Greetings From The Chairman

Greetings From The Chairman of the Board

Mr. Richard Simon
Chairman of the Board
President, United Service Companies

September 2017

Dear Member,

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival® is the national kick off to the holiday season, and we want to keep the momentum going through the new year for member businesses. We expect more than a million visitors to attend the Lights Festival and many more through the month of December. I highly encourage you to develop a consumer offer exclusively for the event weekend, or a promotion that extends throughout the holiday season.

Holiday promotion is a free member benefit, and it’s simple to submit an offer via this online form. Association staff will promote on TheMagnificentMile.com, on @TheMagMile social media, and in dedicated e-blasts; and will feature select offers in the annual Holiday Activity Guide. As title sponsor of the Lights Festival, BMO Harris Bank wants to support local businesses and will be extending additional promotion of in-business BMO Perks to all members for the first time this year. Please reach out to Association staff to learn more about this exclusive opportunity.

The Lights Festival is perhaps the most visible beacon of our Association to locals and visitors, but I cannot stress enough the ongoing, behind-the-scenes role of the Association as an advocate for the business community. We are your voice to city hall and elected officials, and we need to hear from you about the issues that matter. Our Advocacy Committee is active year-round; and I ask that you please reach out to me personally [.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)] with ideas or concerns so that I can convey those to the leadership.

Sincerely,

Rick Simon

Chairman of the Board of Directors

August 2017

Dear Members,

Have you walked the Mile on your way to work this week and noticed a beautifully painted K9 along your route? Each day since the sculptures were installed, they have drawn positive attention from passers-by, with friends and family snapping photos to share with #ChicagoK9s.

Chicago's latest public art campaign, K9s for Cops, benefits the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation as well as PAWS Chicago. Each K9 helps the families of Chicago Police Officers that are catastrophically injured or are killed in the line of duty. They will also help spay and neuter animals in Chicago's at-risk neighborhoods. For more information, visit http://www.chicagok9s.com.

The Magnificent Mile Association works year-round to enhance the visual experience for visitors to the district. In March 2018, we are excited to welcome GlobalShop, North America’s #1 event for store design and visual merchandising, with a special campaign: Windows of The Magnificent Mile.

Association retailer members and GlobalShop exhibitors will collaborate to showcase custom window displays to 10,000+ industry professionals as well as visitors to the Mile. This will be a celebration of brick and mortar retail beyond the show floor, a perfect pairing of convention and leisure travel, and a national marketing campaign to boost sales during a need period in Q1 2018.

I encourage all members to participate in these custom marketing opportunities to put a spotlight on your business as part of our world-class destination. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email or contact the Association staff with any questions. 

Sincerely,

Rick Simon
Chairman of the Board of Directors

July 2017

Dear Members,

This month, The Magnificent Mile welcomes over 100 locally-designed sculptures—mounted indoors and along the public way. The Chicago K9s for Cops public art campaign, benefiting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation as well as PAWS Chicago, will be on display through Labor Day Weekend.

The K9s for Cops public art campaign was created to memorialize our city’s heroes while supporting the families of police officers that have been killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. Currently, 65 canines help officers protect Chicago every day. The K9s sculptures themselves will create a special buzz amongst tourists and locals alike during the peak summer season. 

This campaign represents The Magnificent Mile’s commitment to Chicago’s Year of Public Art in 2017. What’s more, the designs themselves speak to our love for the city. Be on the lookout for a K9 autographed by the Chicago Blackhawks at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The Cubs Charities K9 will be at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Huron Street, outside the team’s store. I would like to thank those members who have participated in the designs and/or agreed to host K9s at their properties.

Check out a K9 hosted by Chicago’s First Lady Cruises when you head to our Annual Summer Boat Cruise on Tuesday, August 29. The theme is Carnivale, and registration is now open for a delightful evening aboard Chicago’s Leading Lady. 

Click here to learn more about K9s for Cops and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.

Sincerely,

Rick Simon
Chairman of the Board of Directors

June 2017

Dear members,

Get out and enjoy the start of summer this month along The Magnificent Mile. If you are not sure where to start, I recommend the Events Calendar on TheMagnificentMile.com. And remember, you can always submit events for online promotion, too!

The Phase 1 Redevelopment of Navy Pier is complete, and the pier is ready for its busiest season yet. A series called “Live on the Lake” brings the Miller Lite Beer garden to life most nights of the week, with live music and dancing. A bit further along the pier, Chicago Shakespeare Theater is preparing for the debut of The Yard, an innovative and flexible performance space like none other. In the meantime, there is no shortage of art: check out numerous installations as part of Exhibitionism – The Rolling Stones.

Navy Pier is also the launching point for several cruises on Lake Michigan, including weekly fireworks cruises aboard Entertainment Cruises, several of which feature delicious meals onboard. Sample artisanal food and drink aboard Shoreline Sightseeing’s “Illinois Made” cruises this summer, in partnership with the Illinois Office of Tourism. And get your summer day started with sunrise yoga aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises later this month.

Museums are making the most of their outdoor space this summer. Field Market Days begin at The Field Museum at the end of this month and will continue through October, which may have a special appeal for nearby residents. For the downtown professional seeking a quiet spot by The Magnificent Mile, note that the gardens at The Museum of Contemporary Art will be open daily this year—in addition to the traditional Tuesdays on the Terrace events.
 
