One of Chicago's number one tourist attractions, Navy Pier may be experiencing a makeover over the next couple years. The historic pier has been a long-standing entertainment source in Chicago, providing children and adults with activities and dining options. Now, talks of revamping this lakefront staple are starting up and there are some interesting ideas on the table.
First of all, directors and executives want to continue attracting the same crowd, mostly children, families and young adults. The first change people will see is the departure of the Chicago Children's Museum, and with that a a new form of entertainment for kids. They also hope to build a 4,000-seat concert hall and expand the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. There are talks of adding an indoor skating rink, more green space, a huge Ferris wheel and a boutique hotel. Along with these additions, Navy Pier officials hope to improve and update the retail and fast-food area and possibly add a brand new restaurant to the mix.
Efforts in the past to upgrade Navy Pier were put on hold due to budget issues and administrative problems, but it looks as if there is enough support and money to get some of these projects launched. While some people may oppose the plans, worrying that these alterations will transform Navy Pier into an all-out theme park, officials say there is no need to fret. Their intention is to keep Navy Pier as real and accessible as it is now, maintaining its appeal as a fun and entertaining attraction for all.
As someone who has only lived in Chicago for a couple years and visited Navy Pier a handful of times, I don't really have a strong opinion about the changes. However, I think that anything that can improve the current state of the place could potentially drive more tourists and visitors to check it out, which means more revenue, for both Navy Pier and the city.