The price of gas and other necessities this summer has local tourist hotspots feeling the pinch, according to Crain's Chicago Business. After attendance numbers fell last year amidst rising costs, some attractions have taken action to combat further fall-offs in 2008. Tourist destinations such as Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, the Field Museum, and the musical Wicked at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre came up with creative marketing ploys to lure guests to make the trip.
At Six Flags, which is located some 40 miles from downtown Chicago, adult tickets that usually go for $54.99 are selling at children's ticket prices, $34.99. The amusement park is also offering buy-one-get-one-free ticket deals. In the case of Wicked, theater promoters Broadway in Chicago gave last week's ticket holders a $50 gas card.
Chicago's three Kimpton Hotels (Hotel Allegro, Hotel Burnham, and Hotel Monaco) also jumped on the money-saving bandwagon by featuring a special $179-per-night rate for Metra riders through September 1, which is about $20 off the usual price.
Despite Chicago's rise in visitor numbers last year (a record 45 million, up 2.2 percent over 2006, plus an 8.7 percent surge in business travelers), leisure travel was unaffected.