In This Issue

A note from David Whitaker, President & CEO

As always, hoping this finds you well. I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you who attended Choose Chicago’s Annual Meeting of Partnership last month. Over 1,400 partners and guests attended and what a wonderful line up of special guests and speakers book-ended by amazing performances from Miguel Cervantes and the Black Ensemble Theater.

Speaking of great performances (or perhaps not so great), I would like to warmly invite you to test your skills again at Choose Chicago’s annual Chicago Golf Classic held this year on October 10th, 2019, hosted by our friends at Harborside International Golf Club. Please see the link below for detailed information and pricing for either a hole sponsorship, foursome or individual golfer. There are also ways to get involved in the networking and exposure (especially the large number of hotel and event partners who participate) – even if you’re not a golfer – by donating prizes for the silent auction or hole sponsor activations. The primary mission of this event each year goes well beyond a great day of networking. It is really about the money raised each year for our Choose Chicago Foundation and the scholarships we are able to award in a variety of ways. For those of you who attended our annual meeting you met one such student – Ubaldo Castillo – who the Choose Chicago Foundation awarded a scholarship last year in partnership with the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. Please join us in raising important and impactful scholarship funds and join us if you can on October 10th.

Register for the Chicago Golf Classic

As you can see in our “By The Numbers” update, the month of April showed some signs of encouragement as Hotel Room Demand (Rooms Consumed) was up 3.3% year over year – with equally encouraging growth in Leisure Room Demand – up 5.2% for the month. The challenge remains, however, as eight new hotels have opened in Chicago since last April, adding growth in supply by another 4.4%. It is imperative that we return to a position where Demand growth outpaces Supply growth. We will continue to monitor this closely in the key summer months ahead. We are seeing some encouraging growth in preliminary numbers for the first half of May (more on that next issue).

As summer warmth draws ever closer – please mark your calendar and try and join us of the kick-off event of this summer’s Chicago Friday Night Flights program on May 31st at Gallagher Way (adjacent to Wrigley Field). The inaugural event will feature 32 breweries from across Chicago. Hope to see you there.

David Whitaker
President & CEO

By the Numbers

Key Performance Indicators

April 2019 (Preliminary)

20182019% Change
Room Supply1,269,1501,325,4374.4%
Room Demand999,0051,032,4623.3%

The 2019 James Beard Awards

It was another big night for the Chicago’s restaurant industry, which earned four James Beard Awards.

This year’s James Beard Award winners were announced May 6 at Lyric Opera of Chicago. During a ceremony emceed by Emmy-nominated actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, awards were presented in the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories, as well as several special achievement awards, including Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, America’s Classics, and Humanitarian of the Year.

Chicago James Beard Award Winners

Best Chef: Great Lakes — Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark of Parachute
Outstanding Restaurateur — Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of Boka Restaurant Group
Outstanding Baker — Greg Wade of Publican Quality Bread
Outstanding Restaurant Design — Pacific Standard Time

Industry leaders from across the country attended the highly anticipated annual ceremony where the theme was “Good Food For Good™”, a mantra synonymous with the James Beard Foundation’s mission. In keeping with the theme, gala reception chefs from across the country included past James Beard Award winners and many who are involved in the Foundation’s signature impact-oriented initiatives, from Smart Catch to Women’s Leadership Programs to the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. Their thoughtful and delicious dishes fed the nearly 2,000 attendees at the evening’s Awards gala. VIP guests were treated to a multi-course dinner and experience in the mezzanine boxes during the Awards show prepared by chefs from the esteemed Union Square Hospitality Group.

Chicago Friday Night Flights

Season Three Just Announced

Chicago Friday Night Flights is back for our third season with an exciting lineup of local beer tastings that highlight the city’s dynamic craft brew movement — we’re home to the most breweries in the U.S., with 70 neighborhood breweries and counting.

The kick-off event for summer 2019 will be at Gallagher Way on May 31, featuring 32 breweries from across Chicago. Throughout summer, we’ll host tasting events that showcase vibrant neighborhood brewing corridors all around the city.

A tasting pass to each summer event includes 10 three-ounce pours for $20 presale or $25 at the door. Plus, guests can enjoy great food for purchase and live music.

See full schedule and purchase passes

Chicago Friday Night Flights is produced by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild in partnership with Choose Chicago.


