Bringing together large groups of people is a herculean task. The right conference location can mean the difference between a successful event and a disaster. One of the biggest challenges of organising a conference is finding the right venue to host the event. Keeping thousands of people happy and fed during a large convention is next to impossible without the right convention centre. The Tinley Park Convention centre in Illinois has recently been revamped, bringing new economic opportunity and national visibility to Tinley Park, Illinois.
In the early 90’s, Tinley Park visionaries mapped out a plan for a novel, dynamic convention facility. A decade later, the Tinley Park Convention centre first opened its doors to hosting dynamic events. An enormous renovation of the facility marks a new and promising future for both the centre and Tinley Park. The remodeling is the largest expansion to date: a $22 million project that has nearly doubled this size.
The facility contains 120,000 square feet of space that can comfortably accommodate approximately 77 per cent of the nation’s convention market. The larger and newer convention centre is already attracting high profile events. For example, the Illinois Republican party will host its 2012 state GOP conference at the newly renovated convention centre.
The mayor of Tinley Park, Edward Zabrocki states,”We have had many major shows at Tinley park. The first major show was the Corvette convention, which attracted 400 corvette enthusiasts. In Febuary we have a major golf show. We know that word of mouth attracts people. And in addition, we offer ‘free parking’. When people hear “free parking” they immediately want to book with us. “
Town leaders estimate the total economic impact for meetings, conventions, tradeshows and labour to the region at approximately $250 million. Money stays in the local economy when you buy goods and services from locally owned businesses instead of large chain stores. The developments have confirmed the long-term sustainability of the business district; assisted the livelihood of nearby neighborhoods and provided an official downtown as a meeting point.
The new footprint began in February 2010, and since then, the centre has contained a growing supply of places for institutional and private clients to hold events. Oak Park Avenue TIF funded the expansion. The village increased the tax rates from 4% to 6% in an effort to bolster capital improvements for the project. The elected officials of the village of Tinley Park secured financing for the expansion project because they are committed to the area’s long-term economic growth.
MID-CON Hospitality, the owners and operators of the Holiday Inn Tinley Park, take care of day to day sales and management at the convention centre. MID-CON Hospitality Group is a sister company of Mid-Continent Development & Construction Company (MCDCC), which was established in 1976 by Jerry Stillman and his wife, President Reva Stillman. Reva states, “we have built this company by being unique, creative and full of integrity. We do everything we can to meet our customer needs.”
Its central and convenient location makes the Tinley Park Convention centre one of the most attractive options in the country for conference organisers. Before the renovation, the convention centre attracted mostly local and regional groups. Now, the larger facility targets national meetings, conventions and tradeshows.
Guests using the convention centre will find access to major highways (near Interstate 80 and I-355) and airports (close proximity to Midway and O’Hare). The centre is within minutes of excellent dining, shopping and entertainment.
“Tinley Park continues to receive a great deal of recognition from the Convention centre. We are excited to see this vibrant town continue to grow.” Daniel Fitzgerald, director of sales and marketing stated.
*Nathana O’Brien contributed to this post.
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