anniversary Season opener: Tchaikovsky Extravaganza! Join Carlos Kalmar and the Grant Park Orchestra, featuring piano sensation Natasha Paremski, performing Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Francesca da Rimini, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Full schedule for the 2014 season of the Grant Park Music Festival.



CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL

The world's largest free blues festival this year features headliners Betty LaVette, Aaron Neville and Dr. John. More than half a million fans will pack Grant Park for some soulful tunes with the industry's most famed performers.

The Chicago Blues Festival is June 13-15 and runs from 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily.

See the Chicago Blues Festival's complete linup of performers

 


CHICAGO PRIDE FEST® AND PARADE

Get ready for a fun, flamboyant party June 21-22 with Chicago Pride Fest in Boystown. Show your pride while enjoying an eclectic lineup of crafts, food and entertainment from some of Chicago's finest LGBT performers.

Then, celebrate Chicago's LGBT community at the annual Pride Parade, now in its 45th year! The parade, June 29, will feature floats, decorated vehicles and marching groups representing organizations, groups, businesses, elected government officials and individuals. Be sure to arrive early to get a good spot!

For more information, visit the Chicago Pride website.

 


TASTE OF CHICAGO

Our recipe for a fantastic food festival? Top Chefs and Grammy winners, combined with several thousand tasting servings of Chicago favorite bites.

The quintessential summer event in the city, Taste of Chicago appeals to all the senses. Eat from the best of Chicago's local restaurant scene, watch culinary experts at cooking demos and listen to award-winning artists as they take to the stage. Iconic Buckingham Fountain, dazzling Lake Michigan and the magnificent skyline form the backdrop to the free, five-day event in Grant Park, taking place July 10-14.

 


PITCHFORK MUSIC FESTIVAL

Pitchfork Music Festival, July 18-20, is considered one of the most popular and reasonably priced weekends of music in Chicago, featuring both emerging and internationally renowned acts. It's all about positivity and fun so both the musicians and crowd can have a great time! Vendors are also on-site, selling a variety of local goods.

Headliners this year include Beck, Neutral Milk Hotel and Kendrick Lamar.

Three-day passes have sold out, but single day tickets are still available

 


LOLLAPALOOZA

Look up the word "lollapalooza" and you'll find this definition: an extraordinary thing; an outstanding example. You won't find any other music festival with a more fitting moniker than Lollapalooza, Chicago's grandest stage for music legends from across the globe. Each year in August, some of the top names in alternative, hip hop, punk and pop join more than 100 bands and musicians in Grant Park to bring you one loud, heart-stopping 3-day event.

Don't miss headliners Eminem, OutKast, Kings of Leon, Lorde and Skrillex at Lolla, August 1-3. Three-day and one-day passes are sold out, but tickets can still be purchased through travel packages and platinum passes on Lollapalooza's website.

 


CHICAGO AIR & WATER SHOW

Any Chicago outing in August must include the 56th Annual Chicago Air & Water Show, August 16-17, at North Avenue Beach! Two million people makes this can't-miss spectacle the largest show of its kind in the country. Best of all, admission to the event is free!

 


CHICAGO IN THE NEWS



MARKETING CHICAGO

As Chicago's official destination marketing organization, various Choose Chicago team members travel the world to share our story and encourage visitation to our city. Here's where we'll be connecting with our customers/partners over the next 90 days: 


4/27-4/29

International European Association Congress & Best Cities 2014

Paris, France

4/29-5/1

Christian Meetings and Conventions Showcase 2014

Rapid City, SD

5/8-5/10

International Gay, Lesbian Travel Association

Madrid, Spain

5/14-5/15

North American Journeys Summit East 

New York, NY

5/14

HelmsBriscoe Dinner

Washington, DC

5/15

Springtime Expo 2014

Washington, DC

5/20-5/22

Tradeshow Executive's Fastest 50 Awards and Conference 2014

Chicago, IL

5/20-5/22

IMEX & ICCA 2014

Frankfurt, Germany

6/1

Destinations Showcase Chicago 2014

Chicago, IL

6/3-6/6

Incentive Travel Exchange 2014

Las Vegas, NV

PCMA Convening Leaders will be taking place in Chicago in January 2015 and we look forward to encouraging all PCMA attendees to join us!  Please email Lori Adlesick at ladlesick@choosechicago.com if you are interested and able to participate.

Additionally, Choose Chicago has several upcoming opportunities for our partners to participate in shows and events around the world, from the Springtime Expo in Washington DC to AIBTM in Orlando. Please see the current opportunities list through 2014 and email eventrsvp@choosechicago.com if your organization is interested.

For more information, please contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at ladlesick@choosechicago.com.

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