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Crime and turmoil in and beyond downtown keeps tourists away from Chicago, experts say something has to change

Chicago (CBS) -Due to events such as the downtown turmoil that led to a deadly shooting in the middle of Millennium Park, people aren’t feeling safe and have canceled their trips, conferences and events in Chicago.

As CBS2’s Tara Molina reported on Tuesday, hotel, restaurant and city operators will make significant profits this summer in the first summer since 2019, when most options are not restricted by COVID-19 restrictions. I’m looking forward to it.

But Molina is said to have some crime away-and the city can’t afford it.

“The Chicago economy can’t afford hotels to fail. Tourism can’t afford to decline,” said Michael Jacobson, chairman of the Illinois Hotel and Lodges Association. “That’s why we need to find a solution to this problem.”

Chicago shines in the summer. Whether by boat or on the beach, the sparkling blue waters of Lake Michigan, the lush greenery of the park from Loyola to Calmet, the Buckingham Fountain in the evening sky, the Blues Festival, the Pride Parade, and the Navy’s fireworks piers. And, of course, summer is usually the time for tourists to grow in Chicago – for good reason.

But last weekend, these picturesque images show up in downtown streets behind landmarks such as the Chase Tower, people throwing things into cars and jumping, and a 16-year-old deadly gunfight. Was replaced by a video showing Seandell Holliday A sculpture of the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park, or life in front of beans.

This happens as the highest number of crimes ever in a loop. The table below shows the trend of violent crimes for the year to May 9 compared to the past few years. First about the whole city, then about the loop.

Therefore, for some, this wonderful summer city has lost its brilliance.

“Our main headwind today is public security,” Jacobson said. “Unfortunately, individual leisure travelers have begun to cancel hotel rooms for the next few weeks or months because they have heard the news and what happened in downtown. Even more worrisome is the meeting. Was seen to be held in Chicago together for other cities in the Midwest. ”

And that was after a downtown hotel was hit by a pandemic.

Thankfully, Jacobson says Chicago is continuing its recovery efforts, yet Chicago lags behind other major US cities in terms of occupancy. From New York and Boston to Orlando and Atlanta, we are finally dead.

new york- Many of its own concerns about crime – Hotel occupancy was 77.6% from May 1st to May 7th. In Chicago, this figure was 57.3%.

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CBS 2


“The gap between recovery is starting to widen,” Jacobson said.

And it plays a role in these public security concerns, especially with regard to ongoing crime in Chicago.

“There’s no more city to visit. It’s a shame that downtown could undermine our entire recovery for hundreds of people who like to bring havoc every weekend,” Jacobson said. Said. “Crime is a problem we have to tackle.”

This happens when all kinds of summer fun come back to the book, whether it’s street fairs, concerts, farmers’ markets, and all sorts of events across the city. A total of 88 events are planned at McCormick Place from this month to September.

Molina says industry leaders haven’t lost all hope yet. However, discussions are currently underway as it calls on city authorities to work on new solutions before this gets worse.

“We need to put all the ego down, put the rhetoric aside, and come up with some creative solutions to this,” Jacobson said. “Currently it is not working.”

He said the Illinois Hotel and Lodge Association has a unique role in its efforts.

“I and other business leaders have repeatedly offered to come to the table and be part of the solution,” he said. “Currently, there are thousands of jobs across Chicago. By putting some of these kids in these jobs, we can do it in the summer or in the long run.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was this week Weekend curfew Limit time until 10 pm and when there may be unaccompanied minors Millennium Park From Thursday to Sunday.

Michael Edwards, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Loop Alliance, said the new restrictions on Millennium Park were the starting point for the solution.

“A safe and predictable loop experience is essential to the safety of all Chicago citizens and visitors, and to the continued recovery of our big city. Loop is all about where we all come together. Our downtown is more than just a company. It’s a hub, but a mecca for art and culture, and a residential haven for the fastest growing downtown in the United States. The future of Everyone’s Neighborhood. Relies on an accessible, safe and equitable environment for the entire Loop and Chicago community. A new restricted park for the Millennium is the starting point for a solution. A future that jeopardizes the safety of people throughout the Loop. The possibility of an incident is not something we underestimate. Working with the Mayor of Lightfoot, the CPD, and the local community to restore the politeness and confidence of Loop and Chicago during the summer, the safety of the Loop. We have resources to improve our sexuality. “

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for McCormick Place said of the overall tourism outlook and criminal concerns:

Sightseeing prospects

  • Summer tourism looks very promising.Latest forecast from STR For spring-summer (May-August), pre-pandemic room demand for the same period in 2019 suggests a recovery of 85%, suggesting a good to very good season. In addition, outside experts such as Expedia and the World Travel and Tourism Council predict a strong recovery.
  • In Chicago, the momentum is strong. For example, many restaurants open and reopen, which is a good indicator for the industry. Our arts and cultural institutions are hosting many great exhibitions scheduled for the summer.
  • There will also be some unique events in Chicago this summer. For example, the US Sail GP will be held for the first time in Chicago’s Navy Pier in June, and the WNBA All-Star Game will be held in Chicago for the first time in July.
  • On the business side, meetings and events are on track and we have a solid calendar in the future. Between May and September, 88 events are planned for McCormick Place alone, with approximately 700,000 hotel nights and an economic impact of over $ 1 billion.

crime

  • This weekend’s incident at Millennium Park is tragic. Sadly, crime is a problem for all city destinations, and it’s not unique to Chicago. After COVID, cities across the country have been working on the issue of violence at the center. Travelers understand that big cities need some awareness. Chicago has a police station that works with the tourism and hospitality community. We know that ensuring the safety of our visitors and residents is an important priority of the city. As an industry, we work with the city and Chicago police stations to ensure that criminal issues in all regions are addressed.

Crime and turmoil in and beyond downtown keeps tourists away from Chicago, experts say something has to change

Source link Crime and turmoil in and beyond downtown keeps tourists away from Chicago, experts say something has to change

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