For convenience and big-box entertainment and convention options, Rosemont, Ill., offers a world of opportunity at the doorstep of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, and less than 20 miles from all downtown Chicago offers.
According to Billy Anderson, general manager of the Rosemont Convention Bureau, the city also benefits from a tourism booster in the form of Mayor Brad Stephens.
“Our mayor understands tourism, and in the last four years he’s put up an entertainment district,” Anderson says of the sprawling MB Financial Park at Rosemont. “Rosemont offers entertainment, a shopping district, hotels and a convention center all within a two-block radius. There’s no need for transportation—you can just walk there.”
And speaking of walking distance, attendees could almost walk from O’Hare, considering it’s a scant two miles from the massive airport to downtown. On second thought, though, those arriving at the airport may as well take advantage of the free transportation offered to the downtown hotels.
Once in place, attendees have a wealth of major venues, including the Allstate Arena. The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center boasts a million square feet of meeting space.
Rosemont offers approximately 6,000 hotel rooms, with 10,000 within a three-mile radius. According to Anderson, hotel rates typically hover between $179 and $220 per night, making it a bargain compared to rates that can be $100 more in its big city neighbor just 20 miles to the east. Rates for drayage come in about 25 percent lower than the national average, he says, which helps the destination attract about 120 tradeshows per year.
All that’s pretty impressive for a “village” of only about 4,200 residents.
“For a small town, we know how to handle some crowds,” Anderson says, adding that the destination can easily handle big groups, such as the Gordon Food Service Show, which “consumes” up to 400,000 square feet of space, and public shows that can bring in up to 100,000 people during a weekend.
And befitting its diminutive, can-do spirit, Rosemont’s relatively small bureau earns a lot of respect and repeat business due to the personalized service it provides.
“We don’t have 60 people, we’ve got six people running this entire place,” Anderson boasts.