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As a loud and proud supporter of the Pullman National Landmark District, we at the Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau are thrilled that President Obama will be designating Pullman as a national park and monument on February 19th. To have a place in our backyard that has played such a pivotal role in history, from having early connections with the labor and civil rights movements to being developed as America’s first planned industrial town, Pullman has notched its place not only in the history books but also in our hearts as well. Over the past decade, the Chicago Southland CVB has worked hand in hand with the Pullman National Landmark District to market and promote the Pullman area. Having brought in dozens of travel writers, group tours and promoting it as a railfan site, we believe that Pullman is finally getting the attention it deserves. The sights, sounds and history of Pullman have made it beloved with everyone who visits. The thought of Pullman being recognized amongst other national monuments like the Statue of Liberty is not where the excitement ends. Tourism means dollars and with Pullman becoming a national park and monument, the impact it will bring to the local economy is substantial. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, there could be 300,000 visitors yearly with an estimated $40 million impact to the economy. An estimated 365 jobs will be created, hotel rooms will be booked and the entire Chicago Southland will benefit. The great people at the Pullman National Landmark District, and the many people whose passion and dedication to achieve this status for Pullman, deserve it. The Chicagoland area deserves the economic impact that Pullman will generate. With the secret of Pullman out of the bag, we encourage everyone to visit this historic district. In 1906, Pullman was designated the “World’s Most Perfect Town” only to find itself near demolition in the mid-20th century. Visit the Pullman Foundation Visitors Center to find out how it bounced back to the track of prosperity. Walk along the maroon row houses on your way to Hotel Florence and then marvel at the Pullman Factory Complex. Discover the faces and places that tell the experience of Pullman and enjoy Illinois’ newest national treasure!
Jim Garrett, CDME President / CEO Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau