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by Michael C. Lowe | October 27, 2010

Chicago's McCormick Place began working on its Phase II reforms to help make the city more cost-competitive for conventions. Free Wi-Fi now is available throughout the facility, and the parking rate has been reduced from $19 to $14 in Lot B. The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which manages the convention facility, has refinanced its debts and plans to expand the on-site Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel by December 2014. A 23-member advisory council is overseeing the implementation of the reforms. Phase I, implemented in August, expanded exhibitor rights, put new vehicle policies in place, reduced union crew sizes on the show floor and lowered food prices.