- Chicago Sees Sixth Consecutive Month of Tourism Records
- Michelin Guide 2015 Names 83 Chicago Restaurants
- Chicago Issues Licenses to Lyft and Sidecar
- Microsoft Ignite Comes to Chicago May 2015
- NCAA Men's Basketball Regional Comes to Chicago 2016
- Crown Fountain Makes CNN List of World's Most Spectacular Fountains
- Chicago Flower & Garden Show Hosts National Cake Decorating Competition
After September’s solid performance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago, announced that Chicago has seen a sixth consecutive month for record hotel performance, according to all key performance indicators, including demand, occupancy, supply, average daily rate, revenue per available room and revenue.
In September, a record 1.114 million rooms were available for occupancy, overall room demand reached a record 967,292 rooms sold, group demand topped 400,000 rooms for the first time ever, average daily rates for hotel rooms hit a record $234.20 and revenue per available room topped $200 for the first time in history. Much of the increase can be attributed to the attraction of new and returning meetings and conventions.
Chicago is just one of three in the U.S. honored to have its own Michelin Guide, an international benchmark in fine dining, and the recently released guide for 2015 included 83 selections: two three-star restaurants, three two-star restaurants, 19 one-star restaurants and 59 Bib Gourmand restaurants.
The rigorous selection process behind the prestigious Michelin Guide considers five key elements: product quality, preparation and flavors, the chef's personality as revealed through his or her cuisine, value for money and consistency over time and across the entire menu.
Bib Gourmand selections are defined as “Inspectors’ Favorites for Good Value,” offering two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (tax and gratuity not included), and are often of most value to a city’s residents, who regularly dine in neighborhood restaurants.
The City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has issued the first two Transportation Network Provider (TNP) licenses to the mobile-app-based ride-share companies, Sidecar and Lyft, headquartered in San Francisco. Chicago is one of the first major metropolitan areas to issue TNP licenses.
This past May, the City Council passed Mayor Emanuel’s TNP ordinance, which establishes a licensing and regulatory framework for the industry and focuses on safe rides for all residents and visitors by requiring TNP companies, also referred to as a rideshare company, to get licensed, conduct background checks, train affiliated drivers, inspect affiliated vehicles and obtain insurance. The ordinance also protects consumers by regulating surge pricing, requiring that 311 information be included on rideshare apps and directing rideshares to clearly identify affiliated vehicles and drivers.
MICROSOFT IGNITE COMES TO CHICAGO MAY 2015
Microsoft Ignite, a new technology conference focused on helping businesses succeed in the new era of mobile and cloud computing, will take place in Chicago May 4 – 8, 2015 at McCormick Place.
The conference will combine five previously separate events and will cover a broad range of important topics for technology professionals, including cloud management, big data and analytics, productivity, unified communications, mobile devices and operating systems. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will deliver the keynote address, joined by many of the company's top executives and engineers. Approximately 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the convention that could bring in more than $47 million in estimated direct expenditures.
CHICAGO NAMED HOST SITE FOR 2016 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL REGIONAL
Chicago has been named the host site for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional. The Big Ten Conference will serve as the official host of the event in collaboration with the Chicago Sports Commission and the United Center. The conference will be hosting its first NCAA men’s basketball regional after managing earlier rounds on four previous occasions.
In past years, thousands of fans have traveled to NCAA Tournament host sites, thereby filling thousands of hotel rooms and generating millions in visitor spending. Chicago has already experienced the positive impact of hosting NCAA basketball: the 2016 event will mark the fifth time the Big Ten has hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the United Center.
CROWN FOUNTAIN MAKES CNN LIST OF WORLD'S MOST SPECTACULAR FOUNTAINS
CNN named the world's 15 most spectacular fountains, and Chicago's Crown Fountain in Millennium Park made the list. The breathtaking fountain features a granite reflecting pool flanked by two towers that use LEDs to display digital videos.
The Retail Bakers of America have announced some changes to their 14th Annual National Bakers Plus Creative Decorating Competition, which will be held March 21-22, 2015 at Navy Pier's Chicago Flower & Garden Show. The competition will require decorators to complete three cakes in two days: a themed wedding cake, a sculpted cake, and a creative cake, in which the decorators will learn the theme the day the competition begins.