Choose Chicago Welcomes 12 New Partners

Banners/Signs/Printing Services
Vogue Printers

Architectural/Cultural Tours
Chicago en français

Greater River North Business Association

Audio/Visual, Photography & Videography; Marketing/Media/Communications

Banners/Signs/Printing Services
Minuteman Press West Loop
The Promo Corp

Banners/Signs/Printing Services
Vogue Printers

Architectural/Cultural Tours
Chicago en français

Greater River North Business Association

Audio/Visual, Photography & Videography; Marketing/Media/Communications

Banners/Signs/Printing Services
Minuteman Press West Loop
The Promo Corp

Partner Profile: A look back

Over the past months, we’ve been taking a closer look at what makes Choose Chicago partners such an integral part of Chicago. We thought it’d be fun to take a moment and enjoy a look back at some of the partners we’ve profiled, and what makes them so special.

Lollapalooza 2019

Roll like a rock star at Lollapalooza – go Platinum. With exclusive front row and side-stage views, celebrity chefs cooking delicious bites, complimentary beverages, and 5-star festival comfort and all day perks, we’ll keep you energized ‘til the last encore.

  • Two VIP Lolla Lounges with elevated viewing platforms
  • Private bars serving beer, wine, cocktails, soft drinks, and water
  • Complimentary food from chicago’s best restaurants
  • Concierge services
  • Preferred locker pricing in vip lounge
  • Golf cart transportation between stages and the two vip lounges
  • Shaded lounge seating
  • Dedicated festival entrance
  • Air-conditioned premium restrooms
  • Express spa treatments

1-Day VIP Ticket: $650
4-Day VIP Ticket: $2,200

  • Front row viewing areas at the 4 stages
  • Elevated side stage viewing of the two main stages (*based on capacity and artist discretion)
  • Two air-conditioned platinum-only lolla lounges with premium sightlines
  • Private bars with beer, wine, cocktails, and champagne
  • Complimentary food throughout the day with a catered dinner
  • Golf cart transportation between festival entrance, lounges, and stages
  • Air-conditioned premium restrooms
  • Concierge and locker services
  • Complimentary wi-fi
  • Dedicated festival entrances
  • Express spa treatments
  • Unlimited in-and-out privileges
  • Presale access to lolla after shows
  • Official lollapalooza merchandise gift

1-Day Platinum Ticket: $2,000
4-Day Platinum Ticket: $4,200

  • An opulent suite dedicated to your group of 25 select guests, with the ability to add up to 15 more
  • In-suite customizable catering
  • Complimentary in-suite beverage service with wine, beer and cocktails
  • Your suite will offer elevated, premier, close views of the 2 biggest main stages
  • Entry to both vip lounges; which will also give you access to the spectacular sightlines of the other 2 main stages near vip north
  • Golf cart transportation between entrances, cabana and both vip lounges
  • Special dedicated entrance
  • Ability to customize your suite with your own branding
  • Air-conditioned premium restrooms
  • Express spa treatments

*Contact for Pricing

Less Than 1% Of Lolla Festival Goers Will Have This Opportunity.
  • In addition to the vip cabana perks, you will also receive:
  • Front row viewing areas at all 4 main stages
  • Elevated side stage viewing of the 2 main stages (*based on capacity and artist discretion)
  • Complimentary wi-fi and lockers with mobile chargers
  • Access to vip and air-conditioned platinum lounges, so you’ve got premier viewing at every stage
  • Additional complimentary food and drinks throughout the day in all 4 lounges
  • Unlimited in-and-out privileges
  • Presale access to Lolla after shows
  • Official Lollapalooza merch gift, with customized products tailored to meet your group’s specific needs

*Contact for Pricing

Katie Steckler, Group and Premium Sales Manager

Media Relations

See what the World is Saying About Chicago!

Choose Chicago’s Media Relations team generates print, online, social and broadcast media coverage of the destination through several proactive strategies which include writing and distributing pitches, hosting group press trips and individual media visits, traveling in market to attend media marketplaces, host media receptions and more. The dynamic team story-tells across the globe to domestic and international journalists and hosts targeted media in Chicago to experience first-hand all that the destination offers.

Choose Chicago’s Media Relations team hosted more than 55 members of the media on individual media visits and group press tours to Chicago in March and April 2019. The media coverage generated these two months resulted in over $5 million in media value. A sampling of stories published in March and April 2019 include:

March 2019

April 2019

Meet the top Dealkmakers in Chicago