Chicago’s First Concierge Hall of Fame

You’ve heard of the hall of fame for athletes. And maybe even restaurants. But concierges? By official proclamation from Mayor Richard M. Daley, the City of Chicago celebrated its first-ever “Concierge Day in Chicago” on January 27, 2011.

Chicagoland’s concierge are behind the scenes orchestrating a variety of activities and are true ambassadors for the city. They are centerstage answering questions and coordinating important functions that enable tourism to thrive in Chicago and are constantly creating memorable experiences for their guests. Almost five million referrals are made by Chicago’s 750-plus city and suburban concierges with over 1.3 million dining recommendations; 1.1 shopping suggestions; advice on 658,000 nightspots; and almost 1.2 million referrals to the Chicago area’s various cultural attractions being made each year.

Inducted into the first hall of fame were Jon Winke from The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, Paula Fortney of the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers and Sheryl Novak, president/concierge of Concierge & Event Services World Wide.

And the requests are on no scale small. Winke has helped a mother of the bride track down lost contact lenses in a Chicago taxi, transformed the hotel’s ballroom into a basketball court and buyout a movie theatre. “When people give me an impossible request, it might take a few minutes. If they need a miracle, it may take a little longer,” Winke says.