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Old December 14th, 2004, 07:18 PM   #21
geoff_diamond
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Tourism is down? This is news to me.

Also, I don't know that I would refer to Michigan Avenue as a tourist trap... I think the Mile is as much for the locals (if not more) as it is for the tourists.
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Old December 14th, 2004, 11:43 PM   #22
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^ I misspoke on the visitor numbers. I was looking at hotel occupancy numbers, which are down, but growth in the number of hotel rooms explains a lot of that. The numbers appear to be approaching pre-recession/Sept. 11 levels again.

However, the average room rate is down almost 10% since 2000, which means overall revenues are definitely down, and that was my concern to begin with.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin J
I only say "unfortunately" from the point of view of being a taxpayer in Chicago, where everything from the new Soldier Field crap pile to the latest expansion of McCormick place is being funded by bonds that are supposed to be paid off by taxes on hotel rooms. Tourism is down, which means revenue from hotel room taxes is lower than expected. More tourists from anywhere means the obligations to pay off these bonds do not fall to me and other residents. If a more "glamorous" image is what it takes to get people here, then bring on the glam.
Kevin, among other things, I have been involved with the city's tourism industry. and not only did I never feel glamour was an issue in Chicago, it wasn't with the tourists (domestic or international) either. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but I must admit on reading your comments, I'm scratching my head and thinking, "what Chicago was this guy talking about?"

PS...I'm a member of a real minortiy; I really like the new Soldier Field. a lot. I think it is a wonderful blend of past and future. I am more than pleased that the contrast between the two is so great. I love the lack of symmetry (who said that just had to be for baseball) and the inside is as beautiful as any football stadium anywhere. Of course, that is merely my opinion and others rightfully disagree.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:33 AM   #24
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Some of you have made reference to Chicago's grit and how it somehow manages to play a role of mixing NY,SF sophistication with Det/Pgh down-to-earthness.

My sixth sense tells me that that second trait is fading into oblivion. Chicago is a global city. That's powerful. But it also contains elements that are both beneficial and detrimental. The high cost of city living and the $$$'s it attacts and will continue to attract will not necessarily benefit the type of urban fabric that we treasured for so long.

I would imagine in 20 or so years, you'd be hard pressed to find the old connections and links between Chicago and Detroit that at one time had demonstrated so many similiarites between them
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:41 AM   #25
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Would this be such a bad thing? I wish we could sever our similarities with other rust-belt also-rans. The truth of the matter is that it's going to take alot longer than 20 years for Chicago to shed a reputation that has taken 100 years to earn.

Now, as far as Soldier Field goes... I don't think you'll find too many people who will argue with you about the stadium interior's merits. Most everyone I've talked to is blown away by what lies beyond the mangled exterior; but, of course it is that mangled exterior that has everyone (myself included) up in arms.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 12:54 AM   #26
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Edsg:

All I'm talking about is image and preconceived perceptions. Maybe "glamor" isn't the word for it, but I'm just talking about the fact that places like Vegas, LA, New York, and Miami have a certain cache about them that is traceable in part to the fact that they are known to be places where the beautiful, rich, and/or famous live and/or party. I think this factor is a draw for people, whether or not it's something people actually speak to or can be quantified. All I know is that when I travelled abroad in the early 90s, I was still getting the old "Chicago=dangerous, gangsters" reaction, whereas at the end of the decade I got "Chicago=Michael Jordan and Oprah." I drew the unscientific conclusion that this makes a difference in luring tourists.

But I also originally pointed to this as only one potential factor in why numbers for international tourists would be lower here than other places. I think it's one factor, but certainly not even close to being the most important one.

Anyone who posts an opinion is always going to run into someone who is an expert on the topic on which they're giving an opinion. I'm always going to listen to someone speaking from authority versus my own general speculation.

And if you like the new Soldier Field, that's grand. I would never attack anyone for expressing their opinion.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 02:44 AM   #27
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"Also, I don't know that I would refer to Michigan Avenue as a tourist trap... I think the Mile is as much for the locals (if not more) as it is for the tourists."

No, you're right. The Magnificent Mile exists in its own right; I put it with Navy Pier because, along with Navy Pier, it is a nearly universal destination for people who come to Chicago who are looking for a Disneyland experience. I would guess that most people on that street at any given time are tourists, and certainly way more than half are tourists or suburbanites.

