Black Meetings and Tourism

May / June 2016

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AREA GUIDES C H I C A G O WORLD CLASS MEETING VENUES, TOP LEVEL HOSPITALITY AND AN AMAZING night life… "THE WINDY CITY" HAS IT ALL! B Y C Y N T H I A MO LU S K Situated squarely in the center of the country, Chicago is easy to travel to from virtually anywhere. Thanks to thousands of flight options, six class-one railroads, a vast network of major highways and a wide variety of airlines, it's also one of the most cost-competitive cities in the U.S. "The Windy City" offers meeting pro- fessionals and attendees an incredible variety of unique venues and elite serv- ices, as well as unmatched entertain- ment options and a Michelin-rated dining scene. Thanks to a series of cost-cutting labor reforms McCormick Place is now the largest AND most customer-friendly meeting and convention center in the United States. 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 provid- ing nearly 1.2 million sq. ft. of space, as well as assembly seating for 15,000 people. Chicago is one of the most environ- mentally friendly cities in the world, and was among the first to be certified as a sustainable destination for meetings and events by the APEX-ASTM Standard. The "City in a Garden," Chicago is the ideal destination for sustainable businesses to locate and grow. From its nation-leading green roof development to its innovations in transit, water supply, efficient use of energy sources, and waste management, Chicago is in a class of its own when it comes to green, sustainable initiatives.CChicago 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 travelers alike can experience some of the cities 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 institutions. This Hyde Park staple boasts more than 15,000 artifacts and includes priceless paintings, sculptures and historical memo- rabilia. In 2011, the Black Ensemble Theater opened its first permanent home, an archi- tecturally stunning cultural center in the Uptown neighborhood. With a lively calen- dar of show premieres, some of the city's most talented up-and-coming performers and a beautiful venue, this North Side jewel is a must-visit for theater lovers. Kenwood was once a retreat for wealthy Chicagoans who, to escape the industrial noise of downtown Chicago, built palatial homes on the Lake Michigan shoreline. One of those homes is of for- mer heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali who lived one block away from Elijah Muhammad, a religious leader in the Nation of Islam. Chicago leads the way when it comes to accessibility. The city rests conveniently 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. • • • STATS • • • HOTEL ROOMS Hilton Chicago 1,544 Congress Plaza Hotel & Conference Center 870 Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel & CC 503 Doubletree By Hilton Hotel Chicago North Shore CC 369 EXHIBITION FACILITIES McComick Place Total Exhibit Space 2.6 million sq. ft Meeting Rooms 173 WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Choose Chicago (312) 567-8481 Chicagoland Black Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (312) 600-7276 Chicago Skyline Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen. B M & T ••• May/June 2016 ••• 50

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