This incredibly significant networking event takes place at the Glen Club, a Tom Fazio designed "Top-100," and features appearances by NBC Sports and Golf Channel analyst Mark Rolfing, Bears placekicker Robbie Gould and a surprise PGA Tour player to be named later. To register, click here.  

Morning Traditional Tournament

  • Meet and network with your hospitality industry colleagues during a morning round.
  • Includes: Continental breakfast, lunch and skills clinic by Mark Rolfing, Robbie Gould and PGA Tour Player.

Exclusive Afternoon Celebrity Tournament

  • Invite your clients to join you for this one-of-a-kind experience.
  • Meet and golf with Mark Rolfing, Robbie Gould and PGA Tour player TBD
  • Improve your game during a skills clinic
  • Enjoy lunch and an elegant cocktail reception

Limited opportunities are available for golf patronages, foursomes, hole sponsorships and individual tickets. For more information, please contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at ladlesick@choosechicago.com.

Even if you don't play golf or can't attend the Chicago Golf Classic, you can still play a part in this event by donating to our silent auction/raffle. Consider contributing a special, higher-end item or experience to this event and make your product really stand out! Click here for the donation form.

SUPPORT HUG CHICAGO 2013 (Thursday, May 23)

Last year, more than 400 members of Chicago's hospitality community came together for a day of service and development, completing 13 comprehensive city improvement projects. The wildly successful program was even nominated for HSMAI's "Best Event of the Year 2012."

This year, we hope that your organization will join us as part of the HUG community. There are many opportunities for you to participate, including sponsorships, in-kind donations or by volunteering.

At the conclusion of the event, we invite all who participate to relax and network with industry peers at the HUG Volunteer Appreciation Party.

Details about volunteer opportunities will be available soon. For more information about HUG, contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at ladlesick@choosechicago.com. To download our sponsorship form, click here.

Why I Choose Chicago: Kendall College - Emily Williams Knight, President

Emily Knight - Kendall College, President

We are part of Choose Chicago's Partnership Program to stay updated on industry trends, gain access to networking opportunities, and to participate in strategic programs. As President of Kendall College, I see so many ways that the missions of Choose Chicago and Kendall are aligned.

Kendall is ranked #1 in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality and culinary, with many graduates staying in Chicago to live and work. In addition to our degree programs, Kendall offers Chicago-based or visiting organizations fantastic spaces for hosting meetings and events, as well as culinary teambuilding classes. The networking opportunities and connections made through Choose Chicago have been invaluable.

Being a Choose Chicago partner has benefitted us in many ways including doubling dinner business in The Dining Room at Kendall College - a certified green and Michelin Guide recommended restaurant - through our involvement in Chicago Restaurant Week. Our relationship with Choose Chicago has allowed us to partner on upcoming partnership events, and has created unique opportunities for our students, including taking part in the Summer Ambassador program (launched in 2012).

I would recommend joining the Choose Chicago Partnership Program to any institution, organization or business operating in Chicago as they have been a crucial partner for us. I am so inspired and energized by Choose Chicago's aim to increase international visibility and heighten Chicago's position on the tourism map, and believe these goals will be supported by upcoming initiatives at Kendall.

I connect regularly with businesses and institutions in all areas that affect students, faculty, staff and visitors. I am always looking to strengthen these relationships, provide unique partner opportunities as well as securing a strong network of contacts to benefit our students and alumni.  Our partnership has helped us get the word out about our campus offerings, and we look forward to working more closely with Choose Chicago in 2013 as we establish new programs and embark on initiatives to help position Chicago as a top destination for domestic and international travelers.  Already this year we have announced new concentrations in Sustainability Management in Hospitality and Tourism, and Beverage Management. Here's to an incredible 2013 and beyond!

About Kendall College:

Kendall College, founded in 1934, is located in Chicago, Illinois and is a member of the Laureate International Universities network. Kendall offers undergraduate degrees in business, culinary arts, early childhood education and hospitality management to a diverse and passionate community of more than 2000 students. The curriculum combines strong academics with practical experience and international educational opportunities that help give students in business, hospitality and culinary arts programs the skills and expertise to be leaders in their professions. Kendall College was ranked the number one program in Chicago for preparing students for careers in hospitality management and culinary arts in a survey of management at Chicago's leading hotels and Michelin Guide restaurants (ORC International - 2011 Survey). Kendall College  is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org; 1-312-263-0456. For more information, visit www.Kendall.edu.


