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NRA show commits to Chicago through 2016

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced recently that it will hold its annual NRA, Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and the International Wine, Spirits & Beer event in Chicago through 2016, continuing an unprecedented 61-year tradition in the city.

“Chicago will be home to the NRA Show and IWSB through 2016,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the NRA. “Chicago is a world-class culinary city and McCormick Place is a world-class venue. We have had great success over the past 61 years and we are confident that those successes will continue thanks to the positive momentum in Chicago’s convention industry.”

National Restaurant Association Press Conference

This is the ninth major convention to re-commit to Chicago since the Illinois legislature enacted sweeping reforms last spring. These commitments represent more than $2.2 billion in estimated direct expenditures for Chicago and Illinois in the years to come.

“We are dedicated to our customers and to ensuring that they have a first-rate experience every time they visit Chicago,” said Bruce Rauner, chairman of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB). “The NRA Show is a Chicago institution, and we are committed to keeping it that way.”

The NRA show is one of the largest conventions held in Chicago and one of the most valuable to the city. The convention produces more than 45,000 hotel room nights annually.

It generates more than $1.7 million annually in occupancy taxes and more than $7.4 million annually in state and local taxes. Attendees spend an estimated $108 million in the city each year.

“This is a very important announcement, both because it continues the historic relationship between Chicago and the NRA and, of course, because of the significant economic impact the show has on our city,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “This is a real victory for Chicago and it builds on the other successes we have achieved since we re-structured our convention operations.”

“Thanks to the steps we have taken to improve McCormick Place, more tradeshows are choosing to locate right here in Chicago,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “Conventions like the NRA Show provide a tremendous boost to our economy and create jobs, and we are proud that they have chosen to stay in our city for years to come.”

On average, the NRA show draws 66,000 attendees to Chicago and McCormick Place each May. More than 5,000 of the attendees are international visitors.

“We’re proud of our longstanding relationship with this internationally-recognized show,” said Tim Roby, president and CEO of the CCTB. “NRA’s continuing commitment to Chicago is testament not only to the sweeping success of last spring’s reforms, but also to Chicago’s place at the epicenter of the restaurant industry. The nation’s top chefs and restaurants and the newest trends in food preparation are right here in Chicago.”

The nation’s restaurant industry is a dynamic $580 billion industry and the nation’s second largest private sector employer with nearly 13 million employees. The NRA show is the Western Hemisphere’s largest foodservice and hospitality event.

“This is an important day,” said Jim Reilly, trustee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA). “Chicago is back on track as the preeminent convention destination. Plain and simple, Chicago is a place where business gets done, whether that business is biotechnology, manufacturing or the restaurant industry.”

Other shows that recently recommitted to Chicago include the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) and the International Housewares Association.



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