The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

It's Probably the Bean

By Alicia Dorr in Miscellaneous on Jun 11, 2007 6:19PM

bean.jpgIt's summer in Chicago, so it's not rare to leave your house on a weekend and find yourself in a sea of tourists from the suburbs and beyond. With all of the street festivals, the clean (looking) beaches and all the other jazz, we really can't blame anyone who'd want to come to the city for a few days. We just didn't realize there were 44 million of them.

That's how many of the 91 million visitors to Illinois came to Chicago last year, up about 10 percent from the year before. It's because while Illinois isn't necessarily a place people go for a long vacation, "they" say it's a good weekend or extended weekend place to visit. Most visitors to the city are leisure travelers.

Well, that's okay. The numbers of business travelers have stayed pretty much the same, but hotel's have over seventy-five percent occupancy rates, and we are still a solid convention town. We figure that we can put up with people walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk (it's a big problem!), making street festivals look like keggers and piling on to the train in groups of 20 if they continue to pour their expendable income into the city.

Image via