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Navy Pier, Chicago’s iconic lakefront destination and nonprofit institution, will begin its phased reopening on Friday, April 30, restoring public access to select outdoor spaces and attractions and cautiously resuming partial operations with public health and safety at the forefront.
As part of this initial phase, the following will be open and accessible to the public: Navy Pier parking garages, Polk Bros Park, Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion, North and South Docks, Pier Park (including select rides and attractions), East End Plaza, tour boats and cruises, the new Sable hotel, and select restaurants at limited capacity (per government guidelines). Hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday during this phase, although hours may vary per establishment. Navy Pier has been temporarily closed to the public since Labor Day to limit the financial impact and implications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on the nonprofit organization and the nearly 70 small and local businesses it houses.
“Following Navy Pier’s longest closure in recent history, we are anxious to reopen our spaces and safely welcome guests back to the Pier,” said Navy Pier President and CEO Marilynn Gardner. “As a key economic driver and cultural anchor for the city and state, we recognize the critical role Navy Pier plays in leading our community out of the devastation from the pandemic. With mass vaccination rollouts now underway, we are eager to help guests safely reconnect to Chicago and its most treasured experiences, and remain committed to helping revive the city and region.”
To celebrate its reopening, the Pier will be hosting a special 10-minute fireworks show every Saturday in May at 9:00 p.m. Guests are welcome to enjoy the display from the Pier’s open areas.
Restaurants and attractions that will be open as part of the initial reopening phase include Billy Goat Tavern, Giordano’s, Harry Caray’s Tavern, Margaritaville, Odyssey, Offshore Rooftop and Bar, Shoreline Sightseeing, Seadog and more. In addition, Sable at Navy Pier—the new 223-room, Hilton-operated hotel on the Pier—and its Latin-inspired restaurant, Lirica, opened in March and will continue to accept reservations. Pier Park will also resume operations on select rides and attractions, including the iconic Centennial Wheel, Pepsi Wave Swinger and Carousel. The opening of new rides will follow in the coming weeks. The rest of the Pier, including interior spaces, food experience, retail shops and other select attractions will reopen sometime in May. Navy Pier’s free community programs will also resume at that time. The full reopening date is to be determined based on State and City guidance.
Upon reopening, guests can expect the same level of heightened public health and safety measures as last summer. In addition, Navy Pier has gone above and beyond to ensure that its safety practices are of the highest standard. The organization recently earned the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation, the cleaning industry’s gold standard accreditation for outbreak prevention, response and recovery, from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA—The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. The accreditation involved a comprehensive 20-element review process and thorough evaluation of the Pier’s facilities, cleaning procedures, staff training practices and more.
Navy Pier has also partnered with NTT Corporation, City Tech Collaborative and a consortium of other leading technology and design partners to implement a Smart Solutions pilot program, which will leverage a data-driven approach to enhance Navy Pier’s guest experience and existing safety measures. This innovative capacity intelligence program will allow the organization to carefully monitor guest volume and traffic across high-traffic zones on the Pier and alert staff members when a particular space or area is reaching its zone capacity. At that point, Navy Pier employees would make necessary adjustments to ensure social distancing practices and other safety protocols are maintained.
In addition to these new safety measures, returning practices and protocols include, but are not limited to:
The cleaning and safety measures outlined above will apply indefinitely until further notice. Given the fluidity and nature of the situation, Navy Pier is prepared to modify procedures as necessary. Click here for a full overview of the Pier’s COVID-19 safety measures.
A top civic space and nonprofit institution in Chicago, Navy Pier is home to nearly 70 independent businesses, several pop-up neighborhood markets, hundreds of annual events and many local artists who regularly showcase their work at the Pier, enriching the lives of Chicago residents and visitors, alike. Collectively, the on-site restaurants, retailers, attractions and nonprofit partners typically employ more than 3,000 people annually and contribute to the Pier’s reputation as one of the largest first employers for diverse young individuals in the city. In addition, the Pier typically hosts more than 250 free public arts and cultural programs annually to educate, inspire and connect communities across the city and globe. With the undertaking of its critical nonprofit mission, Navy Pier recognizes its responsibility to the greater Chicagoland community and is committed to restoring the vitality of the Pier, its partners and the local economy as the city works to recover from the pandemic and its harrowing impact.
For more information, visit the Navy Pier website.
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