Rosemont Reinvigorated: Businesses See a Light at the End of the COVID-19 Tunnel
Spring is arriving in Rosemont, and it’s not just the weather taking a turn for the better! As COVID-19 cases continue to decline and restrictions begin to safely lift, businesses are preparing for a seamless and successful transition.
Hoping for a fall to winter return for live events, the Allstate Arena and Rosemont Theatre have been dutifully preparing to host audiences again! The Gold Over America Tour starring Simone Biles is already seeing great numbers in group sales, showing promising interest in returning to live entertainment. Operating at partial capacity, asking for guests to wear masks and practicing social distancing, the venues have also installed new filtration devices for their HVAC systems, added public hand sanitizing stations and increased cleaning personnel to ensure high-touch surfaces will be wiped down consistently.
With the exciting announcement from Governor Pritzker that conventions may be able to return to operation as soon as this summer, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is preparing for a long-awaited re-opening. While there is still more guidance needed about how conventions may look in the near future, Executive Director Chris Stephens is feeling very hopeful. He and his team are willing to take whatever precautions necessary to keep visitors safe including but not limited to, masking, hand sanitizing stations, regular cleaning of high touch surfaces and potentially one-way foot traffic. Show organizers are still eager to produce events and have not given up on 2021. The convention center is ready to welcome events of any size. Having conventions back in town provides great support to the community at large with people coming in from all over the country to experience Rosemont. “We can’t wait to once again show people what we can do here in Rosemont,” said Stephens.
Another business feeling revitalized by the Governor’s announcement is one of Rosemont’s largest hotels, the Hyatt Regency. Having faced a challenging year without the traffic brought in by conventions, the hotel’s staff is grateful to be receiving more concrete guidance regarding gatherings. The Hyatt Regency hit the ground running with health and safety improvements for both personnel and guests. In addition to traditional safety measures such as enhanced cleaning, all hotel staff have been certified through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) and extra attention has been paid to food preparation with individually wrapped meals. “While things will look and feel a bit different, we are very proud that we got out in front of this situation,” says General Manger Mark Wagner.
Through comprehensive safety protocols for customers and staff, Fashion Outlets of Chicago has continued to thrive over the past year and has some exciting updates on the horizon. Shopping hours are extending in the near future and plans are being made for socially distanced soft seating to return to the shopping center’s common areas. This summer, new stores are set to open, providing shoppers with an even larger selection for their summer wardrobe. Curbside pickup also continues to be available for participating retailers and restaurants.
Leading foodservice distributor US Foods has continued to serve over 300,000 restaurants and foodservice operators. Using the tagline “We Help You Make It,” US Foods offered partners a lifeline during an extremely difficult time. US Foods quickly pivoted to provide restauranteurs free webinars, playbooks and other resources, and via 1:1 consultations, helped them adapt their operations. In addition to their unwavering support for their partners, from March to December 2020, US Foods donated more than $35 million dollars in product and supplies to local charities, food banks and hunger-relief programs. Director of Media Relations Sara Matheu is looking forward to seeing diners take advantage of outdoor seating at their favorite restaurants as we welcome warmer temperatures this spring.
Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse continues to provide patrons with the outstanding quality the restaurant is known for. In addition to common safety measures such as health screening for employees, strict disinfecting, distancing of tables and touch-free menu options, the restaurant has additional plans for making patrons feel comfortable. Harry Caray’s has upgraded the filters in their HVAC systems to MERV 13 which filter out over 85% of the bioaerosol particles that contain viruses, including coronavirus. Additionally, the restaurant will be installing Airdog Air Purifies. The high voltage inside the Airdog X5, much like bug zappers, kills and destroys viruses and bacteria. Guests can enjoy traditional favorites along with popular new menu items such as Chicken Marsala and Fettuccini Alfredo all while knowing their safety and comfort is top of mind for Harry Caray’s.
Even businesses that don’t rely on the ability to have large gatherings are looking forward to brighter times ahead for Rosemont. Megan Patterson of Fonterra shared a different kind of hope her and her team are feeling: returning to the comradery of the Rosemont business community. With office locations across the country, the Fonterra team will be glad to return to safe travel in order to continue offering top tier support to their restaurant and food industry partners. They have seen these partners through a tough year and will undoubtedly help them thrive in the future.
Over at Evolution Marketing, President Randy Johnson has seen a big shift in the types of products clients are requesting of the company. Branded hand sanitizers, masks, gloves and other safety products are predictably in demand; as well as home goods. Home comfort items such as throw blankets and candles have become very popular corporate gifts to work-from-home teams or clients. Evolution Marketing’s operations have been malleable throughout the past year—always seeking business development opportunities. The company is looking forward to working closely with the Rosemont Chamber of Commerce, offering members a 10% discount on every order and beginning preparations for the return of the much-loved golf outing!
Johnson shared a bit of wisdom about moving forward out of a difficult year. “We live by the 3 p’s: patience, persistence, and perseverance.” Businesses in Rosemont have been living up to these very ideals and can now add “prepared” to the list as community members begin to activate the village once again.