Navy Pier will close its doors after Labor Day, citing a loss of tourism dollars amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a release, pier officials said that one of the city’s hottest attractions plans to reopen in Spring 2021.
“While this was a very difficult decision for the organization, it was a necessary one to proactively ensure the long-term success of one of Chicago’s most treasured and important civic institutions and the communities it serves,” says Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner in the release.
The pier began its phased reopening June 10, with outdoor restaurants and free activities among the first in the city to bring visitors.
However, as fewer people are visiting from out of state and the pier’s indoor attractions like the Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre remain closed, attendance has fallen significantly.
During the closure, access to outdoor spaces like Polk Bros. Park and the North and South Docks will be limited or closed. All trade shows and private events that utilize the Aon Grand Ballroom on the pier’s east end have also been shuttered through the end of the year, and all of the closings could result in an estimated budget deficit of $20 million, the release said.
“This decision will also help preserve the future of the many on-site businesses, which continue to face hardships of their own as a result of the pandemic,” Gardner says in the release. “The temporary closure will allow the Pier and its partners to reduce its operational expenses and support efforts to limit COVID-19 cases as we move into the fall and winter seasons.”
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