Luxury luxury hotels are “frozen” in Chicago, and they have been unable to sell to families with young children, according to a report by The Associated Press.
The AP found that in December 2015, the city of Chicago released an advisory that hotel occupancy and room rates would be frozen for six months in order to address the “challenges of keeping families and young children happy,” while the hotel industry was struggling with a new occupancy law.
A year later, the AP found the hotel occupancy rate was actually lower than it had been a year before.
In February 2018, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he was “reviewing” the hotel tax that would have applied to new hotels, but that it was too early to announce a new rate.
This fall, the Associated Press reported that hotel operators were unable to raise the rates for the 2019 season.
“The hotel industry has been struggling with the new occupancy tax and has been in limbo since last summer, when Emanuel’s administration announced that rates for 2019 would be in the $10,000 to $20,000 range, far below the industry’s expected revenue,” the AP wrote.
After several months of uncertainty, Chicago officials released a memo saying that rates would not increase, but they did say that the tax was a “cost of doing business” and that the hotel lobby had made its case that they were “free to compete.”
The memo noted that the city would only provide hotel occupancy data to the hotel operator, and that only hotel occupancy information was released to the media. For more: