Loop ends year at 64 percent of 2019 pedestrian activity
Loop North News

Loop

(Above) A bride and groom walk north on State Street past Macy’s on December 11, 2021. Photo by BryVisuals. (Click on image to view larger version.)

Pedestrian activity along State Street reached the highest monthly average since before the pandemic.

23-Jan-22 – The year ended with pedestrian activity in the Loop nearly 65 percent of pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report by Chicago Loop Alliance.

The report also shows hotel occupancy up for the fourth consecutive month, but office occupancy and parking reservations down during the holidays.

Pedestrians were counted by 18 automated devices along State Street from Wacker Drive south to Ida B. Wells Drive. The average number of pedestrians in December was 64.7 percent of December 2019 levels, according to the report, the highest monthly average of 2021.

The week of December 13 was the busiest, with pedestrian activity along State Street at 71.6 percent of what it was during the same week in 2019. CLA estimates more than one million people walked along State Street during that week.

Michael Edwards

“Visitors returned downtown to enjoy the sights of the season, and despite the decrease in office workers during the final holiday weeks of the year, trends of the worker population making their way back into offices were positive,” said Chicago Loop Alliance President/CEO Michael Edwards (left).

With many workplaces closed for the holidays, office occupancy in December was 29.7 percent of 2019 levels, after peaking in late November at 39.1 percent. The December rate in the Loop was higher than in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Hotel occupancy in the Loop ended the year at 64 percent of 2019 levels, “well above” occupancy rates for the same period in 2020, according to CLA.

Chicago Loop Alliance

(Above) Various measurements by Chicago Loop Alliance of activity in the Loop in 2020 and 2021, compared with activity in 2019, which is represented by the dotted line at top. The shaded area at bottom represents COVID-19 rates. (Click on image to view larger version.)

Parking reservations, which had recently exceeded 2019 levels, dipped in December to 83 percent.

CLA credits attractions such as Christkindlmarket and the lighting of Chicago’s official Christmas tree in Millennium Park with helping to attract people to the Loop in December.

• Contact Steven Dahlman at sdahlman@loopnorth.com

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