"Some of you have made reference to Chicago's grit and how it somehow manages to play a role of mixing NY,SF sophistication with Det/Pgh down-to-earthness.

My sixth sense tells me that that second trait is fading into oblivion. Chicago is a global city. That's powerful. But it also contains elements that are both beneficial and detrimental. The high cost of city living and the $$$'s it attacts and will continue to attract will not necessarily benefit the type of urban fabric that we treasured for so long.

I would imagine in 20 or so years, you'd be hard pressed to find the old connections and links between Chicago and Detroit that at one time had demonstrated so many similiarites between them"

I agree in large part, and I think that's very sad. I can't believe, however, that Chicago will ever get as bad as New York or San Francisco in this regard, simply because of our location and all of that.

I also want to make clear that when I compliment Chicago's grit, I am complimenting a certain down-to-earthness, a blue-collar, un-fussed-over quality; I do not for a second think that dangerous neighborhoods and intense poverty are romantic.

And by the way, I like Soldier Field's exterior too.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 04:24 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoff_diamond
Would this be such a bad thing? I wish we could sever our similarities with other rust-belt also-rans. The truth of the matter is that it's going to take alot longer than 20 years for Chicago to shed a reputation that has taken 100 years to earn.

Now, as far as Soldier Field goes... I don't think you'll find too many people who will argue with you about the stadium interior's merits. Most everyone I've talked to is blown away by what lies beyond the mangled exterior; but, of course it is that mangled exterior that has everyone (myself included) up in arms.
geoff, i agree with you about the majority of opinions. still, i've read such critiques by architecture critics who thought it was an outstanding structure (including an article about it in Architectural Record recently...the one with Chicago as the cover story).

Keep in mind when looking at Soldier Field: nobody would build such a structure from scratch. So the job was to integrate the original structure into the new project. If the architects tried to fit the new stadium to the classical lines of the original Soldier Field, it would have looked like an ill fitting add on. It is the very contrast between old and new that works for me on the actual stadium.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 04:31 AM   #29
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^ yeah, the new soldier field is a love/hate kinda place. critics either gush about it, or they completely pan it.

i happen to think the new soldier field is the greatest single accomplishment in chicago's long and proud history.
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Old December 15th, 2004, 06:16 PM   #30
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sharpie - I'm going to pretend you didn't just say that
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Old December 16th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #31
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Kevin, I don't know if this affects things or not, but I'll give it a try and see what others think:

there was a time (prior to WWII, in particular) when New York was the only real city in the US. Quite frankly, all our other cities (including Chgo, SF, DC, Boston, LA, etc.) were incredibly provencial.

So NYC earned a rep for being cool, glamourous, the center of things, etc....and that was pretty much locked in. Nothing was going to alter the status.

In the last 55 or so years, US cities, despite the decay from suburbanization and racial problems, have blosoomed as more complete and vibrant urban centers.

Let's look at some that you mentioned. Eliminate NYC for reasons above and what others did you mention? Vegas, LA, Miami. And what do those three have in common? Year round warm weather, palms, and pastel colors.

Would it be a stretch to observe that some of the "cool" these cities project actually comes from the heat their climate generates throughout the year?
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Old December 16th, 2004, 12:51 AM   #32
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^ Sure, I agree that the climate is part of it. But it takes more than that, as demonstrated by the fact that Phoenix, Tampa, and San Diego all have the same climate advantages, but aren't seen the same way as the others.

A lot of Miami's image comes from the fact that a lot of American, European, and Latin musicians, models, and athletes live and party there at least part of the year. South Beach isn't famous just because it's a beach area. It wouldn't be famous without it, but it's a beach area crawling with these people.

Ditto, it different ways, for Vegas and L.A.
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Old December 16th, 2004, 01:18 AM   #33
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^ for whatever it's worth, miami beach seems like hell on earth to me. i understand that the masses love and get off on this cult of celebrity, but miami beach would be one of the last places on earth i would ever want to spend any amount of time in.

any area that has a nightlife scene that the paris hilton types of the world might think is "hot" should be avoided like the plague.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 08:00 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharptent
^ for whatever it's worth, miami beach seems like hell on earth to me. i understand that the masses love and get off on this cult of celebrity, but miami beach would be one of the last places on earth i would ever want to spend any amount of time in.

any area that has a nightlife scene that the paris hilton types of the world might think is "hot" should be avoided like the plague.
Ditto.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 12:27 AM   #35
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Chicago top New Year's Eve spot
Study measured hotel bookings on Hotwire.com


By Shruti Date Singh
The Windy City has beat out the Big Apple and Big Easy to become the top destination in the country for New Year’s Eve, according to a recent study measuring hotel bookings.
Hotwire.com, a discount travel site, says more people booked hotels on its Web site for New Year’s Eve in Chicago than any other city. New Orleans came in second and San Francisco was third. Hotwire found that New York City, which was first in 2003, was the seventh most popular destination this year.


