Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 60

B M & T ••• May/June 2022 ••• 51 ILLINOIS RANKS HIGH ON MEETING PLANNERS' WISH LIST BY BUCK SAMUELS Illinois is known as a premier travel des- tination for leisure travelers and for meet- ings, conventions, and special events, attracting more than 110 million domestic and international visitors per year. • • CHICAGO • • Situated squarely in the center of the country, Chicago is easy to travel to from virtually anywhere. The "Windy City" offers meeting professionals and atten- dees an incredible variety of unique ven- ues and elite services, as well as unmatched entertainment options and a Michelin-rated dining scene. Located within a five-mile radius of more than 33,000 downtown Chicago hotel rooms the convention facility features, 2.6 million sq. ft. of exhibit halls, 173 meeting rooms providing nearly 1.2 million sq. ft. of space, as well as assembly seating for 15,000 people. Chicago is rooted in a rich African- American history. During the early 20th century, hundreds of thousands of Southern African-Americans traveled to Chicago and brought with them a cultural revival that rivaled the Harlem Renaissance. From The Great Migration to President Barack Obama's Presidential Election victory speech in Grant Park, Chicago's long been a place of cultural significance in the African-American com- munity. Business travelers and leisure travel- ers alike can experience some of the city's cultural highlights by exploring some of the historical landmarks and museums. As the country's first independent museum dedicated to the history of African and African-American culture, the DuSable Museum has developed into one of Chicago's principal cultural institu- tions. This Hyde Park staple boasts more than 15,000 artifacts and includes price- less paintings, sculptures and historical memorabilia. Chicago leads the way when it comes to accessibility. The city rests convenient- ly in the center of the country and boast two first-class airports (O'Hare & Midway International Airports) with thousands of daily inbound and outbound flights to more than 240 destinations. • • PEORIA • • The Peoria Area boasts world-class convention and expo centers, featuring the Peoria Civic Center-located in downtown Peoria and the largest of its kind in downstate Illinois. The Peoria Civic Center is a multipurpose event facility offering the highest levels of cus- tomer service for clients and patrons. The Peoria Civic Center includes an arena with seating for 11,300, a 2,196- seat theater, 45,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 110,000 sq. ft. of exhibit hall space. The downtown location is less than 10 minutes from the Peoria International Airport with over 4,000 hotel rooms nearby, 1,000 within walk- ing distance and 400 attached via indoor skywalk. Lodging options include the 164-room Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center, 286-room Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette, 113-room Holiday Inn & Suites Peoria Grand Prairie, and 323- room Four Points by Sheraton Peoria Downtown, which boasts 21,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. When the workday is done, Peoria offers an array of attractions, from the Peoria Zoo and the RiverPlex Recreation & Wellness Center, to the Madison Golf Course and the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Peoria Area CVB – (800) 747-0302 Chicago's McCormick Place North and South photo credit: Chicago McMormick • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Hilton Chicago 1,544 Congress Plaza Hotel & Conference Center 870 Four Seasons Hotel Chicago 345 La Quinta by Wyndham Downtown Chicago 239 Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile 1,198 Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile 419 EXHIBITION FACILITIES McCormick Place Total Exhibit Space: 2.6 million sq. ft. Meeting Rooms: 173 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Choose Chicago – (312) 567-8500 Chicagoland Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. I L L I N O I S AREA GUIDES

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Black Meetings and Tourism - May/June 2022