Thursday, July 5, 2012
Chicago’s NATO Costs Still Being Tabulated
It’s been more than a month since Chicago hosted the international NATO Summit and its accompanying protesters, but details continue to trickle out about the cost of hosting the two-day event. Meanwhile, businesses downtown and near McCormick Place — the site of the event — have mixed feelings about how the city handled it.
The 2012 North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Chicago, which brought together high-level heads of state to discuss government alliances, technically occurred May 20-21. But some costs, such as security, were incurred in the days leading up to the event. Chicago officials estimate the cost of hosting the event at $55 million, although they say that will be covered by a combination of federal money and private donations.
However, that doesn't include the cost to local businessmen. For instance, Eric Swanson, owner of Swanson Bows — a shop that specializes in repairing bows for musical instruments in the Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue — said his business was closed for four days because the whole building was closed – closed and boarded-up, actually – for NATO.
“(Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel played it up as a big gain for Chicago businesses, like hotels and restaurants, but this city is really made up of small businessmen, and it really wasn’t a good idea for people like me,” said Swanson.
You can read the full report on this story at: http://illinois.statehousenewsonline.com/8914/chicagos-nato-costs-still-being-tabulated/