Chicago’s Navy Pier to Implement Temporary Closure Starting Sept. 8 to Slow Financial Burden Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
CHICAGO — Navy Pier, a mixed-use destination on Chicago’s lakefront, will start a temporary pier-wide closure on Tuesday, Sept. 8, in an effort to limit the financial burden and impact of the continued coronavirus pandemic on the organization.
The closure will stop all operations, including those of Navy Pier’s more than 70 small businesses. Access to the pier’s outdoor space, including Polk Bros Park and North and South Docks, will also be limited or prohibited during the closure.
“While this was a very difficult decision for the organization, it was a necessary one to proactively ensure the long-term success of one of Chicago’s most treasured and important civic institutions and the communities it serves,” says Marilynn Gardner, president and CEO of Navy Pier.
Per state and city orders, Navy Pier originally closed to the public from March 16 to June 10 and then began a phased reopening with appropriate safety and security measures. Through the reopening, Navy Pier was able to resume partial operations and welcome guests to the pier. However, the destination experienced less than 20 percent of its typical summer attendance.
To date, the Centennial Wheel, Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and additional Pier Park attractions have not been able to open and operate. Coupled with ongoing closures of revenue-making attractions and the cancellation of all events, Navy Pier extended rent relief to all of its on-site tenant partners further reducing its possible revenue for the year.
The loss of these earnings has resulted in a projected deficit of $20 million in 2020. The organization’s closure will help limit further losses for Navy Pier, as well as its on-site partners.