After 6 years in the loss column this year's Taste of Chicago has finally turned a profit. Was it the addition of Chicago's popular food trucks, the improved musical line-up, more pop-ups, the shorter schedule or the near perfect weather?
Whatever the cause, most likely a combination of all five, Taste is now moving in the right direction and fast. The turnaround from 2012 numbers is amazing. In 2012, Taste lost $1.3 million. This year Taste was up $272,000, making the jump nearly $1.6 million.
It looks like Taste has found its way into the new century and will remain on the city's events calendar for next year and most likely beyond.
A year ago, Taste was on shaky ground with Michelle Boone, Commissioner of the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, admitting that they may have to pull the plug on this once upon-a-time cash cow for the city.
With yesterday's winning numbers announced, Boone confirmed that the city is once again committed to Taste saying, “We’ll continue to work to have Taste drive tourism and strengthen our economy and provide residents and visitors an annual opportunity to enjoy our fantastic culinary scene.”
Mayor Emanuel, who has been behind many of the changes made to the festival including putting it back in the hands of to DCASE elaborated saying, “We revamped the Taste to bring new food options, including food trucks and internationally-renowned chefs and music from chart-topping acts to attract people from all over the world to our city, I am pleased to see that the Taste is proving to be popular, with higher attendance this year and its first profit since 2007." calling Taste "a great event that has far-reaching economic impact on our city, saying "I am pleased that we continue to put on an outstanding week of activities.”
Next year’s Taste is already in the works, as the City looks to build on this year's success. The 2014 Taste of Chicago is scheduled for July 9-13 in Chicago’s Grant Park. Stay tuned for future developments at Show Me Chicago or the Taste of Chicago website.
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