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Yet Another Reason to Avoid Michigan Avenue

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jan 6, 2008 8:45PM


If you've tried to make travel arrangements to Europe lately, you know first hand that the U.S. dollar is sucking wind compared to the Euro -- as of today's exchange rate the Euro is worth a whopping 47% more than the dollar. And don't think Europeans haven't noticed -- they're bringing that "free money" and empty suitcases to the Mag Mile and loading them up with Burberry and Hershey's chocolate. The Tribune reports that international tourists are flocking to Chicago: the number of overseas visitors rose by 8% in 2007, compared to no increase in 2006. So if you find yourself pushing your way through even more camera and shopping bag toting throngs along Michigan Avenue, that's why. And forget about getting a table at The Cheesecake Factory. Can't say we blame them -- we would be shipping our asses off to the ru du Faubourg Saint-Honore if the situation were reversed.

The Illinois tourism board is finding the silver lining and is trying to lure as much of that filthy lucre here as they can, with major marketing efforts in Germany and Britain calling Illinois a "bargain". The Trib quotes Jan Kostner, deputy director of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism as saying, "We're on sale."

That's Illinois -- cheap and dirty. [Trib] -- Prescott Carlson

"Magnificence, reflected" by e.q.