Monthly Archives: March 2014

Is a New Mega-Casino Coming to Chicago?

Even after hosting a (nearly) record number of tourists in 2012, Chicago continues to explore new ways to attract visitors. Whether their purposes are business, travel, or a little bit of both, tourists make a positive impact on the city’s economy while also boosting its reputation across the nation and the world.

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The next boost to Chicago’s tourism industry could be a new mega-casino. The proposal comes from Rep. Bob Rita, a Democrat from Blue Island, who has amended his previous two attempts at welcoming Lady Luck to the Windy City.

According to Westport News, Rita “said one amendment to his bill would create a Chicago casino with up to 10,000 spots for gamblers, but strips the other four new casinos proposed in past measures. The second plan would create a 4,000-spot Chicago casino and smaller, 1,200-position ones in Rockford, Danville, Lake County and a suburb south of Chicago.”

Should Illinois lawmakers approve a 10,000-spot casino in Chicago, you can bet that business travelers will be pleased. Gambling is a popular pastime among visitors who have been stuck in meetings and conferences all day and are eager to loosen up their ties. Of course, the Chicago mega-casino is still only an idea. Many hope that it can become a reality quicker than casinos on airplanes.

 

7 Reasons Your Business Needs an Incentive Travel Program

Many businesses still don’t think they can afford an incentive program. But when you look more closely at the many benefits of creative travel rewards tied to employee performance, it’s clear that most businesses can’t afford not to have an incentive travel program in place.

1.    Inspire your employees

Hopefully your employees find enjoyment in their work. Maybe they even find fulfillment. Even so, a creative incentive travel program always gives employees something extra to strive for when they’re tempted to fall into a rut. When employees know that their company is ready and willing to reward their hard work, they don’t feel like they have to do their best—they want to.

2.    Get more bang for your buck

Nobody is going to complain when they receive an extra check from their employer, but that check will likely be saved or put toward living expenses. In other words, cash is boring. For the same amount—or almost always less—you can give your employees the gift of adventure, romance, and friendship. Through incentive travel, you connect with your employees on a much deeper level dollar-for-dollar than plain old cash.

3.    Reap the rewards of higher performance

What behavior do you want to encourage in your employees? How can you measure it? Incentive programs are often tied to hard sales numbers, but they can also reward more intangible employee contributions such as excellent customer service, punctuality, and positive energy that can be measured by performance reviews from peers and supervisors.

4.    Help your employees work together

When children play with one another at recess, they are also learning how to interact with one another. The same is true of adults when we socialize together, albeit on a more sophisticated level. Traveling affords employees who may only know one another in a more buttoned-up context countless opportunities to bond and develop their relationships. When they get back to the office, they find that their communication has improved as a result of mutual appreciation and respect through their shared experiences on the incentive program.

5.    Boost the health of your employees

Even the biggest workaholics need a break to recharge now and then. Corporate travel allows employees to celebrate their successes together as they catch their breath and unwind. It’s a very healthy way to achieve psychological and physical well-being, and it translates into continued growth and success when they return to work — continuing their effort to contribute to the corporate goal.

6.    Increase employee loyalty and retention

Every aforementioned benefit will improve your employees’ attitude and morale. Many more of them will not want to imagine leaving the company and will do everything they can to contribute their talents to the company’s success.

7.    Turn employees into evangelists

When people are enjoying themselves, they can’t help but share the love. Particularly in this age of social media, employees are going to post pictures, videos, and status updates that do more than show off their tans—they show off your company’s dedication to its employees, as well.

If your company doesn’t already have a comprehensive incentive program in place for its employees, ask yourself if it can afford to ignore the many benefits any longer.