Navy Pier’s private operator says pier could be shut down as it deals with $20 million loss – By Tim Novak (Chicago Sun Times) / Aug 10 2020
With people staying away even since the popular tourist attraction reopened, Navy Pier Inc. says it’s ‘looking at full closure, partial closure’ but not going out of business.
Navy Pier Inc. said Monday it expects to lose $20 million this year and plans to decide by month’s end whether to close the popular tourist attraction whose business has been devastated by the coronavirus.
But Payal Patel, a spokeswoman for the private operator of the government-owned pier, said the company “is not going out of business. Navy Pier is not going bankrupt. They’re looking at full closure, partial closure.”
Patel said the not-for-profit company has no plans to walk away from the pier, which it began leasing in 2011 under a $1-a-year lease from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, whose board is appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
The coronavirus shutdown orders closed the pier from March 17 until June 10, but the usual crowds have yet to return since it reopened. Many restaurants and vendors are open. But popular attractions including the Ferris wheel, the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater remain closed.