June 09, 2004

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley seek change at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. Last Thursday, the two met in a closed-door summit with union leaders, hotel managers, tourism representatives and firms working at the convention facility to find ways to keep Chicago competitive with popular convention and trade show destinations like Las Vegas, Orlando and Atlanta. Blagojevich and Daley want concessions from unions and managers, including relaxation of complex and expensive workplace rules that have chaffed recent exhibitors at McCormick Place. "Chicago and McCormick Place are in competition with other cities who are more aggressive than ever before in marketing their lower costs and more flexible work rules," Governor Blagojevich said. "We cannot stand still; we have to make changes, and we must be serious about tackling issues that will help keep Chicago as a prime destination for the convention and conference business."