The National Restaurant Association was joined by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and leaders in the city’s convention and hospitality industry in announcing that the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event will remain in Chicago’s McCormick Place through 2016. After a thorough review of options, the National Restaurant Association signed a new five-year agreement with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) and the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB).
Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO, delivered the following statement in part at the news conference announcing the future plans of the Association’s annual Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show:
“The restaurant business has always been, and continues to be, all about warm hospitality, extraordinary service, and great taste. Therefore, it is critically important to the National Restaurant Association that we hold our industry’s leading trade show in a location that possesses those characteristics.
“We continue to strongly believe that Chicago, Illinois, is a world-class destination that provides outstanding business facilities, along with sensational culinary, cultural, and entertainment assets.
“Our 66,000 attendees and exhibitors from all 50 states and more than 100 countries deserve and expect excellence—and Chicago delivers.
“Along with all that the city of Chicago has to offer, McCormick Place—with the new legislation being implemented—will now provide an exhibitor-friendly, hassle-free, and cost-effective facility that makes for an outstanding trade show environment.
“Thank you to Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, and others who worked so hard to make the positive changes at McCormick Place a reality.
“The legislation includes many important provisions that will help us grow our trade show—already the Western Hemisphere's, and arguably the world’s, largest foodservice and hospitality event.
“McCormick Place has made a commitment to enhance its service and value at the NRA Show. Allowing exhibitors the option to undertake a number of tasks they were previously precluded from engaging in, along with decreased foodservice and electrical costs, are among the concrete positive steps that will make the venue highly attractive, and that will place it on a level playing field with other cities.
“We are in a global marketplace with instant communications and intense competition. With that reality as a backdrop, the National Restaurant Association is pleased with the direction the recent legislation has taken, and we encourage labor leaders to continue working to provide an unsurpassed experience to attract an ever greater number of trade show exhibitors from across the United States and around the world to Chicago.
“The continuation of this amazing tradition will bring more that $600 million—that's in excess of one half of a billion dollars—to Chicago through 2016.”