Full Speed Ahead for Rosemont Entertainment District

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Rosemont, IL – The village of Rosemont, IL is busy filling the space between its convention center and hotels with an expanded entertainment district that will offer trade show attendees a full menu of additional networking opportunities.

Rosemont has always made the most of its location near O’Hare International Airport to draw events to its Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. By this Spring, the community will also boast a whole new neighborhood of restaurants, bars and other entertainment attractions to keep attendees occupied and entertained while staying in Rosemont.

A $50 million Rosemont entertainment district and a $250 million high-end shopping outlet mall, also under construction, will help tie together the convention center and the many hotels that serve it. “The construction process is moving along better than expected,” said Christopher Stephens, executive director of the center. “We have transformed the area adjacent to the convention center, for an all inclusive feeling, with entertainment, restaurants, bars, hotels, and by 2nd Quarter of 2013, a shopping mecca. And then right behind it, you have the airport.”

The new district, known as The Park at Rosemont, has a four-season park in the middle that will be available for concerts and outdoor events in the Summer. The area will be transformed into a full size NHL size ice rink each Winter, starting this season from November 25, 2011 thru March 18, 2012. Surrounding this area will be a host of spacious branded restaurants with outdoor seating, and attractions, including  King’s Bowling, Wild Irish Rose Pub, Zanies Comedy Club, Hofbrauhaus, Adobe Gilas, Tavern Opa, Park Tavern and Tobey Keith’s I Love This Bar. These establishments should be attractive to large groups of attendees as well as individuals who don’t wish to push the envelop on their expense accounts.

“Rosemont already offers several world-class, white-tablecloth restaurants,” Stephens told Trade Show Executive. “We needed more of the mid-tier dining that our visitors look for as well as places that have live entertainment.”

Rosemont is the latest project in a string of efforts by various cities to enhance the curb appeal of their convention centers to show organizers by jazzing up their immediate surroundings.  And despite the current dire times for municipal governments around the U.S., Rosemont village leaders took aggressive action to make these developments a reality.

The decision put The Park at Rosemont on a fast track  and enabled Rosemont to add it to the marketing arsenal right away. “Cities come out with plans like this all the time,” said Stephens. “When we approached specific groups we had targeted with our plans, their response was, ‘Let us see when it’s finished.’ You can show them all the renderings you want, but no one is going to commit based on that.”

“We didn’t want anyone to say ‘Put us down tentatively,’ he said. “Now we have something concrete, and when these new developments are complete, we can be proud that we listened to our customers and delivered.”

Reach Chris Stephens at (847) 692-2220 or cstephens@rosemont.com