Someone who knows a bit about the work of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is E-Sylum reader Robert Leuver. Bob was at the BEP as Assistant Director for Administration (Finance and Management), Deputy Director 1979-1982, Acting Director and Director January 1, 1983 to April 1, 1988. Later, he served as Executive Director of the American Numismatic Association. He submitted these thoughts on the Rosemont convention location.
You have probably run amok on the issue of Rosemont vs downtown Chicago as the ANA Convention site. However, I am happy that David Lange raised the issue as I am certain the issue has perplexed many.
Rosemont was our choice for the 100th ANA anniversary convention with John Wilson as general chair. It was a thrilling success - some 20,000 numismatists attended. The Chicago Coin Club did a tremendous job promoting and staging the show and backing up John and Ruthann Brettell.
I moved back to the Chicago area 2 1/2 years ago and now live in Tinley Park, a far, southwest suburb, after almost 40 years. Talking last year with Bob Leonard, I learned he commuted from a far-north suburb to Tinley Park on a daily basis--this must have been an hour's commute. If Bob had driven through Chicago, that would have been at least two hours each way. The route Bob took is the sterling advantage of Rosemont, an easier commute.
Rosemont offers the following for conventions:
Rosemont is safer than Chicago!
Air transportation and coin baggage. A mere 10 minutes from O'Hare and probably 45 minutes from Midway. Hotels provide transport. Advantage dealers!
Conventioners by car. An easy commute from Indiana, Chicago, Milwaukee and the Chicago suburbs, principally by I-294, the Tri-State. I-294 resently accomplished a complete restructuring.
Restaurants: Every well-known Chicago and national chain has a site either in Rosemont or ten minutes north.
Cost of transportation. The "L" with the first stop east of O'Hare, will speed someone downtown (The Loop). Taxis are relatively cheap.
Hotels. Rosemont, as an attractive convention site, has all major hotels with complimentary transport to the airport, convention center and restaurants.
Parking. All I'll say is, you do not want to park downtown or near downtown in Chicago. It will cost more than $25 for four hours plus.
More reasonable costs as a convention site. McCormick place has prohibitive costs. McC Place has lost three major conventions in the past six months to Orlando and Las Vegas due to the cost of staging a convention. This is important to ANA.
I would counsel Bob Leonard to stage a trip to Great America for families during the convention - perhaps only a half-hour trip. Also, as Ruthann did, take in a night game at Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park--ok, you can see I have been away from Chicago too long--Cellular Field now.
Enjoy ANA's World Fair of Money (a Steve Bobbitt sobriquet) for ANA's summer convention. Look forward to Rosemont and the ANA. Bob Leonard and company will do a great job.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ON THE CHOICE OF ANA CONVENTION CITIES
Wayne Homren, Editor
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