McCormick Place had to cancel hundreds of events for COVID, but on Thursday they are excited to welcome people.
Barporter Gilbert Neil has been working at McCormick Place for 23 years. It’s 23 car shows under his belt, but last year his winning streak broke due to a pandemic.
“It was terrible,” Neil said. “Things are really bad for us and auto shows are part of our lives. We love auto shows. It’s a great show and we’re happy to be back at this time.”
As a bar porter, Neil is responsible for building and replenishing bars for car show guests. He is one of the hundreds of workers brought back to one of the city’s largest competitions.
Larita Clark, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, said: “This is the day we have been waiting for. We worked hard during the pandemic.”
Clark was appointed CEO of the Convention Center in January last year, just before the pandemic began.
It was easily one of McCormick’s most challenging years.
“During the pandemic, 230 events were canceled,” Clark said. “It was very devastating to us and had an economic impact on our city of over $ 3 billion, but when we saw ourselves, many people were preparing and resuming. I was hired by, so I was waiting for the reopening and preparations for the reopening. We will maintain our relationship with our customers.
“Our mission is to bring and attract trade fairs, conventions and conferences from elsewhere to the cities of Chicago and Illinois, so that people from all over the country and even around the world can join and me. You can spend money in our town or in our town.
“That means bringing income and income to the state. It also means taking work back to the city and state and returning business to restaurants and hotels in the city and state.”
There is a bright spirit throughout the convention center, and Neil says it is entirely shared by the workers.
“I greet all the customers who come to my bar,” he said. “I welcome them. I might buy a candy bag and put it there so they bring it when they come.”
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. all rights reserved.
Chicago Auto Show 2021 Means McCormick Place’s Return to Business
Source link Chicago Auto Show 2021 Means McCormick Place’s Return to Business