Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mayor Daley denounces price gouging at city's convention center

One of the key cogs of the Daley political machine is organized labor, which supplies cash and foot soldiers for the Democrats' efforts in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

But even Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says "enough" to union price gouging at McCormick Place, the city's convention center, as AP tells us:

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says he may be open to the city subsidizing financially troubled McCormick Place convention center, but with conditions.

Daley said Wednesday the convention center must reorganize and stop the price gouging that prompted trade shows to relocate. He noted conventioneers have been charged $100 for setting up exhibits when actual costs are $40.

Last month, the plastics industry trade show announced it was moving its 2012 and 2015 shows to Orlando after nearly 40 years in Chicago. The action came after a medical trade show announced plans to move to Las Vegas.

McPier CEO Juan Ochoa says McCormick Place operates at a disadvantage because its convention rivals receive government subsidies.

But where will that subsidy money come from? My advice is to change the onerous work rules, and skip the cash. Chicago's central location is the it's strongest selling point to trade show organizers. As for the attractions of Las Vegas and Orlando, they're a double-edge sword. Exhibitors don't want buyers playing hooky on the Strip or at Disney World.

Related posts:

Electrical services costs at Chicago trade show "four to eight times" what they were in Orlando
Dallas wins out over Chicago for new trade show
Chicago's mounting trade show woes
Chicago Tribune: A third major trade show may bail on Chicago
Union "tyranny of the few" drives Plastics Show from Chicago
Marathon Pundit on CBS 2 Chicago
Agency that runs Chicago's convention centers "in deep financial hole"
Union extortionists may drive another trade show from Chicago

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