NATO summit to spell money for region

  • Rita Athas

    Rita Athas

  • Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.comOwner Warner Cruz of Rolling Meadows-based JC Restoration.

    Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.comOwner Warner Cruz of Rolling Meadows-based JC Restoration.

Updated 5/17/2012 6:24 AM

This weekend's NATO summit is expected to bring millions in revenue, including millions of dollars that could trickle to the suburbs, said one expert.

The world's eyes will be on the Chicago region and what it has to offer, said Rita Athas, president of World Business Chicago.


"This event exposes the city and the entire region to the world," she said.

The summit could bring about $128 million to Chicago, a study by Deloitte said. The suburbs weren't included in that study, a NATO committee spokeswoman said, but other experts say the economic benefits will be widespread.

Roughly 10,000 summit attendees and other visitors are expected to pay for hotel rooms, meals and other incidentals, including sales taxes. That is expected to domino as more temporary workers are employed to handle the crowds, more food and products are brought in, and more services and rentals are expected, studies have shown.

"While a number of hotel rooms will be occupied by the summit attendees and guests, that will cause some displacement of those who would have come here at that time," said John Mcdonald, the Gerald W. Fogelson distinguished chair in real estate with Roosevelt University.

Those displaced visitors likely will go to hotels around O'Hare International Airport, or further, such as Schaumburg or the DuPage County area, McDonald said.

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"And that creates more demand for food and lodging in those areas," McDonald said. "Also a lot of visitors will choose to stay in the suburbs rather than in downtown Chicago because of the crowds."

The suburbs will be represented in another way, as well. A number of suburban companies are supporting summit-related events with donations.

Companies that have made major donations include Libertyville Township-based Abbott Laboratories, Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions, Deerfield-based Walgreen Co., Lake Forest-based Baxter International, Oak Brook-based McDonald's Corp., Chicago-based Boeing, Exelon Corp., Northern Trust Bank and United Continental, among others.

While some corporate donors, including Walgreen, AT&T and McDonald's declined to release amounts, Allstate said it has donated about $250,000.

Allstate CEO Tom Wilson and Victoria Dinges, vice president of the foundation and corporate responsibility, will be among the business leaders attending a Sunday night dinner gala at the Field Museum in Chicago.

"We have strong ties here and in the city of Chicago. That's why we wanted to use our philanthropic resources to highlight Chicago on a world stage," said Allstate spokeswoman Shaundra Turner.

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