The Canine for Cops installation begins next month as part of the “year of public art” in the city. Be on the lookout for these sculptures around the district starting July 24. Sponsorship funds from this project benefit families of fallen and critically injured police offers. If you would like to know more how you can own one of these great works of art, please visit the websites: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation or K9s for Cops.

And of course—look forward to plentiful sunshine and warm weather!

Sincerely,

Rick Simon

Chairman of the Board of Directors 

May 2017

Dear Members,

Summer is here and kicks off at an iconic landmark on The Magnificent Mile: The Bridgehouse Museum opens its doors for the 11th season on Saturday, May 13 with free admission.

The following week, the newly completed Chicago Riverwalk is hosting a celebration for the whole family. On Saturday, May 20 the activities include music, fishing, puppets and a grand pyrotechnic display.

We are happy to welcome several new Association members who have a business along The Chicago Riverwalk. And soon the summer tourists arrive to shop, dine, and stay around The Magnificent Mile district.

Let me remind you about the continued marketing efforts conducted daily by the Association. TheMagnificentMile.com “What’s Hot” blog and Events Calendar need your updated information on a regular basis. We can't help to promote your business if you don't tell us about what is important to you. Please log in and update your full-page business listing and maximize your membership with regular promotions. If you need help, please call the office and one of the amazing staff will help you.

As you know, most summers we have a public art project on the Mile. For two years, the Horses of Honor provided a big “wow” factor for all that saw it. We saw thousands of people stopping to take a photo with the horses on the Mile.

This year we are replicating the program with K9s, the other animal associated with law enforcement. Once again, the proceeds will benefit the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The Chicago K9s for Cops is in in the process of selling dogs. If you would like to know more how you can own one of these great works of art, please visit their websites: Chicago Police Memorial Foundation or K9s for Cops.

These funds enhance the lives of the families of officers who are fallen or catastrophically injured. And the art display really enhances the Mile. Tourists take photos with the art to post on social media, and show people when they return home. The K9s for Cops will be displayed starting on July 24 and continue through Labor Day.

To learn more about this opportunity, or if you have an idea for an event in our area, please reach out to me or any of the staff. 

Use your membership to amplify your business and our Magnificent Mile.

Best Regards,

Rick Simon
Chairman of the Board of Directors 

April 2017

Dear Members,

The Magnificent Mile Association promotes a mixed-use, downtown district unlike any other in the world. On March 25, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) became the first-ever “translational” research hospital: clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists work together in the same space, surrounding patients, and applying research in real time. Alongside countless life-changing breakthroughs to come, I am thrilled to witness the growth of medical tourism for many more member businesses.

Consider this: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab alone serves more than 57,500 patients annually from 43 states and 64 countries. The average stay at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is 24 days. The $500 million, 1.2-million-square-foot facility has spared no expense, boasting 242 private patient rooms with skyline or lakeside views. While patients are poised to achieve their best possible recoveries, staff provide hotel recommendations for extended stays along The Magnificent Mile.

In addition, plans are underway for the first Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Conference, “The Science of Ability,” for Fall 2018. This will add to the rich portfolio of medical conventions in Chicago, which includes the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) during the holiday season and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in June. For the past couple of years, ASCO’s Conquer Cancer Foundation has partnered with member retailers such as Tory Burch, David Yurman, St. John and the 900 North Michigan Shops to drive incremental sales while raising critical funds for charity.

As you develop plans for this year and beyond, I encourage you to consider medical tourism as a part of your marketing strategy. Reach out to the membership staff at the Association for a full Chicago conventions calendar. Let us provide the best hospitality to those most in need; and by extension, those medical professionals who travel to Chicago specifically to learn the latest in healthcare.

Sincerely,

Rick Simon
Chairman of the Board of Directors 

March 2017

Dear Members,

I join you at a time of great opportunity in Chicago. Our city has received a great deal of press in recent months, and it is my mission to shine a positive spotlight on The Magnificent Mile—at Chicago’s front door. Our thriving community is a constant, and The Magnificent Mile Association is here to help tell that story.

When Thrillist recently published a guide to Chicago’s famous deep-dish pizza, The Magnificent Mile posted on social media to recommend our downtown members exclusively. The Magnificent Mile “liked” Cambria Chicago Hotel & Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile on Facebook to help them to their goal of 100,000 fans, at which point the hotel will donate $10,000 to Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Our district’s hotels are front-page news, and when The Langham Chicago was voted “Best Hotel in the U.S.” by U.S. News & World Report, The Magnificent Mile was quick to share the story on social media to 90,000 followers. 

These are just a few examples. I see “likes” and comments pour in daily on photos we share with #TheMagMile of our iconic skyline, award-winning food, and flagship fashions. People share this content with friends and family because we all crave a feel-good getaway. The Magnificent Mile Association is poised to help you reach those consumers year-round. Best of all, this is a free member benefit.

We are ready to welcome a record number of visitors and continue to beautify our district with public art programs. (After all, this is the stuff of great social media posts.) This summer, I am championing K9 for Cops, an installation of custom-curated sculptures of police dogs that will line The Magnificent Mile and support the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. (Learn more and get involved!)

I would like to thank you all for welcoming me as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. I look forward to personally connecting with you at a future event, and I encourage you to contact me and the Association staff with your ideas, thoughts and questions.

Sincerely,

Rick Simon
Chairman of the Board