The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau awarded Chicagoland Speedway with the 2001 Member of the Year Award. Joie Chitwood, vice president and general manager of Chicagoland Speedway, accepted the award Thursday, September 20 from Bureau President/CEO Jim Garrett and Chairperson of the Board Patricia Chase Magon during the organization?s annual Membership Awards Luncheon. The award was given to Chicagoland Speedway in recognition of its contribution to tourism and hospitality in the Chicago Southland region. ?In reviewing all of our potential nominees, we felt Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway has had the most significant impact on tourism in the Chicago Southland region and the entire metropolitan area,? said Garrett. The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau presents the award each year in recognition for outstanding contributions to the Bureau and the regional hospitality industry. ?(Chicagoland Speedway) has become one of the largest visitor draws in the entire Chicago metropolitan area, and its inaugural season was the envy of any attraction developer?s dream. The entire Chicago Southland has benefited from the presence of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway through increased visitors and hotel bookings, not to mention its effect on restaurants, retailers and services,? added Garrett. ?We are honored to receive this award, said Chitwood after the ceremony. When we decided to build Chicagoland Speedway, we knew the Chicago Metropolitan area was the right place to be. The fans, residents and businesses in this area have been very accommodating and we are glad to be a part of the increase in tourism to the Chicago Southland region, as well as its increase in national exposure,? said Chitwood. There are over 60 hotels in the Chicago Southland region with approximately 6,000 available rooms. According to the Bureau, the entire Chicago Southland region, and a great deal of the metropolitan region, was sold out for the inaugural event and subsequent events.
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