Rosemont expects boost from Democratic convention, but how big remains to be seen

Its hotels were set to accommodate 13 delegations for the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, until the pandemic upended those plans.

Now Rosemont — the Northwest suburban hospitality and entertainment mecca — is preparing to host conventioneers when the political pep rally comes to Chicago next summer.

How many visitors might seek lodging at any of the 20 hotels and 6,200 rooms within the 1.79-square-mile town is still unknown, but officials know their location is attractive because of the proximity to O'Hare International Airport.

“The key thing is what else is going on that week in the city that would drive people to have to stay in the suburban location,” said Grant Bailey, director of the Rosemont Convention & Tourism Bureau. “You got to believe they've done their homework and seen that's a viable week for them to do this where they can get the rooms, they get the space, they reserve all this stuff, before the announcements even happen.”

Bailey said he expects Rosemont to host some convention delegates if downtown hotels can't accommodate them, but likely not as many as the village planned to host in 2020.

“Obviously the city of Chicago is a lot larger than Milwaukee,” he said.

Bailey expects his office will be contacted by the Democratic National Committee or Choose Chicago, the city's tourism bureau. But it's also possible the DNC reaches out directly to their corporate contacts of specific hotel chains, he said.

News of the convention coming to Chicago's United Center Aug. 19-22, 2024, did cause some concern for those who have already booked shows at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center around that time frame, Bailey said.

Four events are planned, and exhibitors already have booked space at area hotels.

“Some of our groups were concerned about getting bounced out of their rooms,” Bailey said.

But he assured them their room blocks are secure.

As for the economic impact on Rosemont — home to the Parkway Bank Park entertainment district, restaurants, a shopping mall, theater and sports venues — the estimated 50,000 visitors for the convention is “a good number,” said Bailey, who is also president of the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

That's about the same as the number of people who might attend one of the bigger consumer shows over a three-day weekend at the convention center, like Comic Con or World of Wheels.

“Especially if they're overnight visits,” Bailey said. “That's a real good number.”

Chicago to host 2024 Democratic National Convention

Grant Bailey
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