Emanuel proposes big hikes in city fees for river tour boats - New York News

Emanuel proposes big hikes in city fees for river tour boats

Posted: Updated:
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Popular tour boats would pay dramatically higher fees for the privilege of docking along the Chicago River, under a 10-year agreement proposed Wednesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"Tour boat operations along the Chicago River are a colorful and valued amenity for visitors to downtown Chicago," the mayor said in a press release.

"This renewed partnership will keep tour boats floating down the river while generating significant revenue for the city."

Wendella Sightseeing Co. paid the city $281,419 in fees last year for the privilege of using dock space on the north side of the Chicago River west of Michigan. Mercury Skyline Yacht Charters Inc. paid the city $169,000 to operate from a dock on the south side of the river east of Michigan.

The decade-long agreement that Emanuel introduced at Wednesday's City Council meeting includes dramatically higher fees expected to generate $42.5 million over the life of the contract.

It includes a minimum annual guarantee for the use of the docks, an annual, 3 percent escalator and a 5 percent share of the tour boat operators' gross revenues.

Annual revenues generated by Mercury are expected to rise from $1.2 million in 2013 to $2.4 million by the time the new agreement expires in 2023. Over the next decade, Mercury is expected to pay the city $30.9 million.

Wendella's annual payments to the city are expected to climb from $877,000 this year to $1.2 million in 2023 for a grand total of $11.5 million over the next 10 years.

Both firms are expected to benefit from steady but slow improvements to the Chicago riverwalk that lure more tourist traffic. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley had big dreams of creating a San Antonio-style riverwalk in Chicago but never found the money to pay for it. He also talked about allowing Venice-style gondoliers along the Chicago River.

The search for funding to complete the riverwalk — instead of doing it in small pieces — continues under Emanuel.

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Schumer proposes ban on 10 flame retardants

    Sunday, September 14 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 01:51:05 GMT
    Gov. Andrew CuomoGov. Andrew Cuomo
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
    Senator Charles Schumer says a Duke University study has found flame retardants in upholstered furniture and children's products like toys, pajamas and pillows to be highly toxic. The chemicals have also been linked to developmental delays and rare cancers in firefighters as well as cancers and hormone disruption in children.
  • Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Electricity goes out at Six Flags, guests left stranded

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:50 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:50:36 GMT
    Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)Six Flags Great Adventure 45th anniversary logo. (AP photo)
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
    It wasn't the amusement park thrill they were expecting. Some people at Great Adventure in New Jersey were left stranded on rides after a power outage.
  • Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Stranded jet skiers rescued off Staten Island

    Sunday, September 14 2014 6:43 PM EDT2014-09-14 22:43:09 GMT
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
    Two jet skiers stranded since Saturday night were rescued from small islands off of Staten Island Sunday morning, police sources said. The FDNY Marine division discovered the first jet skier on the West Bank Lighthouse island while patrolling the area after 8 a.m. Sunday, and took him to Staten Island University Hospital North. His friend, a man in his 40s, was also saved.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices