Friday, August 19, 2011

Checking in at Grant Park Post-Lolla: Part 2

It was a hot topic on Sloopin last week, so we thought we would post another link to another Chicago Sun-Times article that revisits Grant Park post-Lollapalooza. It goes on to state this staggering fact:

Last year’s post-Lollapalooza restoration cost $200,000, paid for entirely by C3 Presents LLC, the festival’s promoter, as part of its contract with the city. This year’s anticipated cost has not been disclosed — although the damage is far worse than last year’s.

In fact, the record crowds and heavy downpours during Lollapalooza led to the “worst amount of damage” in the festival’s 20-year history, said Adam Schwerner, director for the park district’s department of natural resources. Up to 80 percent of the park was affected, which means restoration will take longer than previous years, he said.

It appears that C3, the company behind Lollapalooza, is hard at work to ensure the park gets back to its normal luster. The Sun-times has a telling picture (link here) that has a sign saying, "Please excuse the mess while we improve this park, paid for by Lollapalooza".

Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

It totally makes sense that they restore the park in lieu of paying taxes. Hopefully they will plant a bunch of money trees...

Anonymous said...

Saw the signs earlier this week. They should say; "Please live with this mess while we try to restore what we destroyed, paid for by the ones who made all the money."

Jeff said...

Here's the link again:

I'm not 100% against private concerts in the park. But the city taxpayers are getting screwed by Lollapalooza as it is currently set up.

Anonymous said...

Please lets not make Grant Park out to be more than what it is: a large green space adjacent to the lake. Come out to Grant Park any day during the week. Locals and tourists do not visit Grant Park without the purpose of an event. Nobody comes to Chicago and says "oooh, I can't wait to see Grant Park!!" No, instead the want to go to milenium park and museum campus. Grant Park is intended for events, such as concerts, races, and general get togethers. These events stimulate the local economy. Lolla has an economic impact of 110M and the marathon brings in an addition 150M to our great city. We should embrace these events. Please remember the beauty of grows back!!

Anonymous said...

Anon August 19, 2011 11:41 PM -

You indicate "We should embrace these events. Please remember the beauty of grows back!!"

In big picture most will agree with your sentiment.
However, a few concerns lingering for me is,

A. It seems since the Obama 'beginning of
free stuff' election night speech, It has been
non-stop crappy condition for many parts of
Grant Park. Event after event something is out of
service for weeks to months. The baseball field
for example have been resurfaced 4-5 times.

B. Mark my words - Chicago will bungle this whole
thing (just like the Fireman's exam Lawsuit)
to where someone will be given $50MM because
Lollapalooza is not being charged. and
some other event pays, and the vultures will
claim foul, racism, etc. for a quick payout.

Residents have no say in where the Lolla money is directed, yet guys like Bob O'neal will drive projects such has South grant park expansion to be paid with Tax payer or TIF Funds from those same residents.
More realistic costs borne - There should be a bit

Anonymous said...

The Obama remark is kind of bizarre. The park has always been used by community/nonprofit groups, and I have no problem with that. That's what parks are for. Lolla is a rare -- if not the only example -- of a for-profit company using it on such a large scale, and as I've said before, this is a bad precedent.

Parks shouldn't be rented out to for-profit companies, and it's even worse when they're not paying the full cost of putting that much of the park out of commission for weeks if not months. I believe that's called corporate welfare. Sure they're restoring the damage, and supposedly doing some upgrades. But our parks should not be for sale to the highest corporate bidder.

As for Grant Park only being for "events" ... that is just not true. I go for walks there often, and am not the only one, as there are many other early morning walkers out. It gives those of us living or visiting downtown a chance to enjoy some open, green space and natural beauty. Grant Park is a gem, with some beautiful gardens. Maybe you don't enjoy it, but thousands of others do.

Jeff said...

Agreed about the Obama remark. Not at all relevant to a Lollapalooza kind of issue.

The parks should only be rented out to private mony-making schemes when there's an equal money-making return on the investment for the city.

I cannot believe that the four or five day (being generous here) hotel and restaurant revenue equals, or even comes close to the profit made by Lollapalooza.

Again, I'm not opposed to these things in general, but Chicago is getting screwed by Lollapalooza and the handful of its cronies who are profiting.