As Chicago's official tourism organization, key 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 over the next 90 days:

Experient Envision

March 11-15

Houston, Texas

Meeting Professionals

Destinations Showcase DC

March 14

Washington, DC

Meeting Professionals

ConferenceDirect Annual Partner Meeting

March 17-21

Las Vegas, Nevada

Meeting Professionals

CBI-Pharma Meeting Planners Forum

March 19-22

Orlando, Florida

Meeting Professionals

North American Journey's (NAJ) Active America Summit - China

March 26-28

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Travel Professionals

Meeting Industry Council (MIC)

March 27

Denver, Colorado

Meeting Professionals

Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC)

April 7-10

Chicago, IL

Meeting Professionals


April 8-11

Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Meeting Professionals

Rocky Mountain International (RMI) Summit and Roundup

April 10-12

Boise, Idaho

Travel Professionals

HelmsBriscoe Annual Business Conference

April 17-19

Orlando, Florida

Meeting Professionals

Zet Phi Beta Great Lakes Regional Conference

April 18-22

Indianapolis, Indiana

Meeting Professionals

National Forum for Black Public Administrators

April 19-23

Atlanta, Georgia

Meeting Professionals

World Travel Market Latin America

April 23-25

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Travel Professionals

North American Journey's (NAJ) Summit East

May 1-2

New York, New York

Travel Professionals

International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Annual Global Convention

May 1-5

Chicago, Illinois

Travel Professionals

Christian Meetings & Conventions Association

May 7-9

Vail, Colorado

Meeting Professionals

Tradeshow Executive's Fastest 50 Awards & Conference

May 7-10

Chicago, Illinois

Meeting Professionals

Destination Showcase Chicago

May 8

Chicago, Illinois

Meeting Professionals

Springtime Expo

May 16

Washington, D.C.

Meeting Professionals

IMEX - Worldwide Exhibition for Incentive Meetings and Events

May 21-23

Frankfurt, Germany

Meeting Professionals

Society of Government Meeting Planners

May 22-24

Orlando, Florida

Meeting Professionals

Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) Dance

June 2-6

Norfolk, Virginia

Travel Professionals

U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow

June 8-12

Las Vegas, Nevada

Travel Professionals

For more information about opportunities to participate in key events such as these, please email partnership@choosechicago.com.


The Big Ten Tournament officially kicks off this week (March 14-17) at the United Center. The Chicago Sports Commission has planned several ancillary events surrounding the tournament, so visit bigtenchicagohoops.com for more information. For live tournament updates and developing event information, follow the Chicago Sports Commission on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page. To download an official Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament bracket, click here.

Big Ten Hoops Fest, which runs through March 15, features a free-to-the-public basketball court and festival area in Daley Plaza. The event offers food and beverage for purchase, hoops from 10AM-7PM daily and special appearances from prominent guests and athletes.

World Sport Chicago, the Big Ten Conference and The Chicago Sports Commission are calling all Big Ten university alumni to join in support of over 35 Chicago elementary schools and hundreds of students through the Books for Baskets Challenge.

The Books for Baskets Challenge gives you the opportunity to back your own Big Ten alumni association as they compete to see which university team can donate the most books in support of youth education. Donations are tax-deductible and your entire contribution will be used to purchase new books for participating schools. All books will be health and wellness themed, encouraging these students to live healthy, active lives and enjoy the positive impact of sports. Visit worldsportchicago.org/bigten to donate today!


One of the major issues right now affecting the travel industry is the sequester. There is a bit of confusion about it, so we're here to set the record straight on how the sequester will affect the travel industry and you.

What is the Sequester?

The sequester, taken into effect on March 1, is a group of across-the-board budget cuts to federal spending that will occur until the end of 2021. In total, the cut will come to be $1.2 trillion applied equally to defense and non-defense spending. While the effect of these cuts will not be felt over night, it will certainly affect many industries over the long term, including travel.

Where did it come from?

The sequester originated from the Budget Control Act of 2011, or what you may know as the debt ceiling compromise. The Budget Control Act applied discretionary spending caps and created a supercommittee comprised of a panel of representatives and senators  with a deadline to create a deal to cut $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Sequestration would then go into effect if the supercommittee could not recommend a package to cut spending and/or tax hikes to lower the nation's deficit. It was used as an incentive to make a deal that never ended up happening.

How does it affect the travel industry?

As part of the automatic spending cuts many industries were affected, travel in particular is affected by cuts reducing staffing of air-traffic controllers and checkpoint security officers. In total, the sequester will result in $689 million in Federal Aviation Administration cuts. Increased wait times at TSA checkpoints, multi-hour waits at Customs and Border Protection and reduced hours and services at national parks and historical sites are all in play. Government officials have said that wait times at TSA checkpoints could now reach over 90 minutes. For an industry that depends on these officials to assist passengers efficiently, this is simply unacceptable.

What can I do?

US Travel has launched a convenient texting campaign, allowing you to contact your member of Congress and voice your concerns over these unnecessary and damaging cuts. If you simply text "DELAYED" to 877-877 it will connect you to your official. For access to talking points and more information regarding the campaign you can visit travelcoalition.org/sequester.


The Public Policy team recently traveled to Springfield for the Hospitality Industry Lobby Day sponsored by the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus, the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association.  The focus there was to educate our legislator's on the importance of the travel industry. The travel industry in Chicago currently represents 128,000 jobs, $12 billion dollars in direct spending and generates over $725 million in tax revenues.


