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Photograph: Zach Long

Grateful Dead shows brought additional $431k in hotel taxes

Written by
Clayton Guse

The Grateful Dead's final three "Fare Thee Well" shows at Soldier Field over Fourth of July weekend brought thousands of diehard fans looking to catch one last glimpse of the legendary jam band before they rode off into the sunset. According to the city, the influx of fans from all over the world was quite lucrative. The high demand for hotels during the weekend brought in an additional $431,000 in hotel tax revenues. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said hotel occupancy during the weekend was at 77.7 percent, which is a huge increase from the average rate of 57.7 percent during the same weekend over the previous five years.

The band sold more than 70,000 tickets for its final show on July 5, but there were thousands of other fans "looking for a miracle" in the form of an affordable scalped ticket.

The extra revenue is a drop in the bucket for the city, but it highlights some good progress in Mayor Emanuel's goal of 55 million annual visitors to Chicago by 2020. 

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