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Lollapalooza lures record number of hotel guests, but

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CHICAGO — More people stayed in downtown hotels for Lollapalooza weekend than any other time in the music festival’s 32-year run Chicago.

A whopping 131,190 hotel room nights were booked Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, according to the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association. That’s not only a record for Lolla weekend but also 18% higher than last year.  

As Chicago works to bounce back from the pandemic experts are closely watching hotel occupancy numbers to see if tourists can help fill the crater left by a lull in business travelers.

“Last weekend was the second best weekend of the summer for Chicago hotels,” Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association president and CEO Michael Jacobson said. “It is major events like these that not only benefit Chicago’s economy but boosts our city’s image and reputation on the global scale.”

While Lollapalooza drew huge crowds downtown, Taylor Swift is still the reigning queen of filling hotel rooms in Chicago this summer. Downtown hotel occupancy peaked at 97% on the early June weekend of Swift’s concert at Soldier Field, according to numbers shared with WGN Investigates by data analytics firm CoStar. That was followed closely by the 95% occupancy rate of central business district hotels on the opening night of Beyonce’s Chicago concert.

Hotel revenue over the three nights of Lollapalooza this year totally $39.9 million, according to the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association, a record for the music fest.

Hotel occupancy downtown through-out Lollapalooza this year averaged 95 percent, according to industry data. The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association says that’s the highest average occupancy rate for Lolla weekend since 2018.

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