Our team will also be heading to Washington, DC in April for Destination Capitol Hill where us and other travel professionals will be speaking directly with lawmakers about issues that affect our vital industry. We urge you to join us there for this great opportunity. For more information about Destination Capitol Hill please e-mail us at advocacy@choosechicago.com.

You can follow the Choose Chicago Public Policy team on Twitter @CCAdvocacy. To sign up to be one of our first responders, contact advocacy@choosechicago.com


Join us and Choose Chicago partner, Slingshot SEO, on April 18 for this very important partner event.

Search engine optomization has become a prevailing, almost required aspect of online marketing. Improve your organization's digital presence by conquering the complex world of Google algorithms and key words.

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Gene Siskel Film Center

8:00am-8:30am: Registration
8:30am-10:00am: Educational Seminar: SEO for Dummies

Invitations and registration information will be sent to our partners next week. For more information, please contact Lori Adlesick, Director of Special Events, at ladlesick@choosechicago.com.


Be a part of the conversation and interact with other industry professionals by joining Choose Chicago's Partners-only group on LinkedIn. We invite you to share ideas, job openings, industry news and to be a part of our online industry community. To join, click here.



In preparation for the spring, it's not too late to include your collateral at the Visitor Information Centers. If you are a current partner and would like to continue to display your collateral in our Visitor Information Centers, you must sign up to participate in our Collateral Distribution program. If you are interested in participating in our Collateral Distribution program or have questions, please contact Cintia Ortiz, Manager of Visitor Services at cortiz@choosechicago.com


Tall Ships Chicago returns to Navy Pier August 7-11, 2013. The total estimated attendance at Navy Pier during the six-day festival in August 2010 was 1,050,000, including 92,389 tickets sold to enter the gated festival grounds, the largest volume of tickets for any Tall Ships festival in Chicago history.

In-person visitor intercept surveys conducted during the 2010 festival show that 28% of the attendees of Tall Ships Chicago 2010 came to Navy Pier from over 50 miles outside of Chicago.

Navy Pier offers your property a chance to join in and partner with the festival at one of two levels:

1. Tall Ships Hotel Package Partner

Ticket Packaging:

Your property may purchase an inventory of one-day admission Tall Ships Adult or Child Dockside Boarding tickets at a special reduced rate at a minimum quantity of 20% your total number of rooms times two. For example, a hotel with 500 rooms would purchase a minimum of 200 tickets. Navy Pier will buy back any unsold tickets above the minimum.

With this ticket inventory, your property can build room night packages. In exchange, Navy Pier will list your property on the Tall Ships Chicago 2013 website.

Ticket Prices for Tall Ships Package Partners:

∙ One-day Dockside Boarding Admission (available August 8-11)

Adult: $17 or Child: $10 or One Price for Either: $15

2. Tall Ships Preferred Hotel


Your property will be featured in various Navy Pier media outlets for Tall Ships advertising including on-site signage, Tall Ships website, Navy Pier e-newsletter with any Tall Ships messaging, social media, Tall Ships collateral, radio and more. Navy Pier will give your property complimentary Tall Ships Dockside Boarding Admission tickets to share with staff or clients (quantity TBD).

Ticket Packaging:

Your property will purchase an inventory of  multi-day access or one-day admission Tall Ships Adult or Child Dockside Boarding tickets at a reduced rate at a minimum quantity of 10% of your total number of rooms times two. For example, a hotel with 500 rooms would purchase a minimum of 100 Tall Ships tickets. Navy Pier will buy back any unsold tickets above the minimum.

With this ticket inventory, your property can build room night packages. In exchange, Navy Pier will list your property and package on the Tall Ships Chicago 2013 website.

Ticket Prices for Tall Ships Preferred Hotels:

∙    Multi-day Dockside Boarding Admission (available August 8-11)

Adult: $25 or Child: $15 or One Price for Either: $22

∙    One day Dockside Boarding Admission (available August 8-11)

Adult: $15 or Child: $8 or One Price for Either: $13


Minimum of $20,000 cash or combination of cash and room trade

For more information about these partnership levels and other available opportunities, please contact Kathy Knusta at kknusta@navypier.org or 312-595-5034 by Friday, April 5.


For a lighthearted look at our new partner offerings, watch our friend Burt Trampson of Burt Corp. as he explores the benefits of a Choose Chicago partnership.

Partnership Model

Mobile App



Congratulations to the Chicago hotels and restaurants that were recognized by Forbes Travel Guide's prestigious "five star" distinction. The 2013 Five Star Rating Awards recognize excellence among hotels, restaurants and spas around the globe. Chicago winners include:

  • Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
  • Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
  • The Peninsula Chicago
  • L20
  • Alinea
  • Sixteen

For more recent awards and accolades from throughout Chicago, click here.