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Facilities Update
Hard Hat Party Offers Glimpse Of Tinley Park Convention Center Expansion In Chicago's Southwest Suburbs

Meeting planners got a first look at the expanding Tinley Park Convention Center at I-80 and Harlem in southwest suburban Tinley Park, Illinois recently as Mid-Con Hospitality, managers of the facility, hosted a Hard Hat Party for a sneak peek of the expansion. The expanding Tinley Park Convention Center is adding 24,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, bringing the largest clear-span contiguous space to over 58,000 sq. ft. The first phase was completed in February 2011 and the entire project will be complete by June 1, 2011.

Planners attending the Hard Hat Party liked what they saw, according to Tinley Park Village officials and sales executives from the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The planners we work with are excited to have a facility of this size so close to downtown Chicago,” said Mary Patchin, director of Sales for the Chicago Southland CVB. “With the expansion of the Tinley Park Convention Center, we will now be able to attract larger regional and state conferences and shows that we would not have been able to accommodate in the past.” As hard-hat wearing planners took tours of the evolving space, Mid-Con sales managers guided them through the future exhibit hall, breakout rooms and the new kitchen. Architect’s renderings of the space were interspersed throughout the construction zone, giving planners a mental picture of the new facility.

Planners and others in attendance enjoyed food and refreshments provided by the Convention Center’s vendors. The Tinley Park Convention Center’s culinary team, led by Executive Chef Steve Poskin, whipped up delicacies for the crowd. Furniture suppliers designed mock-ups of meeting rooms and common areas so guests could get a feel for the completed project. “We wanted to bring in our vendors and hospitality partners so planners and guests could see who is supporting this expansion project,” said Daniel Fitzgerald, director of Sales and Marketing for the Tinley Park Convention Center.

The Tinley Park Convention Center expansion is a $20 million investment in the convention center and its surroundings along the I-80 & Harlem Avenue corridor. It is estimated to add an additional 250 jobs to the surrounding region and $265 million in annual revenue for the area according to Village Officials. Additional expansion amenities include high-efficiency exhibit space lighting, a concession stand, Wi-Fi, a full service business center, loading docks and storage area, plus an additional 450 parking spaces, bringing the total of free parking to 1,500. Chicago Southland CVB President and CEO Jim Garrett said the facility’s state of the art amenities are what planners are looking for in a meeting facility. “Planners and show attendees expect modern, quality facilities for their events, and the expanded Tinley Park Convention Center delivers,” Garrett said.

Easily accessible from throughout the Chicago Metropolitan region at the junction of I-80 and South Harlem Avenue, the Tinley Park Convention Center is attached to a full-service 202-room Holiday Inn Hotel and within close proximity to an additional 1,000 hotel rooms in Tinley Park. Both the convention center and hotel are managed by Mid-Con Hospitality. “Mid-Con Hospitality has over 400 modern hotel rooms available for Convention Center event participants and we provide free shuttle service between our hotels and the Convention Center,” said Alan Rosenzweig, executive vice-president of Mid-Con. For additional information on the Tinley Park Convention Center expansion or for a tour of the facility, call Chicago Southland CVB director of Sales Mary Patchin at (888) 895-3211 or by e-mail at The Tinley Park Convention Center website is at
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