Inside these posts: McCormick Place reform

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McPier plans to cut most of staff

From Crain’s Chicago Business | The agency that runs McCormick Place and Navy Pier will cut more than half of its corporate staff as it splits off management operations of Navy Pier and turns over management of McCormick Place to a private operator.

Indy tourism exec to lead Chicago convention bureau

The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau’s board today hired Indianapolis tourism executive Donald P. Welsh as its new president and chief executive officer.

Welsh was hired away from the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Assn., where he was chief executive.

His hiring comes shortly after the resignation of Tim Roby, a hospitality industry sales and marketing executive who took the top executive post at the bureau in 2006. Get the full story »

Chicago Convention & Tourism chief to resign

Tim Roby, president and CEO of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, speaks during a tourism rally at Navy Pier on May 12, 2009. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

Tim Roby, the president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Convention & Tourism bureau, will resign effective Dec. 22.

His exit comes at a time of transition for the government-subsidized non-profit, which acts as the sales arm for the McCormick Place convention center. A state-mandated overhaul of convention center operations required a restructuring of the bureau’s board, and the resulting new board took office recently. It includes some of the heaviest hitters in the city’s business community. Get the full story »

Just two firms competing to run McCormick Place

The nation’s two largest convention center operators were the only companies to submit proposals to manage McCormick Place. The publicly owned convention complex is undergoing a state-mandated overhaul that is expected to include a shift to private management.

The biggest of the two competitors is SMG, whose sports and entertainment division has operated Soldier Field for the Chicago Park District since 1994. It is based in West Conshohocken, Pa.

Also competing is Global Spectrum, part of the Comcast empire. Based in Philadelphia, it was started by a former partner at SMG. Its senior vice president/convention centers is Tom M. Mobley Jr., who was general manager of McCormick Place from 1992 to 2003. Get the full story »

McPier retains bond ratings ahead of $1.18B issue

The agency that owns and operates McCormick Place will approach its long-awaited financial restructuring next week with its debt ratings intact.

The three major rating services held the line on their respective ratings of Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority expansion project debt in reports issued Monday and today, ahead of an anticipated negotiated sale of $1.18 billion in bonds on Oct. 6. Get the full story »

Housewares show moves to renew with Chicago

By Kathy Bergen
Less than 24 hours after the McCormick Place overhaul package became law, the International Home + Housewares Show decided to pursue a new long-term contract at the convention center.

The International Housewares Association’s board voted today to move forward with the negotiations, said Phil Brandl, president of the Rosemont-based organization.

Get the full story »