Dear Members,

I am buoyed by our members’ fortitude. Despite relentless challenges, you continue to find new ways to reinvent, innovate, and survive this pandemic. Restaurateurs are providing opportunities to dine safely, hotels have rolled out new protocols and VIP experiences, attractions are open and welcoming back guests. (Monet, anyone?) Our refreshed member newsletter will prioritize your stories and showcase your achievements because everyone counts. Please let us know what you have done in your business to adapt to the new normal.

Following several weeks without any property damage, we are cautiously optimistic and can look ahead to the balance of the year and what I hope will be the final months of this pandemic. This summer, we pledged our support of the city’s 5-Point Neighborhood Protection Plan in a press conference alongside Mayor Lightfoot, Police Superintendent Brown, and Alderman Reilly. As a result:

  • We have felt more secure with an enhanced and visible police presence in the district.
  • A dedicated looting task force has secured dozens of felony charges with the support of the FBI and the State’s Attorney’s office.
  • Drills downtown and in the neighborhood have resulted in rapid deployment and displayed impressive coordination between CPD and city departments.

We will continue to prioritize district safety by coordinating with the Mayor’s office, our Aldermen, OEMC and other city agencies and CPD. You can expect real-time security updates from the Association, as needed, while we work to restore consumer confidence and welcome people from Chicago and beyond to The Magnificent Mile.

We must showcase the best of Chicago. We announced last week that the BMO Harris Magnificent Mile Lights Festival will be produced as a TV holiday special on ABC7 Chicago, though it will feature activations, physical touchpoints, and plenty of holiday cheer.  You can still look forward to glowing lights on the trees through the winter months. Many thanks to our title sponsor, BMO Harris Bank, and other major partners for their continued support and partnership.

We Chicagoans can trace our resilience back to the founding of our great city by Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, a Black Haitian trader, and it is a story that continues to resonate for me. I was honored to join the DuSable Coalition in a wreath-laying ceremony on August 29. Representatives of the indigenous Native American community invoked the spirit of DuSable’s wife, Kitihawa, a member of the Potawatomi tribe, who navigated and negotiated DuSable’s journey through tribal lands. From the beginning, our city’s success has relied on partnerships, cross-cultural relationships, and inclusion.

While it feels like we have lived through a decade in the past 6 months of 2020, we have worked for the past 112 years to grow Michigan Avenue into one of the Great Avenues of the World, curating each detail from signage to storefronts, the width of the street, and the gardens that line the public way. We have our work cut out for us, but we will continue to shine bright through the holiday season and into the new year, and we do so knowing we continue to represent the best Chicago has to offer.

Your partner,

Kimberly Bares

President & CEO