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'We're Acutely Aware Of The Impact We Have': Home Show Cancellation Puts Spotlight On Future McCormick Place Conventions

CHICAGO (CBS) -- While we all look forward to things reopening, some businesses are finding it a bit more challenging to do so.

About a year after McCormick Place shut down, the vaccine gave workers hope they'll once again be able to host large crowds.

CBS 2's Jeremy Ross reports on Monday, there was another pause in that progress.

The Inspired Home Show won't be showing here this year. It was scheduled to take place in August. But because of the size of the event and lead times in planning and travel for so many attending, the decision was made to shut things down.

Travel restrictions, health and safety were major drivers in all of this.

"The Inspired Home Show is just an amazing place for anyone who is interested in housewares design."

Cynthia McCafferty, spokesperson for McCormick Place, said it was one of many events that had to be cancelled this year. She said it was about a year ago the same show canceled due to COVID concerns and the hope was 2021 would be different.

Instead, one of the largest shows the convention center normally hosts continues to be on hiatus. And it's not alone.

Since the pandemic, 214 shows have been canceled. That amounts to more than 3.2 million in lost attendance. And a state and Chicago economic impact of nearly $2.9 billion.

"We are acutely aware of the impact that we have, not just on our immediate campus but on the city and the state and the region as a whole," McCafferty said.

Meantime, the convention center is preparing to reopen when given the go ahead from health officials. And things will look different when that happens, including socially distant spacing of booths, one-way traffic patterns and hospital grade air filters.

"We can't wait to reopen," McCafferty said. "We hope it's sooner rather than later but we've got to do what's right for public health," she said.

CBS 2 reached out to the Inspired Home Show organizers about its decision but the organization has yet to respond.

McCafferty said don't read too much into this cancellation when it comes to other events. But it's unclear when we could see large groups back here.

That's up to virus trends and public health officials.

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