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CHICAGO — Mayor Emanuel today announced that the City saw an uptick of nearly 11 percent in hotel occupancy in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter of 2011, as well as a 12.1 percent increase in rooms sold.
“Chicago is a city on the move,” Mayor Emanuel said. “People around the country are taking notice and they are coming here to do business and enjoy our many attractions. I am focused on building a city that will attract visitors from around the world.
Chicago led its competition in percent growth in three key areas during the first quarter of 2012: occupancy percentage, REVPAR (revenue per available room), and rooms sold. The competitive set included cities such as Boston, Atlanta and San Francisco, as well as tourism powerhouses New Orleans and Orlando.
The city’s occupancy rate for the first quarter was 58.6 percent, up from 52.8 percent in 2011’s first quarter. More than 6,000 additional rooms were sold (57,705 compared to 51,476), and REVPAR jumped 17.97 percent, from $72.11 to $85.07.
Additionally, this week the National Restaurant Association (NRA) released final numbers for its week-long show in Chicago, with an exact total of 61,503 attendees and $101 million in estimated direct expenditures for the city. The show was moved forward by two weeks from its normal slot to accommodate the NATO summit taking place in Chicago, which is expected to produce $128 million in economic impact for the city. NRA was up six percent this year.
"This was a win-win for all involved," said Mayor Emanuel. "The National Restaurant Association was able to have a very successful convention a bit earlier than expected, and that will allow us to gain the additional economic benefit and exposure that will come from hosting the NATO summit. We are thankful to have been able to work out timing so Chicagoans can reap the benefits of these two world-class events."
Many had predicted that the NRA show would suffer from the date change; however that was not the case. On the contrary, the show had one of its best years ever. Mayor Emanuel stopped by the show Sunday.
"It is clear our efforts are working,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “Business leaders around the country are taking notice that Chicago is the most customer-friendly meetings and convention destination, and tourists are coming to enjoy our world-class attractions."