CHICAGO On Friday morning, the International Olympic Committee is scheduled to announce the host city for the 2016 summer games. And as locals prepare to watch the results as they're broadcast from Copenhagen, they're feeling excited and hopeful, a sentiment that's visually echoed in Daley Plaza. There, the iconic Picasso statue sports a giant laurel wreath and an Olympic medal—a fitting costume for the statue that will preside over a public results-viewing party from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.
“I'll absolutely be in Daley Plaza first thing on Friday, with all my fingers crossed,“ said Cathy Domanico, director of tourism for the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. “I'm very excited about the possibility of Chicago hosting the Olympics. I think it would be great not only for Chicago, but great for America, as our city is really representative of all of the U.S. I'm just very hopeful right now."
Monika Lotter, director of catering at Trump International Hotel and Towers, is also keeping her fingers crossed—and ordering Olympic-ring-colored doughnuts for an employee results-viewing party that will be held in the Trump cafeteria on Friday. “I've heard both sides—there are certainly naysayers out there who think that the money the city would spend on the Olympics should instead go to our school system,“ Lotter said. “There are also people who are concerned about how getting the Olympics would interrupt their lives. But within the hospitality industry, we're all very excited about this prospect. It would boost tourism and bring guests to the city who are wiling to spend money in our hotels and restaurants. Overall, it would just be a huge plus for the industry."
Billy Dec, co-owner of Rockit Ranch Productions and a Chicago 2016 committee member, is heading to Copenhagen this week, and has stopped off in Russia and Sweden on the way. “Since traveling through these countries, I've been able to hear very unbiased reports on Olympics contenders from [journalists] who are unattached to any of the cities competing for the bid,“ he said. “And I have to say, worldwide, it looks like people are rooting for Chicago. I have always had positive energy about the prospect of hosting the Olympics in Chicago, and it really feels like enormous waves of people are starting to feel the same way."