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Is Chicago tourism done until 2021? Facing fewer visitors and the possibility of losses, some venues are closing early

CHICAGO — Chicago’s tourism season may wrap up early as hotels and some city attractions, struggling with fewer visitors and revenue losses, consider shutting down for the remainder of the year.

The Chicago Athletic Association hotel has shut down again, with plans to reopen in the first quarter of 2021. Wendella Sightseeing Co. said it’s considering winding down its seasonal boat tours early. And on Tuesday, Navy Pier announced it would close Sept. 8 until the spring. Industry leaders say the effect of the early closures will ripple through the local economy.

Michael Jacobson, president and CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, said Navy Pier’s closure is a “precursor to other tourism entities.”

“As in the case with Navy Pier, they tried to reopen but the math doesn’t add up. We’re heading into the winter months, and it won’t make sense for some of these places to stay open,” he said .

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