CHICAGO, IL – JULY 19: Bubba Wallace drives down Columbus Drive to promote a NASCAR Chicago Street Race ad on July 19, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
CHICAGO – Kyle Bush is not Taylor Swift.
While the singing sensation is credited with helping fill nearly 97% of Chicago hotel rooms during its June concerts at Soldier Field, there were still plenty of rooms available — at relatively low prices — during this weekend’s NASCAR street race.
The Hilton Chicago, which overlooks the racetrack at Grant Park, has rooms available for $278 per night this weekend. The upscale JW Marriott in the Loop offers rooms for $365 a night, and the upscale Four Seasons Hotel offers accommodations for $700. There are no off-the-charts prices for a summer weekend in Chicago.
“We hear that occupancy in general is very strong as a result of the NASCAR and USA Volleyball National Championships being held at McCormick Place,” Michael Jacobson, CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, told WGN via email. “However, there are definitely still rooms available and deals can be found.”
NASCAR claims that the Chicago Street Race and its associated activities will create more than $113 million in economic impact and more than $3 million in tax revenue for the city of Chicago.
“If anyone from the suburbs, northwest Indiana or Wisconsin is looking to make last-minute plans for a weekend getaway, there is certainly still an opportunity to do so,” said hotel industry representative Jacobson. “Many of the hotels offer some great specials, like Hotel Voco which has a NASCAR special that includes two train lanes so you don’t have to worry about traffic or driving downtown.”
Major cities are fighting to regain their magic after the pandemic shut down conventions and drained urban centers of many 5-day-a-week workers. Finding the perfect blend of business and leisure tourism means millions to cities and hospitality industries.
Swift’s concerts in Chicago coincided with the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the James Beard Foundation Awards. Choose Chicago CEO Lynn Osmond said the weekend “led to over $39 million in hotel revenue, an all-time record.”
A Choose Chicago representative said the group had no hotel data or projections.
“We are hearing reports from some hotels that they are facing a lift due to NASCAR, and with USA Volleyball also in town, we anticipate a strong weekend for our hotels and the entire hospitality community as NASCAR fans visit restaurants and bars, use transportation services and support our partners across the tourism industry,” a spokesperson responded. as Choose Chicago via email.