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 Important Day in Chicago's Convention History as the National Restaurant Association
Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show Signs 5 Year Agreement to Stay at McCormick Place;
Las Vegas and Orlando Were Seriously Considered
A Chicago Tradition Continues – Bringing More Than $580 million
in Direct Expenditures to Chicago Over Five Years

CHICAGO — July 21, 2006 - The National Restaurant Association (NRA) was joined today by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and leaders in the city's convention and hospitality industry in announcing that the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show will remain at Chicago's McCormick Place through 2011. After thorough evaluations of other possible host cities, the NRA signed a new five-year agreement with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA) and the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB). 

"Chicago is a world-class destination which provides outstanding business facilities and services coupled with the great culinary, cultural and entertainment attractions that our exhibitors and attendees expect. That unsurpassed combination forms the platform we need to provide the best possible annual marketplace for restaurant and hospitality industry professionals and suppliers," said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. "No other city tradeshow venue can, at this time, better satisfy the needs of the growing restaurant industry like McCormick Place." 

The nation's restaurant industry is the cornerstone of the U.S. economy with a workforce of 12.5 million employees – a dynamic $511 billion industry that entered its 15th consecutive year of solid growth in 2006. 

"NRA's commitment to Chicago is welcome news for the 130,000 Chicagoans who work for hotels, restaurants, attractions and other businesses that serve our visitors," said Mayor Richard M. Daley. "It is truly a Chicago institution and one that I hope will remain in Chicago for many years to come." 

The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show – already the Western Hemisphere's largest foodservice and hospitality event – has been in Chicago for 56 consecutive years. 

"After comparing our world-class city to others like Las Vegas and Orlando, we are proud that the NRA has decided to keep its landmark show at McCormick Place through 2011," said Leticia Peralta Davis, chief executive officer of the MPEA. "We are committed to providing the NRA exhibitor and attendee with a first-rate experience every time they visit our state-of–the-art facility. We are excited with this positive outcome and look forward to hosting this internationally-recognized show for many years to come." 

Key aspects of this agreement include: 

  • McCormick Place commitment to improve service. McCormick Place, through structured focus groups, surveys and other measurement methods, will access where, and to what degree, changes need to be made to meet targeted improvements. 
  • Chicago hotel community commitment. Chicago hotels have agreed to increase the number of rooms and room blocks. 
  • Continued CCTB marketing support. CCTB will continue to help us grow our audience with their industry-leading marketing and attendance building initiatives. 
Originally spearheaded by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Mayor Daley, the recent labor agreement between McCormick Place contractors and the Riggers union—which included new flexibility in work rules—was also factored into the NRA decision-making process. Talks with other unions are in process. 

"This is a very important day in Chicago's meetings and convention history. Chicago's entire hospitality community has come together and delivered the NRA a citywide package that meets and exceeds their current needs and future growth," said Tim Roby, president of the CCTB. "Chicago's growing hotel community has agreed to work hand-in-hand with NRA on delivering more rooms and significant blocks to NRA's attendees and exhibitors, and the CCTB will continue to work with the NRA on growing their attendance and exhibitors through our industry-leading marketing and attendance building programs." 

The 2006 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show attracted more than 73,000 attendees and exhibitors from all 50 states and 110 countries, and generated more than $106 million in direct expenditures for Chicago. The new five-year agreement allows the show to grow and become an even better value to both attendees and exhibitors. 

2006 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show
Record Breaking

(Chicago, Ill.) June 12, 2006 - The National Restaurant Association’s 2006 Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show completed a record-breaking, four-day run at McCormick Place in Chicago on May 23. The "sold out" event, which showcased 2,080 exhibitors in 600,000+ square feet of exhibition space, attracted 74,000 industry professionals from over 100 countries. In addition to the exhibits, free educational sessions, specialty pavilions, keynote speech by veteran journalist Ted Koppel and many other features, this year’s Show made international headlines as the venue for a major speech by President George W. Bush. 

"Our biggest Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show ever is a reflection of the vitality of the restaurant industry and the Association’s ongoing commitment to provide an exceptional marketplace for industry professionals from around the world," said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the Association. "The importance of the $511 billion restaurant industry — the cornerstone of the U.S. economy — is also reflected in President Bush’s decision to address our Show attendees. With this year’s record breaking Show as a springboard, we look forward to an even bigger event next year in Chicago." 

The 2007 Show will be held at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 19-22. 

Now in its 88th year, the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the Western Hemisphere's largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. As the industry's premier business venue, it offers attendees the best opportunities of the year for networking and exploring new trends, as well as insight on myriad industry issues via seminars and special events. NRA Show 2006 hosted 73,500+ attendees from 110 countries and a record breaking 2,080 exhibitors in 600,000+ square feet of display space. The 2007 Show is set for May 19 through May 22 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. For more information, please visit the Show Web site at

The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 925,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.5 million employees - making it the cornerstone of the economy, career opportunities and community involvement. Along with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association works to represent, educate and promote the rapidly growing industry. For more information, visit our Web site at
June 12, 2006


National Restaurant Association

Also See: National Restaurant Association Show Conducting Cost Reviews for Las Vegas and Orlando; Chicago's 2nd Largest Trade Show Seeks Cost Relief at McCormick Place / March 2005
Las Vegas and Orlando Bruising Chicago's Trade Show Business / September 2003
Chicago's McCormick Place an Example of How Philadelphia Can Shed its Reputation as a Hostile Convention Town / Sept 2002
McCormick Place Reaches New Deal with Labor Unions to Help Chicago Better Compete for Trade Shows / May 2005
The National Hardware Show Moving to Las Vegas in 2004; Chicago's McCormick Place Hosted Show for 28 Years / October 2003
McCormick Place expected 85,000 members of the restaurant and hospitality industry to the NRA's 82nd annual conference and trade show / May 2001

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