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“New Year’s Eve booking trends really reflect where the deals are this year,” says Amy Bohutinsky, a Hotwire.com consumer travel expert. “Some of the year’s best deals are consistently found in Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans and Los Angeles. The great values on hotels in these cities led to higher rankings on our top-ten list this year.”
Hotwire.com has ranked cities in terms of hotel booking for three years. Chicago came in first in 2002, and third in 2003.

Bill Utter, vice president of marketing for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, says Chicago’s strong performance in hotel bookings is a result of the gradual increase in hotel rooms in the city and better coordination between various government and private groups.

Mr. Utter notes that the number of hotel rooms in Chicago’s central business district has grown by 5,000 to 30,000 over the last 10 years.

“In Chicago, we’ve had a great growth in the types of hotel,” Mr. Utter says. “There are different types of hotels for different types of people that have helped make Chicago a hot destination.”

He says the high number of hotel bookings also is a result of the unified strategy to market Chicago during the winter season. He says his organization, city officials and the Illinois Bureau of Tourism came together five years ago to launch the Winter Delights campaign, which promotes Chicago during the frigid months between December and February.

“We’ve been working very hard with all of our hotel partners,” he says

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

^And more hotel rooms along the way.
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Old December 24th, 2004, 12:32 AM   #36
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this doesn't mean we have to drop the bean from the top of sears tower at the stroke of midnight, does it?
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Old December 24th, 2004, 01:04 AM   #37
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I find this article interesting because it shows how cooporation between corporate and civic/govt groups can be perfected to an art in cities like Chicago. Chicago Winter Delights has been a successful marketing campaign, and it's interesting that Chicago, long derided for its bitter winters, beats out cities like Vegas, LA, and New Orleans (much warmer places) on New Years Eve.

That same cooporation is what created Millennium Park
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Old December 27th, 2004, 01:24 AM   #38
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An article from Chicagobusiness.com

December 23, 2004


Chicago top New Year's Eve spot
Study measured hotel bookings on Hotwire.com

By Shruti Date Singh

The Windy City has beat out the Big Apple and Big Easy to become the top destination in the country for New Year’s Eve, according to a recent study measuring hotel bookings.

Hotwire.com, a discount travel site, says more people booked hotels on its Web site for New Year’s Eve in Chicago than any other city. New Orleans came in second and San Francisco was third. Hotwire found that New York City, which was first in 2003, was the seventh most popular destination this year.

“New Year’s Eve booking trends really reflect where the deals are this year,” says Amy Bohutinsky, a Hotwire.com consumer travel expert. “Some of the year’s best deals are consistently found in Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans and Los Angeles. The great values on hotels in these cities led to higher rankings on our top-ten list this year.”

Hotwire.com has ranked cities in terms of hotel booking for three years. Chicago came in first in 2002, and third in 2003.

Bill Utter, vice president of marketing for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, says Chicago’s strong performance in hotel bookings is a result of the gradual increase in hotel rooms in the city and better coordination between various government and private groups.

Mr. Utter notes that the number of hotel rooms in Chicago’s central business district has grown by 5,000 to 30,000 over the last 10 years.

“In Chicago, we’ve had a great growth in the types of hotel,” Mr. Utter says. “There are different types of hotels for different types of people that have helped make Chicago a hot destination.”

He says the high number of hotel bookings also is a result of the unified strategy to market Chicago during the winter season. He says his organization, city officials and the Illinois Bureau of Tourism came together five years ago to launch the Winter Delights campaign, which promotes Chicago during the frigid months between December and February.

“We’ve been working very hard with all of our hotel partners,” he says.
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Old December 27th, 2004, 01:56 AM   #39
The Urban Politician
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^Ahem..... scroll down a bit
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Old December 27th, 2004, 02:25 AM   #40
BVictor1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^Ahem..... scroll down a bit
Shit dude!! My bad!!!
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